22534[civilwarwest] Flag Flap
- Dec 1, 2000Message text written by INTERNET:firstname.lastname@example.org
>IMHO The following statement seems to be rhetorical and false.
>>"The message that was sent when it [the Georgia State flag] wasadopted was a message of defiance to the federal Constitution,
government, and courts and a message to the Black citizens of that
state that the state would engage in Massive Resistance to any and
all efforts to protect and enforce the rights of Blacks under the US
Constitution, especially the 14th and 15th Amendments" >>
In 1955, an Atlanta attorney suggested a new state flag for Georgia
that would embody the Confederate Battle Flag, also known as the
"Southern Cross". During the 1956 session of the general assembly,
state senators introduced Senate Bill 98 to change the state flag to
incorporate the battle flag. It had previously held the First
National Flag, better known as the "Stars and Bars". This was signed
into law of Feb. 13, 1956. John Bell, the designer of this flag,
stated that the purpose for the change was to honor ancestors who
fought and died.
Rosa Parks, after a long day of work refused to give up her seat to a
man on December 1, 1955. This lead to her arrest and trial, a 381-day
Montgomery bus boycott, and, finally, the Supreme Court's ruling in
November 1956 that segregation on transportation is unconstitutional.
This is generally regarded as the beginning of the civil rights
The Atlanta Journal, in a 1992 investigation of the changing of the
flag, stated that no evidence exists to link the change with racial
motives. For all practical purposes, the "Stars and Stripes"
represents the enslavement of a race of people. One should also look
to our neighbors here in the south. Take the time to look at
Tennessee, Florida, Arkansas, and Alabama for echoes of that Battle
Flag. These, and especially Mississippi, must be next on the grand
'racism symbol' score which must be settled.
Ed Roberts a.k.a. Rockeur
There was a little thing known as "Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka
Kansas, et al." that had been decided in 1954, which overruled the 1896
decision of "Plessy v. Ferguson" and Plessy's approval of "separate but
equal" (Plessy actually dealt with a Jim Crow transportation system).
Brown was the culmination of a series of lawsuits, principally by the NAACP
Legal Defense Fund, that attacked segregation at its legal foundations
with the overturning of Plessy as its goal. Rosa Parks' act was not all
that spontaneous but a part of a ongoing campaign that began in the 1940s
against de jure segregation. The best book I've seen on this whole period
is " Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black
America's Struggle for Equality" by Richard Kluger, which, although first
published in 1977 is still in print and published by Vintage Books.
In any event, I'm baffled as to how replacing a flag that included the
first Confederate National flag was needed to honor ancestors who had
fought and died for the Confederacy. John Bell could say anything he
wanted to about the reason for the change but you cannot remove the act
from its context. Massive Resistance was a fact and open state policy in
the southern states as the records currently being released from the 1950s
and 1960s of the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission confirm. In
addition, perhaps, in choosing a flag to represent a state and =ALL= of
its people, that portion of the people who had been collectively denied the
franchise might want to have a say in the design of the flag, and that
includes Mississippi where people were murdered in the 1960s for trying to
help Blacks register to vote. I am half Scottish and proud of it, but I'm
don't believe that the Pennsylvania state flag should included either the
lion of St. Andrews or the saltire.
Margaret D. Blough
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