Georgia approves a new state flag,
January 30, 2001 12:19 PM   Subscribe

Georgia approves a new state flag, which should displease just about everyone (historians, civil rights leaders, residents that call it "the war of northern aggression"). It looks like design-by-committee, in which everyone compromises to the point of utter pointlessness. It's certainly hideous, redesign contest anyone?
posted by mathowie (47 comments total)

 
I don't know, it doesn't looks bad, certainly the ribbon for the flags is not well defined and there are problems if you were to make it smaller. I'm thinking it doesn't matter how legible the flag is at small sizes? I always thought that was the reason for a lot of them were just stripes and colors. Hmm?
posted by tiaka at 12:26 PM on January 30, 2001


Um...how exactly is it hideous? It's got the state seal and a few old flags - what exactly is a state flag supposed to look like?

I actually thought this flag was a pretty decent compromise. True, the Stars and Bars are still there, but they're stuck along the bottom with four other flags, and the implicit commentary is "This is how we once were, but we've moved past it."

Plus, given how contentious this issue is across the South, I thought the Georgia congress did a great job of getting a revision done quickly and smoothly. Kudos to them.
posted by kevincmurphy at 12:27 PM on January 30, 2001


U-G-L-Y!
YOU AIN'T GOT NO ALIBI!
YOU UGLY! YOU UGLY!


Sorry about that; growing up in Texas, one of the few things that I can look back on with pride is that we had a classic, easily recognizable flag.

(now back to your regularly scheduled thread...)
posted by Avogadro at 12:32 PM on January 30, 2001


It's brutally unoriginal. That banner on the bottom is just ridiculous. It would be best if they left all the old flags in a museum somewhere and went forward with a new design from scratch.
posted by ritualdevice at 12:32 PM on January 30, 2001


That banner on the bottom is just ridiculous.

That's a banner? I thought it was the thing's taskbar.
posted by leo at 12:41 PM on January 30, 2001


Ritual, a new design would put them in the same boat as SC right now... as far as unoriginal goes.. well, yeah.. it's a flag for chrissakes!
posted by tj at 12:45 PM on January 30, 2001


I'm with tj here, flags should be traditional, did you ever see one of those ultra-hip newly designed European currency? It's not all that ugly, but, it's not money, they're more like bookmarks than anything really.
posted by tiaka at 12:55 PM on January 30, 2001


As a Georgia resident: Despite it's complexity, the compromise the Georgia congress came up with is pretty smart. Honestly, I think there were more protests from Pro-Stars and Bars people than from civil rights supporters. Of course, that could just be the "liberal media" slanting the issue again.

At any rate, the congress effectively stayed off the threatened boycotts by the NAACP. As always, money was what truly fueled this quick legislation.
posted by karenh at 12:59 PM on January 30, 2001


A story on this from a few days ago mentioned that someone had tossed in the words "In God We Trust" in a "last-minute amendment" --- the image for that story didn't contain that phrase either.

Hopefully it's gone now... that would be exchanging one insult for another.
posted by Sapphireblue at 12:59 PM on January 30, 2001


But I like the new motto: "Wis, Justice, Moder, Domation." Words to live by, really.

Of course, my state has "nord" in the motto, so I shouldn't talk.
posted by lileks at 1:07 PM on January 30, 2001


Hopefully [In God We Trust] is gone now... that would be exchanging one insult for another.

If that's what you consider an insult, Sapphireblue, I'll be happy to relieve you of all those insulting little pieces of currency in your purse. Anything to spare you the grief and indignity of all those insults.
posted by ratbastard at 1:35 PM on January 30, 2001


Another Georgia resident here, and the new flag is ugly, ugly, ugly. That said, I think the flag should have been changed, and have supported the idea for some time. For that matter, the city of Atlanta has been flying the pre-50s version of the flag since 1996 on most of it's buildings, a flag that no one seemed to have a problem with despite the fact that it incorporated the three "bars" from the Confederacy's official flag. (And it don't look half bad.)

Anyway, no perhaps the state legislature can no turn to soemthing that really impacts people (or at least most Atlantans).
posted by trox at 1:36 PM on January 30, 2001


"In God We Trust" ... Hopefully it's gone now...

Nope. It is placed at the very bottom of the flag - yellow letters on the blue field.

The new flag has two faults:

1. Like about half the US state flags, it is a seal on a blue field - about as far from recognizable as you get.

2. There's an awful lot of clutter - lettering and stuff. The children of Georgia will never learn to draw their flag.
posted by palnatoke at 1:42 PM on January 30, 2001


it IS insulting! I don't trust in God one smidge. I wish it *were* off the money---the fact that it's there at all becomes a slippery slope (ha! i said it) leading straight to right-wing politicians standing up and saying with perfectly straight faces: "It's a national motto, let's put it in the schools!"

... oh wait, you were being funny? I very nearly missed it ;>
posted by Sapphireblue at 1:48 PM on January 30, 2001


I find the fact that the banner has a header stating "Georgia's History" is somewhat funny. Aren't flags generally a little more sophisticated, more symbolic than that? Why not just include a whole essay: "See, first, in (date range) we had this flag, [arrow pointing to first flag], then, we changed it to this next one over here..."
posted by whatnotever at 1:56 PM on January 30, 2001


Truly stale. Poor Georgia. Would've been so easy to conjure up something interesting. Anyone gonna try? I'm no artist but here's my concept: Green field, blue sky, and a big peach for a sunrise.
posted by Tubes at 2:04 PM on January 30, 2001


I think they should have just copied the side of a HomeGrocer van, it would speak more about the state than anything else and with HomeGrocer now folded into Webvan who would care?
posted by Brilliantcrank at 2:38 PM on January 30, 2001


What's most galling is that the confederate flag, though diminished, is still very much there.

And it has nothing at all to do with 'heritage'. Adopted in 1956 as a protest against school integration and civil rights measures, it's a symbol of hate and nothing more.

Were this a swastika, there wouldn't be an argument about it's display at all. A small swastika is still a swastika, and a small confederate flag is still a symbol of hate and intolerance.

posted by aladfar at 2:43 PM on January 30, 2001


S'blue: Well, you could always go through the process of converting your personal currency into atheist money, if that helps any....
posted by youhas at 2:44 PM on January 30, 2001


I'm amused by the recursive snag they've dealt themselves. If they continue to include a Georgia History banner on all future flags, then on the next flag the image of the current flag -- flag #6 in Georgia's history -- will have its own really small Georgia History banner. Then on the next flag, #7 will have a really small Georgia History banner, which will have its own really, really small Georgia History banner. And so on, and so on...
posted by sandor at 3:06 PM on January 30, 2001


As far as I'm concerned, who cares if it's ugly -- that God-damned "we'll give blacks the vote over our cold dead bodies" flag had to go. (You don't believe me? Hell, the guy that designed it testified before the committee for this one saying he'd finally learned to live with his neighbors -- and endorsing the new flag.) Who cares if it's pretty? Having the old one flying was disgusting.

And when I say "God-damned", I'm hoping and praying that He has done so.

All that said, it's interesting that faced with a strikingly similar problem, South Africa aced it.
posted by dhartung at 3:08 PM on January 30, 2001


All that said, it's interesting that faced with a strikingly similar problem, South Africa aced it.

Now that's what I'm talking about. Get over it, move forward, all new design. I think it's insulting to continue to have the stars and bars anywhere on their flag. I agree with aladfar.
posted by ritualdevice at 3:25 PM on January 30, 2001


Maybe next time there will be an all new flag that will get rid of the stars and bars AND (more importlantly) won't offend everyone's design sensibilities, but this is a step in the right direction.

"The stars and bars are smaller!"
"Our 'southern heritage' is still represented!"

Let's hear it for compromise and unitification. Now everybody hug.

"It's ugly!"
posted by smeat at 3:37 PM on January 30, 2001


Wow, smeat, you ought to be in the U.N. or something.
posted by leo at 4:25 PM on January 30, 2001


I'd rather they not have titled the banner. "Georgia's History" is really unnecessary, and a little too "click here, stupid". That they managed to restrain themselves from putting "Georgia's Seal" over the seal is perhaps a miracle.
posted by jplummer at 4:54 PM on January 30, 2001


"more importantly"? That's a remarkably odd thing to prioritize over the concerns of an already marginalized population.

posted by sudama at 5:27 PM on January 30, 2001


I agree that the "Georgia's History" title is pretty lame. If you have to explain the symbolism of the flag on the flag, you're not doing a good job of something... I'm not sure what.

As for potential designs, why not a big peach in front of a fiery explosion with motion-blurred italic block letters spelling out "GEORGIA" in metallic blue across the top?
posted by daveadams at 5:35 PM on January 30, 2001


As for potential designs, why not a big peach in front of a fiery explosion with motion-blurred italic block letters spelling out "GEORGIA" in metallic blue across the top?

what's Metallica have to do with Georgia?
posted by Sean Meade at 6:43 PM on January 30, 2001


"more importantly"? That's a remarkably odd thing to prioritize over the concerns of an already marginalized population.

I left my sarcasm tags and emoticons at the office. Geez.

I just found it "remarkably odd" that most of the comments in this thread are about the ugly design and who would do what to fix it (and how about a 5k flag contest!), instead of the more significant news that they're actually working toward getting rid of those damn stars and bars.

I would have never in a million years thought that even a compromise would get through. I thought it was going to be South Carolina II, if anything. This is big news.
posted by smeat at 6:44 PM on January 30, 2001


Having the Stars and Bars on the flag is not the problem. The fact that there are people in Georgia who are still proud of the emblem is the problem.
posted by kindall at 6:57 PM on January 30, 2001


I do not agree with every thing, or sometimes even much, of what my country has done, or does now.

This does not mean that I'm less proud of it, or it's heritage.

Does anyone need any more on that?

I thought they did a good job, and I was pleased to see that the did *not* wimp on correctly depicting history.

One for the "it's a hate symbol" people: Ok, so what if it is. That *is* history, folks. You can't change what happened, for the love of Christ. And if you minimalize it successfully enough, what they *hell* are you going to point your kids at and say "That Was Bad" about, huh?
posted by baylink at 7:41 PM on January 30, 2001


smeat, sorry I took your post the wrong way. I guess we share a sentiment here.

baylink's right, there's lots to be proud of in the history of the U.S. -- John Brown's raid, Nat Turner's rebellion, etc. -- but museums and history books will serve to preserve the stars and bars. It doesn't need to persist on the state flag. It looks like a big "fuck you" to me.
posted by sudama at 8:32 PM on January 30, 2001


Unfortunately, that's part of the state's heritage that they want to preserve... Do you think that a state that was racist enough to keep such a symbol of slavery hanging around would suddenly become politically correct in the 21st century?
posted by Neb at 11:57 PM on January 30, 2001


I'm a native Atlantan. People have been so hyped up about a piece of symbolism for so long now. Its just politics. The people are separated here. By choice on both sides. Thats the sad part. A true dividing line that separates people called the suburbs. The ongoing revitalization(sparked by the Olympics)of our inner city is a sweet progression. More people coming together...living...working...true life skills. I could fly the rebel flag every day if I wanted to...and in my integrated world my neighbors would just laugh...because they KNOW me. Changing the flag is NOT going to change the true problems here. Its a disease that can only be changed by teaching our children (on both sides of the equation) that hatred is not based on the color or design of a flag but on whether we are prepared to REALLY come together. Is it possible? It was for me.

*Tossing the soapbox out the window*
posted by oh posey at 12:05 AM on January 31, 2001


I really do not like the banner at the bottom. I don't think it will get many click thru's. As someone who has designed a number of banners, I have to say that this one needs a call to action.

Wait, it is a Flag? Oh, dang I thought it was a Flash home page...
posted by DragonBoy at 1:21 AM on January 31, 2001


Allow me to play the ignorant one: how important is the state flag?
I'm just trying to suss out what kind of impact the state flag has in American states. In Australia, 99% of people wouldn't have a clue what the state's flag is, and the other 1% wouldn't care. I'm assuming that the state flag has more importance in the United States.
I really don't like the idea of the state and the church being together, even if only in the form of having the state flag talk about God.

posted by underpantsgnomette at 4:13 AM on January 31, 2001


No. I don't know what my state flag is, I only ever see it if I go to city hall. Nor do I care. Useless information.
posted by sonofsamiam at 7:13 AM on January 31, 2001


If you think about it, it's just a bad idea to keep the swasti.. er, i mean confederate flag on there at all. "Georgia's History," the banner reads, followed by the stars and bars. It may as well say "Georgia's History: slavery, segregation and lynchings." Put that slogan on all your bumber stickers, Georgia.
posted by jpoulos at 7:47 AM on January 31, 2001


"Georgia's History," the banner reads, followed by the stars and bars. It may as well say "Georgia's History: slavery, segregation and lynchings." Put that slogan on all your bumper stickers, Georgia.

As those who forget the past are bound to repeat it, this is a good thing, no? I'm a Georgia resident. I'd put that slogan on my license plates.
posted by ewagoner at 8:40 AM on January 31, 2001


under [and what is it with new MeFi members choosing tasteless names?] -- I can tell you that in Wisconsin or Illinois, 1% would be able to identify the state flag. In Georgia, however, and much of the south, there's a greater identification with the state as an heir to the Confederacy. In Texas, someone is arguably more likely to display the state flag than the national one(e.g. one of the current Survivor crew brought his enormous Texas flag to serve as a tent roof).

Georgia explicitly changed its flag to incorporate the Confederate battle flag in the 1950s, when the federal government was trying to eliminate racially segregated schools. The message, then as now, was clear as day.
posted by dhartung at 10:30 AM on January 31, 2001


So.. just because a state flies a confederate style flag makes it racist? What a pile of BS!

Just because you might have a Britney Spears CD, does that make you a popped up moron? Just because you have a poster of some hot chick with big tits on the wall, does that make you a womanizer?

State flags are heavily over-rated. As far as I'm concerned, they may as well just burn the whole lot and never use them. There is a flag already. It's called the Stars and Stripes, and since the United States is a single country, get used to using one flag.
posted by wackybrit at 10:40 AM on January 31, 2001


Just because you might have a Britney Spears CD, does that make you a popped up moron?

Um, dude, you're not doing much to support your argument here... I mean, even assuming you somehow ended up with a Britney Spears CD in your hand without noticing it, say it just leaped off the rack into your hand, surely you would discover it was there when you tried to leave the store (the security system would go off).
posted by kindall at 11:04 AM on January 31, 2001


No, he's saying empty symbols don't get filled up just coz you notice them.
posted by sonofsamiam at 12:31 PM on January 31, 2001


since the United States is a single country, get used to using one flag.

Er, well, it's not quite so simple, you see. The US government is based on a federal system in which the national government, state governments, and municipal governments all share power. In my experience, even the smallest of towns have flags (though, perhaps, not very good ones).

Not only that, but when conceived, the USA was actually a group of countries (well, so they weren't all that organized as yet) that banded together for their common interest. Over the years, that distinction has faded somewhat, although conservatives, southerners, and other groups support a strong notion of states as separate entities, not just delegations of the national government. In fact, the US Constitution is a document that delegates powers from the states to the national government, not the other way around.

All of this is really to say that residents of many states are quite proud of their state of residence, often much moreso than they are proud of their nation. In that case (and given the argument of states as separate entities), state flags are just as important as a national flag to those people, hence the strong argument.

Personally I think the states would do much better to come up with flags that utilize large blocks of color and easily-recognizable shapes rather than state seals and text (and worse, images of previous flags?!). The state flag of Texas is a great example, it really could be a national flag.
posted by daveadams at 12:40 PM on January 31, 2001


Actually, having a Britney Spears CD does make you a stupid teeny bopper, and having a poster with a woman with big breasts makes you a wannabe womanizer.

The fact is, the confederate flag DOES stand for racism. If Georgia had a swastika on the flag, you wouldn't be saying it was BS.

The only difference between the Germans and a bunch of drunk racist hicks is that the germans thought globally.

Every time I see a car/truck go by in my town with a confederate flag license plate, I laugh, because I know that these people are hicks
posted by jpate at 2:01 PM on January 31, 2001


Don't forget, daveadams, that the flag of my state of Texas actually *was* a national flag, just not the US's. :)

Here in Texas, a lot of us take pride in our famed six flags. At the Fort Worth Museum of Science & History, they're all hung over the entrance to the Omni theater, every last one of them.
posted by Spirit_VW at 6:54 PM on January 31, 2001


No, jpate, those assertions do not necessarily follow, nor do I think they're true.

Posey made a very good point: all this stuff only matters to people who don't *know* you...
posted by baylink at 9:18 PM on January 31, 2001


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