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The Confederate flag: Time for the museum

(Update: On Monday South Carolina’s Governor, Nikki Haley, along with both state Senators, Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott, and a bipartisan group of other lawmakers called for the state to remove the Confederate battle flag from state grounds. “Our state is grieving, but we are also coming together,” Ms Haley said.)FOR nearly half a century Georgia’s state flag was three-quarters filled with the battle flag of the Confederacy, a symbol of the pro-slavery side in America’s civil war. This state flag had been adopted in 1956, two years after the Supreme Court integrated America’s schools with its Brown v Board of Education ruling. But by the 21st century flying this loaded flag seemed awkward. Georgia had been home to some of America’s great black civil-rights leaders, including Martin Luther King junior, John Lewis and Andrew Young. Atlanta, the state’s bustling capital (and your correspondent’s hometown), had also spent the postwar decades striving to be the centre of a “new South”, “a city too busy to hate”.In 2001 Georgia adopted a new flag, with the state seal on a plain blue background, below which were the words “Georgia’s History”, and a row of all of the flags that had ever flown over the state. This design had the advantage of (literally) minimising the Confederate flag without erasing it. It had the disadvantage of looking like it was designed …

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