Some Preachers in Georgia Support Idea of a New State Flag

January 28, 2001

Source: The Atlanta Journal and Constitution

On January 28, 2001, The Atlanta Journal and Constitution reported that "the Rev. Larry Summerour knows that most people in [Chickamauga], where the South claimed its last important victory in the Civil War, want to stick with the current Georgia flag. They consider the plan for a new flag a slap in the face. 'But I feel the need to say it,' said the 56-year-old pastor of Elizabeth Lee United Methodist Church. 'It is a flag of divisiveness.'" Most preachers in the area have avoided talking about the flag debate, but the current discussion of the issue in the legislature is a perfect topic for a sermon. It is impossible to know how many religious leaders support idea of making the Confederate symbol on the flag less prominent, but "a broad sampling of religious leaders around the state Saturday revealed none who planned to preach against the change, but several who favor the new emblem--and said that the fight at the state Capitol presents profound lessons in compromise, walking in another's shoes, and finding common ground." Preachers are encouraging their congregations to think about the divisive nature of the flag and to understand why it is upsetting to some Georgians, calling for their congregations to see this as a movement toward unity for the state. Some black spiritual leaders are encouraged by the willingness of white lawmakers to listen to the concerns of their fellow black citizens.