By Joshua Quinn, jquinn@wagt.com

A newly-elected member of the Georgia House of Representatives wants people to decide once and for all on a state flag.

Representative-elect Tim Bearden is hoping the legislature will give people one last choice on the November of 2006 ballot between the Georgia flag of 1956 and the current flag, adopted in May of 2003.

Bearden says when voters went to the polls in 2002, the older Confederate flag was left off the ballot. He says the 1956 version of the flag deserves a chance.

“This is about the people getting their input to vote,” Bearden says. “It’s time to end the issue, and this is the way you end the issue, put it out there to the people. The legislature should not be afraid of the people’s voices. We should be allowed to let them speak and have their say.”

Owners of a flag store in West Augusta say they sell a lot more of the old Georgia state flags than the current one, so they’re not surprised it could be back on the ballot in 2006.

The flag that flew over Georgia for 55 years might make a comeback if one lawmaker gets his way, which suits Brenda Videtto just fine. But some other folks she works with don’t necessarily share the same sentiment.

“The baby boomers particularly like this flag,” Videtto says pointing to the 1956 Georgia flag. “It’s the flag they grew up with, the flag that represents our state.”

But coworker Candy Jordon has a different view.

“If it does come up on the referendum to vote,” she says, “I may have a hard time deciding which one, even though I grew up with the one from 1956.”

Former Governor Roy Barnes came up with a very different design in 2001. Voters elected to remove that one in November of 2002, but the old flag from 1956 wasn’t included on the ballot.

Representative-elect Bearden says he just wants people to have a choice

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