Past support of 1956 flag could hurt Cox

Could Cathy Cox’s past support of the 1956 Georgia flag hurt her?

As a state legislator, Cathy Cox signed on to a bill 13 years ago that would have forced schools and other public buildings to fly a state flag that included the Confederate battle emblem, a decision her opponents hope will come back to haunt her now that she’s running for governor.

Blacks are expected to make up half or more of the voters in the Democratic primary, and supporters of her rival, Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor, are using her backing of the bill to question whether Cox deserves African-American support.

“The African-American minority community will certainly take note of the voting records as they relate to changing the flag and how people stood on that fight for many years,” said Rep. Tyrone Brooks (D-Atlanta), a Taylor backer and president of the Georgia Association of Black Elected Officials. “That was a very low moment for the Legislature to have someone introduce legislation to prohibit funds going to cities and counties that refused to fly the old racist Confederate flag,” he added.


  1. Bill Simon says:

    I’m curious to find out if this same measure was supported in the State Senate by Taylor and Perdue. Taylor responds to this fact about Cox as though he wasn’t in the senate when it happened. He was.

  2. buzzbrockway says:

    The article says this:

    “The year the bill was filed, then-Gov. Zell Miller was trying to change the 1956 state flag, in part because it offended many blacks. Taylor was a state senator helping to push Miller’s plan and he voted for the change in the Senate.”

    Wasn’t Taylor Zell’s floor leader? It’s certainly plausible that Taylor did not support the bill Cox supported (assuming it passed and went to the Senate) since Zell was trying to change the flag.

  3. Skeptical says:

    But beware! She may lose a few African-American votes (and it’s not like Taylor has a lock on them), but she most certainly is now likely to pick up the support of the flaggers who don’t seem to be able to let Sonny forget that he double crossed them. This will bite Taylor in his rather ample ass.

  4. GetReal says:


    Based on your past posts, you seem to be a Cox supporter or even a staffer. Is this the spin – that Democrats should support her because she can get flagger votes?

  5. McCain-Rice\'08 says:

    For once I agree with Tyrone Brooks, not only is it wrong in my eyes that she supported such legislation..but she will feel a political backlash.
    . the 1956 Flag or as I like to call it “the bigot banner” was an in your face display of racism in the midst of the Civil Rights movement..I supported its replacement, and I even voted for Barnes in 2002 because Sonny took the “pro-flaggot” stance. I regret doing that now, but Im just trying to show yall how opposed I am to the ’56 flag.
    . She will no doubt feel a political backlash, the black community is what keeps the Georgia Democratic Party alive and breathing, and so many Black leaders are behind Mark Taylor as it is. This may just be the issue that puts Taylor on top of her, it’ll be interesting to see how he plays it up.

  6. Bill Simon says:


    All the records of the General Assembly are not, thankfully, only available on a website.

    Kennesaw State University is one place that is a repository of the records (in book format) of the General Assembly.

    I think one of the law libraries in downtown Atlanta is also a place for copies of the books.

    And, there may actually be a collection in the Capitol building…maybe in the House or Senate research sections/departments.

  7. Skeptical says:

    Actually GetReal, I don’t like either of the choices I’ve been given to chose from to be my candidate for governor. I don’t know if that’s how she’s going to spin it, it was just my personal opinion.

    I will begrudgingly vote for her over Taylor in the primary, but I’m getting really tired of having to hold my nose to cast a vote in an election.

  8. Brian from Ellijay says:

    McCain, you need a history lesson. But seeing your moniker, you are probably a yankee, so that would explain it.

  9. BernieT633 says:

    The Clerks office in the Capitol keeps a journal- and has all the records.

    Flaggers won’t support Cox- Ray McBerry is their candidate and in the General they will vote for Sonny– on every other issue they support him, their disgust is all talk.

  10. RiverRat says:

    It seems to me that Cox is getting a little slippery with the truth. I find it pretty convenient that Cox says now that “I was going to vote to change the flag,” when she’s on the record as sponsoring a bill supporting the 1956 flag the same year. Its magic! She’s on both sides of the issue and thinks no one will notice!

    Also, isn’t she running as not being part of the good ole boy crowd? Just who were the “colleagues she trusted [that] told her it was a good idea”? It couldn’t be the good ole boy crowd, could it?? Boy, she really is going to change the way government is run.

    I can’t figure out if Cox is running the John Kerry plan or the Howard Dean plan. Is she going to sweep out all the insiders and appeal to everyone from the gays to the racists, or is she just the most electable Democrat with years of experience and no accomplishments?

  11. stephaniemills21 says:

    Not so sure about that Flagger support. Cox had Sam Griffin, son of Gov. Marvin Griffin, introduce her at her campaign kick-off in Bainbridge. And for those of you who do not know Georgia history, it was Gov. Griffin who in response to the Brown V. Board of Education decision changed the state flag to the stars and bars.

    Now, with the flaggers mad as hell at Sonny, and Cathy’s hat tip to their cause, I would wager more than a few of them go her way. Those guys never forget their history (or at least that is what they say).

    Cox even touts her relationship with the Griffins on her website. I do not think for a second that this was not intentional. The real fun for her is going to come down when these two groups realize that they both support the same canidate. Kind of reminds me of Billy McKinney and the Flaggers both protesting in front of the Gov. Mansion against Barnes. Such strange bedfellows.

  12. bowersville says:

    I don’t want in this debate, but the stars & bars was the first national flag of the Confederacy. The 56-01 flag reflected the battle flag of the Army northern Va., it was commonly refered to as the southern cross. Our current flag is closely patterned after the stars an bars, not the southern cross. That’s why I can’t understand the flag, Im not a flagger.

  13. GetReal says:

    The reason the flaggers want the 1956 flag back is because they don’t like the people who don’t like that flag. If a flag is acceptable to those who opposed the 1956 flag (which the current flag is), the flaggers do not like it. Whether a particular flag is or isn’t related to the Confederacy is not their concern.

  14. GeorgiaEagle says:

    Hey Skeptical, I doubt seriously that those who have a serious problem with Purdue’s broken campaign promise regarding a referendum on the state flag will vote for Cox. They have an advocate in the Republican gubernatoral primary, Ray McBerry. As far as I’m concerned, if the state GOP leadership had followed through on the referrendum with the current state flag as a choice, the vote would have come down in favor of the current state flag but Purdue and those legislators who supported a referrendum then captulated have rightly earned the title “lyin’ polititian” and proved that their word was mud. These voters feel used and I don’t blame them.

  15. RiverRat says:

    Simply as an observation, I would assume that whoever the flaggers vote for will depend on their objective – if they simply want to show some numbers and make sure that the next GOP nominee will play the race game, they can simply vote for McBerry in the primary and vote Sonny in the general.

    If their real objective is to get rid of Sonny, they can vote for McBerry in the primary and whomever the Dems nominate in the general. Or they could vote in the Dem primary – but a strong showing in the GOP primary for McBerry could be used as incentive to be listened to by whoever gets nominated (if you listen to Bill Shipp and think that the Dem will have to go all racist on everyone in order to win).

    Personally, I’m mostly just curious to see the actual strength of the flagger vote. So I hope the rally around Ray.

  16. atlantaman says:

    There are probably about 10 blacks for every flagger in the Dem Primary. So this talk about picking up flaggers for all the black votes she is going to lose is not a good rebuttal.

    Her hope should be that the blacks feel it is an old issue, not relevant today, etc.. If it becomes an issue there simply aren’t enough flaggers to offset the blacks, whether the flaggers all vote for McBerry or not.

    It’s funny, in Republican Primaries they all accuse each other of being liberals. I suppose now that blacks represent more the 50% of a Dem primary it would be natural for Dem Primary candidates to start calling each other racists.

    The next couple of months should be a lot of fun. “You’re a racist” “No you’re a racist” “Cathy Cox hates black people because…” “Mark Taylor hates black people because…”

  17. McCain-Rice\'08 says:

    Brian from Elijay, I do not need a history lesson (certinly not one from a proffesional college student like you). I am a history buff, and while it’s not my favorite era…I know quite a lot about the civil war. I am not a Yankee, I was born in North Carolina and raised here in Georgia and I’ve only been north of the “Mason Dixon Line” twice..both on vacations to NYC.
    I am a proud southerner, however, I am proud of the South as it is today…not the south from over 140yrs ago. To be an “official southerner” I don’t have to like the Confederate Flag…and If I did live in that time period I would have moved to a state like Kentucky or West I could still live in the South yet be for the Union.
    The 1956 Georgia Flag has no significant historical symbolism…it was NOT created in the 1870’s to honor the fallen Confederate veterans, it was created in 1956 as an in your face racist bannner in the midst of the growing Civil Rights movement. Let me tell you, when I see that flag hanging on a rusty flag pole in the front of an old run down ranch style house with grass 1ft tall and toys all over the yard..I think thats real class (NOT). I think it is very ignorant to display that flag and some of yall need to get over it..the flag’s changed for the last time (hopefully), its good as it is…it (unlike the ’56 one) has historical symbolism, and 90% of the state is happy with it. The war is long over so you can stop calling Northerners or (opponents of the ’56 Flag) yankees.

  18. Ellis Wyatt says:


    If you were an expert you’d know it wasn’t a civil war but the War of Northern Aggression.


  19. Brian from Ellijay says:

    Perhaps a spelling lesson though McCain.

    And the “56” flag is embodied by the actual Confederate Battle Flag(the flag that has the St. Andrews Cross pattern), which was not created in 1956. Sorry to rain on your parade. While it was not one of the official 6 flags of the Confederacy, it was one that (a version at least) was adopted by most of patriots who sought to defend their land and liberty from the invaders from the north. 🙂

    McCain, when it was added to the state flag in 1956 state records show that the flag was designed to commemorate the upcoming Civil War Centennial. State Chair of the Democrats in 1955 John Bell proposed and pushed the legislation, only gaining Governor Griffins support after it sailed through the House. Now I am sure that part of what pushed it through had to do with the massive resistance to the Federal governments refusal to states rights. But regardless McCain, you are wrong. Just as McCain is to liberal for Georgia and wrong for America. Sorry man.

  20. bowersville says:

    I still do not want in on this debate. But MR/08, Brian of Ellijay has you on this one. He is correct when he points out the ST. Andrews Cross, a Scottish symbol. No, I’m still not a flagger and I’m Irish.

  21. McCain-Rice\'08 says:

    yehh ok Brian, if you believe that it was to commemorate the Confederate veterans go right ahead…It’s just funny to me how it came so many years after the war and the fact the Civil Rights Movement was gainig support in other states about this time…but I know you know everything even though its taken you over 7yrs to get a 4yr degree, but I’ll trust had nothing to do with racism. And when you see pictures of the KKK waving the “St. Andrews Cross” Im sure it was simply to honor their anncestors, had absolutley nothing to do with racism (Give me a break).
    and Ellis, I like your sence of humor…but to clear it up for Brain, it would be inacuarte to call it “the War of Norther Agression” because the South fired the first shot when they attacked the Union held Ft. Summter.
    You can call Sen. McCain liberal all you want but he is the most fiscal conservative member of the U.S. Senate, he has had un-wavering support for the War in Iarq and our troops and has been the Presidents biggest fan and was a huge help to us in the 2004 elections. And You watch, when he runs for president he will get southern conservative endorsements right of the bat, ie: Trent Lott, Lindsey Grahm, Hailey Barbour etc.

  22. bowersville says:

    I guess I only thought I wanted to keep out of this debate. Brian of Elligay, MR/08 has you on certain points. I saw KKK’rs wave the battle flag of Northern Virginia in the faces of black people (it was my job to observe, protect and intervene.) I noticed not one of the Son’s of Confederate Veteran’s or of the Heritage Foundation there objecting. I saw this in Atlanta, Gainesville, and Dahlonega.

  23. Brian from Ellijay says:

    I also saw them wave Christian flags and American flags. Are they too signals of hate.

    PS-Thanks for bringin up school. I have to work my way through. I am a poor Republican. Also, I have a bad habit of taking off semesters to work for candidates. IE. Robert Lamutt, Sonny Perdue.

    McCain are you in highschool, or can you just not spell? Just wondering.

  24. Brian from Ellijay says:

    One more thing, McCain, I graduated highschool in 2001. Apparently you can not add either.

  25. McCain-Rice\'08 says:

    Yes, Brian, let me tell you, when I see an American Flag or a Christian Flag I think it’s a racist symobl..get real!

    The American Flag and the Chritsian flag are not offensive displays of ignorance and racism.

    And I’ll be the first to admit, Im not the greatest speller…to add to the fact that I type very fast and have no time to sit and proof read what I write.

    However, Id like to appologize for the comments I made about college, I have heard a lot about you and shot my mouth off with out consideration of your feelings.

    Obviously the 2 of us have very differnt oppinions when it comes to the confederate flag, and neither of us will be able to change the others Im gonna call it a cats game (lol).

    I do want to say that I agree with alot of your comments rguarding the Lt. Governnors Race. And let you know Im on your team there, and were on the same team on through November. We shouldnt let a “dead issue” like the flag cause a lot of hostility…it’s not worth it.

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