Do you know the Georgia pledge? – Commentary by Frank Gillispie
I was surprised to learn that even our state senator, Ralph Hudgens, was not
aware that Georgia law prescribes a pledge of allegiance to the state flag.
In fact, none of the people attending the Republican County Convention
knew of the law.
This came up when they opened the convention with a young man singing the
national anthem followed by a pledge of allegiance to the U.S. flag and an
Now most camps of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, including our camp in
Colbert, always pledge to the U.S. flag and the Georgia flag. I never
would have guessed that other than the SCV, no one in Georgia knew of the
legally prescribed pledge. After all, it has been on the books since 1935.
So for those of you who did not know, and that appears to be most of
you, here are the state codes concerning the pledge:
Georgia Code Section 50-3-2.
The following is adopted as the pledge of allegiance to the state flag: “I pledge allegiance to the Georgia flag and to the principles for which it stands: Wisdom, Justice, and
Georgia Code Section 50-3-3.
"The state flag shall be displayed on
appropriate occasions in the public and private schools of this state
and in all patriotic meetings and the citizens of the state are requested to
take the pledge of allegiance set out in Code Section 50-3-2."
Why is this important? The Code of Georgia still takes the position
that the state is a sovereign entity. You can see this in the following section
of the code:
Georgia Code Section 50-2-20.
"The sovereignty and jurisdiction of this
state extends to all places within the limits of her boundaries except so far
as she has voluntarily ceded her sovereignty and jurisdiction over
particular localities to the United States or adjacent states."
This section continues to proclaim the original relationship between
the state, other states and the federal government. It says that any ceding
of sovereignty by the state is “voluntary.” Georgia is, according to its
legal code, an independent, sovereign government. Georgia voluntarily grants
some portion of its sovereign power to the national government and to
adjacent states in order to better serve its population.
Georgia’s citizens are urged to proclaim their agreement to the state’s
right to govern by flying and pledging allegiance to its flag. The
instructions to fly the flag, and the encouragement of all Georgians to
give the pledge to that flag, are intended to reinforce the idea that we are
all specifically Georgians along with being Americans.
The State Flag of Georgia adopted in 1956.
The idea that we owe our allegiance to our home state, whether native
or adopted, was one of the causes for which our Confederate ancestors
fought. Georgians have the right and responsibility to support and defend our
state from the encroachment of the federal government. One way we have of
doing so is to proudly fly the state flag, regardless of which one you choose to
fly, and to offer the pledge as prescribed by law at all appropriate times
Georgia is a special place. Those of us lucky enough to live here
should recognize her unique and special place in our history and culture. The
pledge of allegiance to the state flag is one way of expressing that
Copyright 2005 by Frank Gillispie
Published in the Madison County
Journal, Danielsville, GA
Frankly Speaking by Frank Gillispie, this item was published with permission
of the author. Published March, 2005 in the Madison County Journal - www.mainstreetnews.com. His website can be accessed at frankgillispie.tripod.com/gillispie/.