One Thing That North Korea and the State of Georgia Have in Common…

here are thankfully not many things in common which they share; but one thing which North Korea and the state of Georgia do have in common is that a new policy which was adopted by each government entity was actually one which was already a part of their respective histories.

In its report of a new time zone being established by North Korea where the time will be set 30 minutes backwards as of Saturday, August 15, 2015, this article written by Choe Sang-Hun of The New York Times contains the following quote…

“The North’s new time zone is actually an old one. Korea briefly set its clocks that way before it was annexed by Japan in 1910, around the time when countries the world over were establishing standard time zones. South Korea went back to it in 1954, then re-adopted the present setting — the same as Tokyo’s — in 1961.”

…which means that the “new time zone” is really not new after all.

This reminded me of the controversy surrounding the change in the design of official flag of the state of Georgia in 2001 led by Roy Barnes, who was the governor of Georgia at that time. The reason for the change was because a significant portion of the flag contained the controversial symbol of the official battle flag of the Confederacy, which is seen by many people as a symbol of hate; while others whose families have been located in the southern United States for generations consider it a symbol of heritage.

This was the official flag for the state of Georgia from 1956 through 2001.

This was the official flag for the state of Georgia from 1956 through 2001.

The strong outcry arguing against the change would have people convinced that the official flag of the state of Georgia at that time was the original one; but that is simply not so. The flag which celebrated the heritage of the Confederacy was actually adopted as the official state flag in 1956 as a response to sentiments of segregation at that time.

According to this article written by Mike Owen of the Ledger-Enquirer in Columbus, Georgia, when Sonny Purdue was elected as the new governor of the state of Georgia — Roy Barnes had lost his bid for being elected again as governor in part due to public anger which emanated from the state flag controversy — he “pushed through a bill in 2003 to replace Barnes’ flag with the one that flies today, which closely resembles the national flag of the Confederacy.”

The new flag — which is currently the official flag of the state of Georgia and shown at the top of this article — incorporates the original official flag from 1897 with 13 stars surrounding an element from the official flag of 1902.

Many people have joined the recent movement to remove the Confederate flag from public buildings and monuments — a movement which gained a significant amount of momentum as a result of the killing of nine innocent people by suspect Dylann Roof in a house of worship in Charleston, South Carolina on Wednesday, June 17, 2015.

There is even a current movement calling upon the removal the famous carving on the face of Stone Mountain — one of the more popular tourist attractions in the Atlanta metropolitan area which local people also enjoy — in the quest to erase evidence of the Confederacy and of “white supremacy.” One suggestion is to have the carving sandblasted away into history.

Change can be difficult to accept for human beings — especially when that change occurs as a result of controversy — but neither the change of the time zone in North Korea nor the change of the state flag of Georgia was without historic precedent…

…so the next time you go to North Korea, be certain to set your watch or mobile telephone back a half hour while you visit; and some might argue that the “new” time zone is not the only example of evidence of North Korea going back in time…

One thought on “One Thing That North Korea and the State of Georgia Have in Common…”

  1. Vicente says:

    There’s no need to be wishy-washy and understanding on this point. I grew up in the South and watched Klansmen walk down my street in protest of the first black family that moved into our neighborhood. The debate of 1956 that made the Confederate-heritage flag also included language to privatize ALL public schools, parks, pools etc. specifically so that segregation could continue. The only people who play the “heritage” angle on this flag, are white Southerners who prefer to remain ignorant of their own racist history. I’m a minority, in that I’m a white Southerner who knows better.

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