OK Cafe quietly moves Georgia flag with Rebel emblem

OK Cafe's owners recently replaced a wood-carving of the 1956 Georgia flag with artwork depicting the Besty Ross American flag with 13 stars in a circle. Courtesy of Tony Wilbert.

OK Cafe’s owners recently replaced a wood-carving of the 1956 Georgia flag with artwork depicting the Besty Ross American flag with 13 stars in a circle. Courtesy of Tony Wilbert.

When the OK Cafe reopened late last year after a devastating fire, its owners decided to keep a carved wood rendering of the old state flag that featured the Confederate battle emblem despite calls to take it down. Sometime in the last few weeks, though, the revered Atlanta eatery quietly moved the controversial flag to a less prominent spot.

From Tony Wilbert’s Skyline Views blog:

For a time last year, the fight over the restaurant’s flag became a somewhat obscure front in the larger debate over the place of Civil War symbols in modern-day Georgia that has led Gov. Nathan Deal to strike the names of two controversial holidays – Confederate Memorial Day and Robert E. Lee’s birthday – and push a redesign of a state-sponsored license plate with the Rebel emblem.

State Sen. Vincent Fort, the chamber’s No. 2 Democrat, had urged the restaurant to take the carving down, and tried to rally business leaders to echo his call. Susan DeRose, the restaurant’s owner, sent this statement explaining the move:

“To help put closure to this controversy: A well respected Santa Fe artist carved the then Georgia flag for the opening of the OK Cafe 27 years ago. The flag flew over our state capital ( and my school ) during the most progressive time in Georgia’s history. The laws enacted during that time gave me, a female, opportunities unheard of still in most parts of the world today. So you see, the flag is a treasure to me.

“After the fire last year we commissioned the same artist to carve our original American flag. We hang that one in a center of the building – as it should be. Both flags represents freedom and possibilities and mean no disrespect to anyone.

“As you all have the right to voice your opinions – our country gives me the right to display my pride… and show my thanks.”

The wood carving of Georgia's 1956 state flag, complete with Rebel emblem, was moved to the back dining area. Courtesy Tony Wilbert.

The wood carving of Georgia’s 1956 state flag, complete with Rebel emblem, was moved to the back dining area. Courtesy Tony Wilbert.

Fort said Wednesday the move did little to quell his concerns.

“i still believe it’s inappropriate. By moving it to a less prominent place, they’re acknowledging it’s inappropriate,” said Fort. “But they need to remove it altogether. It’s stunning that a restaurant in Atlanta in 2016 displays a symbol of slavery and hate.”

Reader Comments 0

35 comments
Jodi Fleming Thomas
Jodi Fleming Thomas

Hmmmm page not found. Did LYING LIBERAL AJC have to remove libelous piece???????

Jodi Fleming Thomas
Jodi Fleming Thomas

OK CAFE should cover the restaurant with these flags. Screw PC. Liberal hypocrisy and out of control PC can't change history.

Max Gregory Anderson
Max Gregory Anderson

You're misleading the public. The flag was moved to another spot in the restaurant. Not impressed! They still don't "Get it". Ignorance, bigotry, and denial still occupy within the hearts of the owners and this post does a disservice to the public by implying that an epiphany of morality swooped in a changed the mindset of the people who run this restaurant.

John Smith
John Smith

Don't get what? It's an old historical state flag, if your ignorance and stupidity keeps you feom accepting that then try not looking at it.

Max Gregory Anderson
Max Gregory Anderson

Trevor Smith. Obviously you are as clueless as the owners. Get your computer and Google 1956 Georgia flag. SMH. Tired of educating people who failed history and social studies and slept in class

John Smith
John Smith

Correct me if I'm wrong but the KKK has never used the Ga state flag as their official flag have they?

John Smith
John Smith

I know what it looks like, if you're such a pansy you can't handle seeing it then don't look at it. Pretty simple solution.

Jamie Cooper
Jamie Cooper

*Grabs some chips, reads the pain and hurt in the comments* lol ;)

John Smith
John Smith

We all need to move forward by growing up and not getting offended by a historical state flag.

Andrew Fleming
Andrew Fleming

Funny that our Current State Flag is the CSA govt Flag of 1861

Juan Serrato
Juan Serrato

Yep. Which proves people don't act logically but basically react to popular hypes simply to be part of a hype!

Rik Poulson
Rik Poulson

i think that we as a nation need to look at this election in a whole different approach than we have ever before,Our country is under attack not by a radical group of people but the politicians in which we elect to represent us.We as a nation have a once and a lifetime opportunity this election season to possibly.LET ME SAY IT AGAIN,"possibly" to finally be heard as a nation.I urge every AMERICAN to take this opportunity to look outside the box put our personal feelings aside and SHAKE wasington up .I believe we will find that by giving TRUMP a opportunity it very well may reshape the political arena.I encourage every American White,black,hispanic to vote for TRUMP in November.We may be surprised in how it may have a positive impact in all of our lives. GOD BLESS AMERICA AND VOTE TRUMP IN NOVEMBER

Charley Harper
Charley Harper

Liberal news outlets keep stirring this up over and over and over again!\U0001f631

Monte Poitevint
Monte Poitevint

Obama delivered us into nonsensical stupidity. I reject his evil agenda with utter contempt and disgust. I reject his evil culture of death and depravity with horror. And I resent his efforts to FORCE this sick, twisted culture upon me. He's a spineless worm in comparison to real, Christian men, like Lee, Jackson, and Davis. The Obama era is an era of sickness.

Monte Poitevint
Monte Poitevint

I don't converse with sick, twisted loons. Troll elsewhere.

Dave Fedack
Dave Fedack

Brother, I've got Armstrong's back. Take a hike Haines, there's nothing here that concerns you. Move along.

Mark Stevens
Mark Stevens

Jeff, Stonewall, and Robert are giving them the middle finger from way up on the façade of Stone Mountain. Hahaha!

Daniel Eason
Daniel Eason

To imagine that any of those men would act as reprehensibly as today's average maroon is not to understand those men at all. Davis gave this advice to young Mississippi men in his later years: “lay aside all rancor, all bitter sectional feeling, and to make your places in the ranks of those who will bring about a consummation devoutly to be wished—a reunited country.” Jackson was such a devout Christian that it's hard to believe any grown Southerner would be so ignorant as to imagine the man ever "giving the finger." While dying, he said that he'd always hoped to die on a Sunday. These were his dying words: “Let us cross over the river and rest under the shade of the trees.” And here is what the man, who led under the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia, had to say in his later life, with regard to restoring the Union: "it is the duty of every citizen, in the present condition of the Country, to do all in his power to aid in the restoration of peace and harmony." They well understood that we don't get to a peaceful and healed union by holding onto the symbols of a rebellion. Your statement is an epic fail, and more of an insult to these men than an allegiance.

Howard Smith
Howard Smith

Those were the military guys that were on the losing side weren't they?

Ted Jones
Ted Jones

Really? Guess won't eat there anymore. That's even worse the a "GUN FREE ZONE".

Liz Bracey
Liz Bracey

I'm sure they will be heartbroken to lose your business.

Ted Jones
Ted Jones

Liz. Don't worry, if you are setting next to me in a restaurant or I am standing in line behind you with my family, you will never know I am from the SOUTH or I conceal a large caliber weapon.

Daniel Eason
Daniel Eason

Do you only eat in restaurants that display Confederate battle flags and allow guns? Guess you don't eat out at many places.

Ted Jones
Ted Jones

Daniel I don't eat at any restaurant that has the stars and bars flying in it.As far as a gun free restaurant, I ignore the signs.


%d bloggers like this: