Under a plan endorsed by both parties Friday, Gov. Perdue is proposing a completely new design that does not include the divisive Confederate battle emblem.
Its creator -- Republican Rep. Bobby Franklin of Marietta -- was once a strong supporter of the Confederate battle emblem. But he said he's changed his mind because the rebel "X" has been ruined forever by white supremacists.
Friday the House Rules Committee approved the new flag design, which resembles the first national flag of the Confederacy -- three red and white stripes, with the state seal in a blue field in the top left corner.
The bill calls for the Legislature to change the flag to the new design immediately.
Then, in March 2004, a public referendum would be held to let voters decide whether they want to keep that flag. If the Perdue flag is rejected by voters, a second referendum will be held in July 2004. That vote would ask if people want to return to the Georgia flag dominated by the Confederate battle emblem.
The proposal now heads to the full House for a vote, although the bill may be changed and still requires Senate approval.