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We have been promoted from do not exist to fringe ...

The first press coverage of our effort has come from a surprising place, The Atlanta Journal Constitution. Now not even Tyrone Brooks, Merle Black or Rusty Henderson would accuse the Atlanta Journal of being biased toward anything Southern. So for the Atlanta Journal to write an article on our effort and elevate us to fringe is really a milestone.

We thank the Atlanta Journal for their consideration.

Since most our the people in this effort are not from Georgia a little background on the "Georgia fringe" may be in order. It seems that the Georgia fringe has deposed King Roy, converted the once dominate Democratic Party of Georgia into the Incredible Shrinking party and even in the last election, 18 members of the Southern Heritage PAC's Deck of Shame are no longer in the Legislature.

So I am right proud to be considered a part of this fringe!

But this is just the journalistic situation in Georgia. The Atlanta Journal is of course the largest newspaper in Georgia but the so-called fringe seems to be having more success at the ballot box.

But now back to Coke. The good professor and political rocket scientist from Emory, Merle Black, quoted in this article has missed the point. He says we will have little impact on Coke. Our goal was never to have an impact on Coke, our goal was to have Coke return to sound business practices and get out of politically correct politics! We want once again to be proud of Coke, a company whose Southern Heritage propelled it to international success. A company that many of us once fully supported.

It was Coke that abandoned us, it was Coke that desecrated, slandered and discredited our Heritage and ancestors, it was Coke that told us we did not count and they did not care about our business. All we have done is quit buying their products - so far with Coke's blessing! Coke in effect told us that unless we organized a boycott they would continue desecrating Southern Heritage and continue using our money to buy political influence to cram political correctness down your throat! Whoever came up that policy at Coke certainly failed Customer Relations 101 assuming they graduated from middle school.

Does the good professor not care that an increasing number of American corporations, such as Coke, have turned their back on their loyal customers and at the same time are using corporate funds to buy government influence on issues not related to their business? Even if he supports this unholy influence who is he trying to kid - this is not good for Coke.

If the Coke anti-Southern Heritage management team does not care about 200,000 former loyal customers will they care about 400,000? Or will it take 600,000? With this attitude it should not be any surprise that their sales are "disappointing." Duh - former customers do not buy products anymore!

But even if they continue to ignore us we are still accomplishing part of our goal. They are increasing their advertising budget to make up for our lost business. In fact they are getting ready to spend millions in 2005 for new advertising, when they did not even have to advertise to get most of our business.

The more they increase their advertising budget the less they will have to spend to buy their unholy political influence!

So keep on passing the word on the online petition - for every family you pass the word to it will cost Coke at least a $100 - 1,000.00  in advertising to find a replacement. They are on the losing end of this curve! But this what they wanted ...

The Coca-Cola Company Should Get Out  of Politics Petition

The article about our effort follows:

FLAG POLITICS
Southerners target Coke


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 01/20/05

And you thought the battle over the state flag was finished.

For most people, it is, thanks to a 2004 referendum that overwhelmingly approved the banner that now flutters across Georgia.

 

But the Rev. Bill Swann and a group of fellow thinkers are still out there, fighting for a return of the old flag and its long-controversial Confederate symbol.

Swann's pet project in the effort is an ongoing boycott of Coca-Cola, a company he believes was partial to opponents of the old flag. He's been avoiding Coke drinks since 2002.

"I was 52 years old then, and I'd never tasted a Pepsi drink," Swann said. Now, even the church where he preaches has replaced a Coke machine, and Swann claims he's been joined by tens of thousands of other like-minded people.

The flaggers face long, long odds. But the ongoing debate is a reminder that, in the South, history is never history. It's even been enough to prompt fights against some unlikely targets, including Coca-Cola, the South's most famous company.

Those who are passionate about the flag issue are pursuing other boycotts, too, against businesses they think were against them, such as Home Depot and Delta Air Lines. They especially dislike the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, which wanted a new flag.

To those who fought for the changes, the ongoing protests are of little worry. State Rep. Tyrone Brooks (D-Atlanta) labored two decades to rid Georgia's banner of the Confederate battle flag, which appeared in 1956. He's not expecting another change.

"We won that battle," Brooks said. "The debate over the flag is over."

Referendum sought

But the flag has remained of interest to some fringes of the electorate, chiefly outside Atlanta. On Wednesday, the battle flag was flying again as dozens of Confederate loyalists gathered at the state Capitol to mark the birthday of Robert E. Lee.

Not surprisingly, the crowd was heavy with loyalists to the old flag. One lawmaker, state Rep. Timothy Bearden (R-Villa Rica), has even decided to take up the issue, despite slim chances for success.

A former cop who now runs a business that makes awards and trophies, Bearden is new to the statehouse. During his campaign in 2004, Bearden said he found many voters who still talked about the flag issue and wanted a chance to vote on the 1956 banner.

He has introduced a bill to stage an "advisory referendum" that would offer the 1956 flag as an option. Flaggers are still rankled that last year's referendum left out the controversial '56 flag.

Rusty Henderson, of the Atlanta-based Heritage Preservation Association, favors another vote. In flagger circles, however, Henderson is on the moderate side, and he's not in favor of tactics like boycotting Coke.

"We would really like to do this in a noncontroversial way, if possible," he said.

Swann, on the other hand, stopped drinking Coke after an article in the Journal-Constitution noted the company was among several businesses that gave money to candidates who wanted a new flag.

That was in 2002. As the debate swelled, Swann, of Marietta, got in touch with others who preferred the old flag. He said his anti-Coke views were cemented when he wrote a letter to former Chairman and Chief Executive Doug Daft, only to get what he viewed as a dismissive response.

A popular target

Today, Swann and others like to note that Coke was invented by a Confederate war veteran, pharmacist John Stith "Doc" Pemberton. Never mind that this overlooks another fact � the name "Coca-Cola" and its now-familiar logo were created by a Union Army veteran, Maine native Frank Mason Robinson.

As the best-known company in the world, Coke is accustomed to protests, even ones loosely connected to the company.

The company has been a top target of anti-American activists in the Middle East, for example. In Colombia, union supporters have claimed Coke supports anti-union violence. That protest took off in some quarters, chiefly among left-leaning groups on college campuses.

Coke declined to comment about the flaggers, who are convinced their boycott is hurting the company's sales. The evidence: Coke's laggard business in North America.

It's true that Coke's sales volume in the region has been sluggish. But even if the boycott has 200,000 adherents, as Swann believes, that's still a small portion of a market which, counting the United States and Canada, includes about 320 million people.

"I think they'll have little impact on Coke," said Merle Black, a political scientist at Emory University. Black also doesn't expect the flag matter, with its abundant controversy, to come back for another debate.

"For most people, this issue is resolved," Black said.

Source: http://www.ajc.com/news/content/business/coke/0105/20flaggers.html

 

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