Tennessee Governor's Flag Honors State's "White Population

By Scott Hogenson | July 7, 2008 | 8:25 PM EDT

(CNSNews.com) - The flag representing the governor of Vice President Al Gore's home state is designed in part to pay homage to Tennessee's original white population, according to the state's official Internet home page.

The governor's flag, which appears on the web site's "Tennessee Symbols and Honors" page, includes in its design a wreath that salutes "the predominant original white population within the state."

According to the state's web site, "the central design on the flag is the crest of the National Guard of Tennessee," which includes a wreath that was described in 1923 as noting that "the predominant original white population within the state was of English origin, and the twists of the wreath are accordingly white and red."

The flag was designed by the US War Department in 1939 and has not been recognized by the state legislature as an official flag for the governor.

Gore this weekend criticized Texas Governor George W. Bush for not taking a position on the flying of the Confederate flag in South Carolina. Some consider the Confederate flag to be a symbol of bigotry.

The vice president accused Bush, the leading candidate for the GOP presidential nomination, of "playing to some of his supporters" by not taking a position on the South Carolina flag issue. Bush and other Republican candidates for the White House have said that the issue should be left in the hands of South Carolina and its citizens, not candidates for president.

Gore and former Senator Bill Bradley, his opponent for the Democratic presidential nomination, both have said that South Carolina should not fly the confederate flag, though neither has commented on whether the vice president's home state should endorse or use a flag that honors whites.

The Confederate flag flies over the statehouse in South Carolina, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has called for a tourism boycott of the state until the flag is hauled down.

While few states fly the flag of the former Confederacy, a number of states incorporate elements of the "stars and bars" in their current state flags, including Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi.