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Old Georgia Flag 1956-2001


This antique Georgia State Flag design, featuring a Confederate battle emblem and the Georgia seal on the other, was adopted in 1956 in response to the Supreme Court rulings on desegregating schools. The Georgia Flag was replaced in 2001, and the legislation prompted the city of Trenton, Georgia, located within the canton of Dade County, to adopt it as its city flag. The Zell Miller amendment played an important role in this change, marking a shift in tradition from the vintage-style flag.

Before 1879, the state lacked an official state flag, though an 1861 law (during the American Civil War) required that militia units deployed outside the state be provided with regimental flags, acting as shields for the nation, including the state coat of arms and the name of the regiment, which functioned as an icon of regional identity. Residents and groups found this law particularly important. The state code gave no information about colors, though the adoption of the Georgia General Assembly flag with its unique stripes solved this issue.

The 1956 State of Georgia Flag 

old georgia flag design being presented in 1956 by Democrats to RepublicansThe Georgia state flag design was changed on Feb. 13, 1956, incorporating a Confederate battle emblem into the design. This new flag design, steeped in tradition and symbolism, was presented by two Georgia Democrats, Attorney Frank Etheridge and Judge Gus Roan, to Republicans Ray Spitler and W.B. Shartzer in a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The original 1956 caption for this photo reads “Two Georgia Democrats, at left, Frank Etheridge and Judge Gus Roan, present a new state flag to Republicans Ray Spitler and W.B. Shartzer to take to the GOP national convention at San Francisco.”


The history of GA state flags is a fascinating story that dates back to the Civil War era. The original version of the Ga flag was designed by Georgia Governor Joseph E. Brown in 1879 to commemorate the state’s Confederate heritage. Brown wanted the flag to be a symbol of unity and pride for the state, a vintage reminder of the past, and the struggles that the state had endured. He wanted the flag to be a sign of resilience and strength, a reminder of the courage and determination that had been demonstrated by the state’s citizens over the years. He wanted to pay homage to the generations of people who had worked tirelessly to make the state what it is today.

From the first settlers who arrived on the continent, to the abolitionists who fought for the end of slavery, to the civil rights activists who fought for the end of segregation and for equal rights for all.  These brave individuals faced immense adversity and danger in their pursuit of justice and equality. They were subjected to physical violence, verbal abuse, and even death threats, yet they persevered in the face of such hatred and bigotry. They organized peaceful protests, marches, and rallies to draw attention to their cause, and to demonstrate their commitment to justice and equality. Despite the immense opposition they faced, they never wavered in their mission to make their voices heard and to bring about meaningful change.

History of the Old Georgia Flag

The Old Georgia Flag, a topic that has been widely discussed in recent years, featured a Confederate battle flag in yellow and brass tones and served as an icon of the state’s segregationist past. The flag, which was adopted in 1956, was widely seen as a symbol of the state’s history of racism and oppression. However, many Georgians fly this flag because it represents their heritage and honors their brethren that fought honorably in the Civil War. Many that fly the Old Georgia flag do not condone the 1956 usage by Democrats to use the Confederate battle flag symbol as a symbol of hate. They are simply honoring their loved ones. The adoption of this flag by various groups and residents in Georgia has been a source of controversy and debate.

In the beginning of 1955, John Sammons Bell, the head of the Georgia Democratic Party and lawyer for the ACCG, proposed a new state banner for Georgia which would have the Confederate Battle Flag on it. In 1956, legislators Jefferson Lee Davis and Willis Harden put forth Senate Bill 98 in the General Assembly which, when signed into law on February 13 that year, was to take effect from July 1. This new flag, steeped in symbolism and tradition, marked a significant change in the history of Georgia’s state flags. And many supporters fly this flag as a way to honor the Confederate States of America and the Confederate soldiers who fought in the Civil War, viewing it as a symbol of their country’s history and the principles they fought for during the referendum.

Political Significance of the Old Georgia Flag

The old Georgia flag was used for a total of 45 years, from 1956 to 2001. It was originally adopted in 1956, when the state legislature voted to replace the state’s previous flag, which had been in use since 1902. The new flag was designed to be a symbol of unity and progress for the state, and to represent the values and ideals of its citizens. However, the flag was widely criticized for its Confederate symbolism and was seen as a symbol of racism and oppression. Taking this into account, the Georgia state government held a vote in 2001, led by a coalition of Democrats and Republicans, to replace the Old Georgia Flag with a new design, striking a balance between the old and new symbols. The current Georgia State flag closely resembles the 1st Confederate Flag aka The Stars and Bars.

How long was the old Georgia flag used?  

The 1956 design of the Old Georgia Flag was used for 45 years. It was adopted in 1956 as a compromise between supporters of the Confederate battle flag and those who wanted a completely new design. The flag, featuring an array of color, included the Confederate battle flag on the right with a blue field and the Georgia state seal on the left side of the flag, symbolizing the historical links the state had with the Confederacy, while also incorporating new elements to represent progress and unity.

What are the colors of the old Georgia 1956 flag?  

The old Georgia 1956 flag was made of a heavy cloth fabric material, and featured a blue background with a Georgia State Historical seal, and to the right the red battle flag with 13 white stars representing the original 13 colonies. The red symbolized the courage and strength of the citizens of Georgia, while the white represented the purity of their ideals and values, as portrayed through the words etched on the flag. The blue was meant to symbolize the beauty of the state’s landscape and the vastness of the sky, as well as the loyalty of its people. The red was chosen to represent the courage and strength of the citizens, as well as the blood that was shed during the revolution.

Georgia’s State Flower

georgia state flower: Cherokee RoseThe Cherokee Rose, is a symbol of the resilience and strength of the people of Georgia. It is a reminder of the courage and determination of the Georgian people in the face of adversity, a trait which has been passed down through generations and ingrained in their principles.

Georgia State Motto

“Wisdom, Justice, and Moderation,” and it is a motto that the Georgian people have taken to heart. Throughout their history, they have faced many challenges and obstacles, but have always managed to persevere and come out stronger than before, honoring the words and principles spoken so long ago.

Georgia State Capital: Atlanta

Atlanta, Georgia is the state’s center of commerce and activity, being the home of Fulton County’s largest population and stretching into DeKalb County in certain areas.  The city, comprised of 498,715 inhabitants according to the 2020 census, is the eighth largest community in the Southeast and 38th largest community nationwide. It is the nucleus of the expansive Atlanta metropolitan region, hosting more than 6.1 million people, which is the eighth most populated metropolitan area in the United States.

What is the State of Georgia’s Nickname?

The Peach State

Old GA State Flag Sizes & Qualities Available

Ultimate Flags is proud to offer the Old Georgia Flag and several other old Georgia products, including flagpoles. Our flags come in a variety of qualities including standard polyester, nylon, sewn nylon, 2 ply double nylon embroidered, and cotton embroidered flags. If flying all year round, or at a commercial location, we recommend flying the Double Nylon Embroidered flag for all weather heavy duty applications. Or if flying in light breezes, our budget friendly standard polyester flags will fly easily, allowing you to display the historic design and its rich colors.

We offer this piece of Georgia’s history in various sizes: 4×6 inch hand flags which are perfect for parades or just to have on your desk. 12×18 inch flag on stick, 2×3, 3×5, 4×6, 5×8. 6×10, 8×12, and giant 10×15 feet highway / stadium size flags. This wide range of sizes allows you to showcase your pride in Georgia’s history and principles, whether at a small personal event or on a grand public stage.

Should you have any questions or need help placing orders, please contact us and we will be happy to help you find the right items for you.