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Georgia State Flag, Georgian Flag


Georgia State flag current design looks similar to 1st National Confederate Flag and Betsy Ross flag with Georgia's coat of arms emblem inside 13 circle of starsThe current flag design of Georgia has three horizontal stripes of red, white, red with a blue field in the upper left. In the blue field canton, the state’s coat of arms is placed in the center with 13 white five-point stars in a circle, surrounding it and the motto, “In God we trust,” underneath the coat of arms, which includes a soldier carrying a sword as defense, and 3 pillars that state: Wisdom, Justice, Moderation (which is the Georgia State motto). 

This new flag is the state’s answer to outdated ideals while also still honoring its past. This flag sees an amalgamation of both the old “stars and bars,” design of the Confederate States of America with its stripe work, colors, and the 13-star design of the original Betsy Ross flag of the United States of America. Bearing all this in mind, this state flag is very reminiscent of older American flags, both Union and otherwise.

The 13 white stars are indicative of the state’s identity as one of the original 13 colonies. Georgia, located in the southern region of the United States, has a rich history that is deeply intertwined with its location and place in the country. “In God we trust,” saw its origination in the Civil War and has long been a popular and widely used motto both in the city and state and across the nation of U.S.

The current flag, which was officially adopted in 2003 due to legislation signed by then-Governor Sonny Perdue, is a combination of the state’s previous flags, and serves as both a banner and emblem of the state’s long and varied history. The Georgia General Assembly worked diligently to create the new design, which is 1 of the 50 official state flags of the USA.

Why does the Georgia State Flag still resemble the 1st Confederate Flag?  

Some people believe that the flag is a reminder of the state’s history and a symbol of Georgia’s pride in its past. Others argue that the flag is a reminder of a painful history of slavery and oppression, and should be changed to reflect the progress that has been made in the state since then. Zell Miller, the former Governor of Georgia, was an outspoken advocate for civil rights and equality during his time in office, and his efforts to promote progress in the state have been instrumental in the transformation of Georgia from a state of racial discrimination and oppression to one of greater inclusivity, opportunity, and liberty for all. The word of change spread and efforts to hold a referendum on the matter took place. Cecil Alexander, a civil rights leader and advocate for racial justice, was also instrumental in the transformation of Georgia.

In 2002, former Governor Roy Barnes implemented sweeping reforms to the Georgia state government, which helped to transform the state from one of racial discrimination and oppression to one of greater inclusiveness and opportunity, and his efforts have been credited with helping to create a more equitable and just society in the state.

The previous 1956 GA flag design was popular when the Supreme Court ruled to desegregate schools.  In recognition of this, the political parties of Georgia, Democrat and Republican, held a ballot in 2001 to change the Old Georgia Flag, forming a compromise between the archaic and contemporary icons. The current Georgia State flag closely resembles the 1st Confederate Flag aka The Stars and Bars. 

The Georgian flag which is in use today was officially adopted in March 2004. No matter what side of the debate one falls on, the flag of Georgia is an iconic symbol of the state’s history and culture. It has been around for centuries, and has gone through many iterations and changes over the years, reflecting the influence of different political actors and movements.

Why was the Georgia flag changed?

The former 1956 flag design was widely accepted in Georgia when the Supreme Court mandated integration in educational institutions. In an effort to combine what was old and new, Georgia’s state government, comprised of Democrats and Republicans, decided to make a switch to another flag design in 2001. However, due to it’s unpopular design it lacked approval and was again changed to a new design in 2003. The Georgia State flag of today is similar to the Stars and Bars, which was the first Confederate Flag. Eventually, on March 2004, the current flag was finally settled upon.

Comparison of the Georgia State Flag to Other State Flags 

The new 2003 Georgia state flag design has three horizontal stripes of red, white, red with a blue field in the upper left. In the blue field, the state’s coat of arms is placed in the center with 13 white five-point stars surrounding it and the motto, “In God we trust,” underneath the coat of arms. This flag symbolizes both the old stars and bar layout of the Confederate States of America alongside the 13-star style of the original Betsy Ross flag of the United States of America. This provincial banner strongly resembles past flags of the United States, including those from the Confederacy and other types.

The first official state flag of Georgia was first introduced in 1879 by Herman H. Perry, Georgia state senator at the time and former Colonel in the Confederate army. It’s thought that he may have also designed the First National Flag of the Confederacy, also known as “The Stars and Bars,” flag, not much of a far cry considering the major similarities between the two. This design had three red and white alternating stripes with the blue field on the left covering a third with no other symbols on it. In 1902, the state’s coat of arms would be added to this version. Around the year 1906, a white shield and the name “Georgia,” would appear. In 1920, most of Georgia’s flags made the transition over to having the state seal in the blue field. It should be noted however, that the state seal has within it the Georgia coat of arms.         

In 1956, the Georgia flag that was adopted was one that had two thirds of it covered in the Confederate Battle Flag. This was brought in at a time when segregation and racism still ran rampant in the country and Brown V. The Board of Education was still very much in the public’s mind. Atlanta attorney and state Democratic Party leader John Sammons Bell spearheaded this project and while it is said that it was merely in celebration of the Centennial of the Confederate War that was coming up at the time, this is thought to be more of a back paddle.  Efforts to modify the banner for the Atlanta-hosted 1996 Olympic games were unsuccessful as no legislation was approved.

Georgia State Flag History- Old Design, (2001-2003)

While there were many groups and people against this version of the flag, it would not be changed until 2003. This is what would be known as the “Barnes rag,” to the opposition. 

This flag saw the state seal in gold on a solid blue field with a ribbon with five miniature flags at the bottom, depicting older flags that had represented the state. This ribbon had the words “Georgia’s History,” on it with the Betsy Ross Flag, Georgia’s 1799 state seal flag, the 1920 flag (The Stars and Bars with the state’s seal), the controversial 1956 (the two thirds Confederate Battle flag) and the United States flag.

The legislature, under Roy Barnes’ leadership, passed a number of reforms that were ultimately unpopular with the public, such as the elimination of the state flag, which led to his unsuccessful re-election and he was defeated and replaced as governor.

” If the 2003 flag was rejected, the pre-2001 design would have been put to a vote. The 2003 design won 73.1% of the vote in the referendum.” ~    

Georgia State Motto

The Georgia state motto is “Wisdom, Justice and Moderation.”

Georgia Nickname

The Peach State

Georgia’s State Pledge of Allegiance

“Pledge allegiance to the Georgia Flag and to the principles for which it stands: Wisdom, Justice, and Moderation”

Georgia state flower

georgia state flower: Cherokee RoseThe Georgia State Flower is the Cherokee Rose.

Georgia’s Capital

Atlanta, located in north-central Georgia at the Eastern Continental Divide, has been Georgia’s capital city since 1868.

Georgian Flag

Ultimate Flags is proud to offer the current official Georgia state flags in our stick flag version, our standard budget-friendly printed polyester, printed nylon, knitted nylon, sewn and embroidered cotton (perfect for indoor displays), sewn and embroidered nylon (perfect for outdoor displays), our all weather, heavy duty double nylon embroidered, as well as blended poly-max qualities. If flying for all-weather outdoor displays (especially at a government building or commercial business), we recommend the heavy duty double nylon or poly-max flags. For residential homes, the budget-friendly polyester or nylon printed flag quality flies even in the lightest breezes on shorter flagpoles.

Available in multiple sizes, ranging from smaller 4 x 6 inch flags, which are ideal for parades, or keeping on your desk as the ultimate display of Georgian pride, 12 x 18 inch sticks (perfect for a yard or garden without a traditional flag pole). As well as 2×3, 3×5, 4×6, 5×8, 6×10, 8×12 feet sizes that would look great flying high outside your home or business.  Should you have any questions, or need help choosing the right flag for you, please contact us today!

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