The state flag of Georgia consists of a field of three horizontal bars of equal height, two red separated by a white bar in the center. In the upper left corner is a square blue canton the width of two bars. In the center of the canton is Georgia’s coat of arms above the motto in golden letters - IN GOD WE TRUST - within a circle of 13 white stars. On May 8, 2003, Governor Sonny Perdue signed the new state flag bill into law, creating a new state flag for Georgia based on the first national flag of the Confederacy (the “Stars and Bars”)
Georgia state flag
Georgia flag colors - meaning
13 white stars: symbolize 13 original colonies that formed the United States of America
arch: represents Georgia's constitution
Wisdom, Justice, and Moderation: represent Georgia's values as it is the state's motto
three pillars: represent the three branches of government: legislative, executive, and judicial
History of Georgia flag
Prior to 1879, state of Georgia does not have an official state flag. In 1879, Georgia General Assembly had passed a law requiring “Every battalion of volunteers shall carry the flag of the State, when one is adopted by Act of the General Assembly, as its battalion colors.” In response, confederate veteran and state senator Heman Perry introduced legislation giving Georgia its first official state flag. Governor Colquitt approved Georgia’s first official state flag on October 17, 1879.
Georgia flag history
In 1902, as part of a major reorganization of state militia laws, Georgia’s General Assembly changed the state flag adopted in 1879. Where that flag had a plain blue field, the 1902 amendment provided: “On the blue field shall be stamped, painted or embroidered the coat of arms of the State; and every regiment and unassigned battalion shall, when on parade, carry this flag.”
In 1906, Georgia’s coat of arms is shown on a gold-outlined white shield, with the date “1799” shown below the arms. Additionally, a red ribbon with “Georgia” was added below the shield on the blue background. In 1914, the General Assembly changed the date on Georgia’s state seal from 1799 (the year the seal was adopted) to 1776 (the year of independence)
In 1920, Georgia state flag was changed to place the entire state seal on the blue band. The seal is simply a blue line drawing on white background situated in a larger circle of white. Also, until the 1956, various versions of the Georgia seal were used on state flags.
The Georgia state flag that was used from 1956 to 2001 featured a prominent Confederate battle flag and was designed by Southern Democrat John Sammons Bell, a supporter of segregation. During its official usage as the state flag, many citizens found it offensive and objectionable. Many citizens refused to fly the racially-offensive flag and flew the previous state flag instead.
In 2000, Atlanta architect Cecil Alexander designed a new state flag consisting of the seal of the state in “Dahlonega gold” surrounded by 13 white stars above a gold ribbon containing small images of the three state flags that had flown over Georgia, as well as the first and current versions of the U.S. national flag. Above the five small flags was the phrase “Georgia’s History.” On Jan. 24, 2001, the Georgia House approved Alexander’s flag design as the new Georgia state flag with an amendment to add “In God We Trust” beneath the ribbon of flags. On Jan. 31, Gov. Roy Barnes signed the bill into law.