Flag of the State of Georgia

The current flag of Georgia.

The adopted flag of the U.S. state of Georgia is the newest state flag in the United States and has a very interesting story behind its development. Adopted just over eight years ago, on May 8, 2003, the flag is based off of the design of the Confederate States of America’s first national banner.

The current flag of Georgia, like the U.S. flag, is rectangular and includes a blue field in the upper left corner. The blue field includes the state of Georgia’s coat of arms and thirteen white stars. The coat of arms consists of three pillars, which represent the three branches of state and federal government: executive, legislative, and judicial. An American soldier with a drawn sword, dressed in a Revolutionary War uniform, stands between the pillars, symbolizing the state’s courage to defend the constitution.

Two phrases also appear in the blue field. “Wisdom, Justice, and Moderation,” Georgia’s state motto, appear on a banner around the pillars. “In God We Trust,” is written below the seal, but these words are not actually part of the official Georgia seal. The thirteen stars around the seal signify Georgia’s inclusion in the original thirteen U.S. colonies.

The rest of the flag consists of three horizontal stripes: the top and bottom stripes are red and the middle stripe is white.

Controversy over the state of Georgia’s previous flag, which was used from 1956 until 2001, ultimately led to the flag’s repeal and the design of a new flag. The flag adopted in 1956 prominently featured the Southern Cross, a prominent symbol of the Confederate States of America. Although proponents of the flag claimed that the Georgia state flag was designed to commemorate the Civil War Centennial, others took offense. The flag was adopted at the height of the American Civil Rights Movement, and white supremacy groups were using the Confederate flag as a symbol of racial protest.

Although pressure to adopt a new state flag increased throughout the second half of the twentieth century—especially before the 1996 Olympic Games, which were held in Atlanta—the flag was not replaced until 2001. In that year, the state legislature adopted a replacement flag that featured Georgia’s state seal above smaller versions of Georgia’s previous flag. The current flag of Georgia was adopted in 2003.

Georgia Flag

According to most accounts, the Georgia flag is still in its infancy as compared to most other flags in the United States of America.  Officially recognized as the flag of Georgia on May 8th, 2003, the Georgia flag has a design that is incredibly similar to that of the American flag.

georgia flag

Similar to the American flag, the Georgia flag consists of a design of red and white stripes with a blue field in the  top left corner of the flag.  However, in contrast to the American flag, the Seal of Georgia sits in the blue field of the Flag of Georgia as opposed to the 50 stars of the American Flag.

The Seal of Georgia in the top left of the flag consists of a yellow arch encircled by 13 white s tars.  The arch is meant to symbolize Georgia’s Constitution, and the three pillars supporting the arch represent the three branches of the Georgia government (Executive, Legislative and Judicial).  Also, wrapped around the three pillars in the Seal of the words “Wisdom, Justice, Moderation”, the Georgia state motto.  The entire seal is symbolically guarded by what looks to be a male soldier dressed in the traditional Colonial battle uniform, and directly below the seal sit the words “IN GOD WE TRUST”. Intrestingly enough, however, the actual text “IN GOD WE TRUST” is not a part of the Georgia state seal of the coat of arms, however it does appear on the Georgia flag.

Encircling the entire state seal are 13 white stars, symbolizing Georgia along with the 12 other states that originally formed the Confederate States of America.  One interesting thing to note is that the Georgia flag is often nicknamed the “Georgian Stars and Bars” after the flag from which it was originally derived – the Flag of the Confederate States of America.