Georgia State Flag
History of the Georgia Flag
The Georgia State Flag features three alternating red and white horizontal stripes of equal width (red, white, red). A dark blue canton in the top hoist-side corner contains the Georgia State Coat of arms in gold, which is encircled by thirteen white five-point stars. Beneath the coat of arms in gold capitalized text reads, "In God We Trust." The thirteen stars signify George and the other 12 original states which formed the original 13 colonies.
The Coat of Arms is comprised of an arch with three columns. The arch signifies the states constitution, while the columns represent the three branches of government (legislative, executive, and judicial). On each column, the words of the state motto are emblazoned (wisdom, justice, and moderation). A Revolutionary was soldier is positioned between the second and third column, paying homage to the states' military history. The current flag of George is very similar to the The First Confederate Flag (Stars and Bars), except the flag features 13 stars instead of 7 and the flag features the George States Seal in the center of the ring of stars, whereas there was no seal on The First Confederate Flag. The current flag was adopted on May 8th, 2003.
From 1956 until 2001, the George State Flag featured the George State Seal on the left third of the flag upon a blue background. The right two thirds of the flag was comprised of the confederate flag. This flag was designed amidst the backdrop of the 1950s civil rights movement in the United States. The Supreme Court Decision of Brown vs. Board of Education was issued on May 17, 1954, which determined that racial segregation in public schools was unconstitutional. In Georgia, there was a strong sentiment in favor of preserving segregation and an array of laws were passed to prevent the implementation of the supreme court decision including laws aimed at segregation in public places such as parks and swimming pools. It was in this environment that John Sammons Bell, chairman of the State Democratic Party and a well known outspoken supporter of segregation designed the 1956 state flag. The Georgia state legislators who supported segregation also supported changing the state's flag to include the Confederate Battle Flag. Public pressure mounted in 1992 and Governor Zell Miller submitted a proposal to change the flag, however, the Georgia Legislature denied the legislation. In 2001, the next Governor, Roy Barnes, tried again to replace the flag. Barnes successfully implemented a new flag which was a compromise, featuring a blue background with the state seal and small versions of all of the previous Georgia Flags in a banner with the words, "Georgia's History." The new flag was widely panned as unattractive and poorly designed.
In 2002, the next Governer of Georgia, Sonny Perdue was elected on a platform that the voters in Georgia would elect a new flag based upon a vote. Perdue authorized the State Legislature to design a new flag. This design was put up to a vote by the people of Georgia, where they were asked to choose between the current (2001) flag and the new (2003) flag. The new (2003) design won overwhelmingly and has been the official state flag of George since 2003.
Georgia is a Southeastern State in the United States of America that shares borders with Florida, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama, Florida, and the Atlantic Ocean. Georgia is home to 500 cities. Its capital city and most populated city is Atlanta. Before Atlanta became the state's capital, four other cities served as the state capital (Savannah, Augusta, Louisville, and Milledgeville). Georgia is referred to as "The Peach State" because its reputation for producing high-quality peaches.
The first inhabitants of Georgia were "Mound Builders" who were named for the earth mounds they built for religious reasons or burial grounds over a 5,000 year period. The area became a British Colony on February 12th, 1733 after James Oglethorpe (British member of parliament) discovered the area in 1732. The name, Georgia was chosen after Britain's King George II. In 1742, the colony was invaded by the Spanish, however, control of the territory was returned to the British in 1752 after the Spanish failed to support the colony. Georgia was one of the thirteen original colonies who took part in the Revolutionary War. Georgia became an official state of the United States of America on January 2nd, 1788.