Georgia State Flag History

Sep 30th, 2016


Georgia became the 4th of the original 13 colonies to become a state in the Union on January 2, 1788. The current official state flag was adopted in 2003. It has three stripes, red, white and red, and a blue canton featuring a ring of 13 stars surrounding the state coat of arms. The 13 stars represent Georgia’s status as one of the original 13 colonies.




In 1879, the state adopted its first official flag, 91 years after it became a state. The flag was designed by Georgia Senator Herman H. Perry, a Confederate colonel during the Civil War. He based the design on the Stars and Bars; the first Confederate national flag.


Georgia 1879


The Georgia General Assembly changed the design in 1956 to a flag designed by John Sammons Bell, a World War II Veteran. The flag featured a Confederate Battle flag in its field. There is no history of legislative intent in adopted the flag, but legend says that it was adopted to commemorate Confederate veterans of the civil war.


Georgia 1956


Attempts at changing the flag were initiated in the 1990s after the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, NAACP, made the flag design a major issue. Governor Zell Miller attempted to have the Confederate Battle flag removed from the design in 1992, but the legislature refused to pass legislation that would have allowed that change. Attempts were dropped in 1993. Miller’s successor succeeded in pushing legislation through for a new flag design in 2001. That flag was designed by Cecil Alexander, an architect.


Georgia 2001 2003


In a survey conducted by the North American Vexillological Association in 2001, Georgia’s flag ranked 72, the worst of all flags that were rated. The designs of flags from Canadian provinces and U.S. states and territories.


In 2003, after Sonny Perdue was elected the governor of Georgia, he authorized the legislature to present new flag designs. The proposed flag had elements of the Confederate National flag, the Stars and Bars, rather than the Confederate Battle flag. The public was allowed to vote on the design and approved it by 73.1 percent of the votes. The new design was officially adopted in May 2003. That flag is the current official Georgia state flag.


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