Career College Search

Online Schools

Campus Schools


Have you begun your college search? Find a college that's right for you. Acess over 8500 Colleges, Universities, and Trade Schools in the US.

Begin Now!



Get Your Degree!

Find schools and get information on the program that’s right for you.

Powered by Campus Explorer

Georgia State FlagThe Georgia flag has three red and white stripes and the state coat of arms on a blue field in the upper left corner. Thirteen stars surrounding the seal denotes Georgia's position as one of the original thirteen colonies.

 

Adopted on January 31, 2001; May 8th, 2003 .

The current flag of the US state of Georgia was adopted on May 8, 2003. The flag has three red and white stripes, with the state coat of arms (taken from the state seal) on a blue field in the upper left corner. In the coat of arms, the arch symbolizes the state's Constitution and the pillars represent the three branches of government: legislative, executive, and judicial. The words of the state motto, "Wisdom, Justice, and Moderation," are wrapped around the pillars, guarded by a male figure dressed in Colonial attire dating back to the American Revolution, with a drawn sword representing the defense of the Constitution. An additional motto, In God We Trust, appears under these elements, though it is not part of the state seal or coat of arms. In the center of the canton is a circle of 13 white stars, symbolizing Georgia as one of the original Thirteen Colonies. The flag's design is based on the First National Flag of the Confederate States of America, which is nicknamed the "Stars and Bars".

The Georgia State Flag

On January 31, 2001 Governor Roy Barnes signed into law a bill to change the design of the state flag. For more than 15 years, opponents of the flag rallied and introduced legislation aimed at removing the confederate emblem featured prominently on the 1956 state flag. Because of the controversy, many Georgia cities and private businesses throughout the state refused to fly the official Georgia flag, opting instead to display the pre-1956 version.

In early 2000, Atlanta architect Cecil Alexander brought forth a "compromise" flag design consisting of the state seal, fittingly depicted in "Dahlonega Gold," surrounded by 13 white stars. Below is a gold ribbon containing small images of the three state flags that have flown over Georgia, as well as the current and past versions of the United States flag. Above the small rows of flags is the phrase "Georgia's History."

On January 24, 2001, the Georgia House approved H.B. 16, adopting Alexander's flag design as the new state flag with an amendment to add "In God We Trust" beneath the ribbon of flags. H.B. 16 was then transmitted to the Senate, where it was passed without amendment on January 30, 2001.

During the next two years, controversy seemed to follow the Georgia flag wherever it went. While some Georgians were satisfied that the new flag offered a viable representation of the state, others criticized the flag's design. Some Georgians were quite vocal in their distaste for the new flag and called it an assault on their heritage. Others simply criticized the flag as "bad design." Arguments over the Georgia State Flag continued.

When Governor Sonny Perdue took office in 2003, he promised to end the controversy once and for all by offering a referendum on the flag to the people of Georgia. His intention was to put the question to "the people" of the state. He ran into a snag however. The Georgia Constitution states that the flag is to be determined by the "General Assembly" so a popular referendum was out of the question.

Compromises were made and House Bill No. 380, specifying a new flag design and a non-binding popular referendum on the new flag to be held in 2004, was read in the House for the first time on February 13, 2003.

House Bill No. 380 was passed by both houses of the Georgia General Assembly by May 5, 2003 and signed into law by Governor Sonny Perdue, three days later, on May 8, 2003. The law went into effect immediately.

The 2003 flag is reminiscent of the First National Flag of the Confederate States of America, the Stars and Bars. The flag consists of a square canton on three horizontal bars of equal width. The top and bottom bands are scarlet and the middle band is white. The bottom scarlet band extends the entire length of the flag. The top two bands extend from the canton to the end of the flag. Centered in the square blue canton is a gold representation of the Georgia coat of arms. Directly under the coat of arms are the words "IN GOD WE TRUST" in upper case letters. Thirteen white five-pointed stars circle the coat of arms and the wording symbolizing Georgia and the 12 other states that formed the United States of America.

The bill signed by Governor Perdue also called for a non-binding "advisory referendum" to determine whether the people of the state wished to keep the new, 2003 flag. The referendum, scheduled to be held on the date of the 2004 Presidential Primary, offered two choices to Georgians; keep the 2003 design as the Official Georgia State Flag or revert to the 2001 design.

On March 2, 2004, the people of Georgia voted 3-1 to keep the 2003 Perdue flag flying over Georgia.

Georgia State Flag, c. 2001-2003

Georgia State Flag, c. 2001-2003On January 31, 2001 Governor Roy Barnes signed into law a bill to change the design of the state flag. For more than 15 years, opponents of the flag rallied and introduced legislation aimed at removing the confederate emblem featured prominently on the 1956 state flag. Because of the controversy, many Georgia cities and private businesses throughout the state refused to fly the official Georgia flag, opting instead to display the pre-1956 version.

In early 2000, Atlanta architect Cecil Alexander brought forth a "compromise" flag design consisting of the state seal, fittingly depicted in "Dahlonega Gold," surrounded by 13 white stars. Below is a gold ribbon containing small images of the three state flags that have flown over Georgia, as well as the current and past versions of the United States flag. Above the small rows of flags is the phrase "Georgia's History."

On January 24, 2001, the Georgia House approved H.B. 16, adopting Alexander's flag design as the new state flag with an amendment to add "In God We Trust" beneath the ribbon of flags. H.B. 16 was then transmitted to the Senate, where it was passed without amendment on January 30, 2001.

Fox News:

New State Flag Rises Over Georgia
Wednesday, January 31, 2001 By Patricia M. Lahay

A new Georgia flag with a much smaller Confederate battle emblem was hoisted above the statehouse Wednesday, nearly a half century after legislators stamped the rebel symbol on the state banner.

The flag was raised quietly and quickly, much like the compromise that Gov. Roy Barnes began hustling through the Legislature one week ago with a surprise unveiling.

The new banner features a gold Georgia seal on a blue background above a ribbon with five tiny historic flags, including the former state flag with the Confederate battle emblem.

Earlier Tuesday, Barnes signed the bill consigning to history the old banner dominated by the rebel fighting emblem, less than 24 hours after the measure won final legislative approval.

Adopted in 1956.State Flag and Banner

At the Constitutional Convention in 1787, it was agreed that each state, while loyal to the United States flag, should also have its own flag. After the Georgia Seal was adopted in 1799, the first state flag was designed with the Seal centered on a field of blue. In 1879 the General Assembly of Georgia passed an act changing the flag to a vertical band of blue next to the staff occupying one third of the flag; the remainder was divided into three horizontal bands with the upper and lower in red and the middle in white. In 1905 the state Seal was added to the vertical blue band. Having two fields, one of deep blue and the other dark red, the Georgia flag showcases the Battle Flag of the Confederacy and the state seal. On the state seal is the year 1776, the date of the Declaration of Independence. The three pillars stand for the three branches of government Legislative, Executive and the Courts. The arch above the pillars stands for the constitution. A ribbon expresses the ideals of the constitution "wisdom", "justice" and "moderation". The orignal state flag was designed by John Sammons Bell, an Atlanta attorney, and was adopted as the official flag of Georgia in 1956.

Georgia State Flag, c. 1920-1956Georgia State Flag, c. 1920-1956

By the late 1910s or early 1920s, a new, unofficial version of Georgia's state flag- one incorporating the entire state seal- began appearing. There is no record of who ordered the change or when it took place.

The new flag may have resulted from a 1914 law changing the date on Georgia's state seal from 1799 (the date the seal was adopted) to 1776 (the year of independence). Because some flag makers had been including "1799" beneath the coat of arms, it became necessary to change the date on new flags. At that point, possibly the Secretary of State or a flag manufacturer may have decided that the entire state seal created a more uniform flag.

The first state publication to show Georgia's flag with a seal was the Georgia Official Register for 1927, which contained the artist's color rendering shown above. In reality, until the mid-1950s (when a new seal was drawn), various versions of the Georgia seal were used on state flags.

Georgia State Flag, c. 1906-1920Georgia State Flag, c. 1906-1920

Between 1902 and 1906, some unknown person or flag manufacturer added a gold-outlined white shield to the coat of arms, placed the date "1799" below the arms and added a red ribbon with "Georgia" below the shield. Although the General Assembly hadn't authorized any changes to the state flag, apparently no one contested the new version. In fact, a Georgia history book for children published in 1906 includes a full-page color rendering of this design, indicating this to be the state flag of Georgia.

Georgia State Flag, c. 1902-1906Georgia State Flag, c. 1902-1906

In 1902, as part of another major reorganization of state military laws, the General Assembly changed Georgia's state flag again. New language was added stipulating: "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." The above flag is a reconstruction of Georgia's flag with the addition of the state coat of arms.

If flag makers had followed the letter of the law, Georgia's state flag from 1902 to 1956 would have appeared as pictured above.

Georgia State Flag, 1879-1902Georgia State Flag, 1879-1902

In 1879, state senator Herman H. Perry introduced legislation giving Georgia its first official state flag. Colonel Perry was a Confederate veteran, a fact that probably influenced his proposal to take the Stars and Bars, remove the stars, extend the blue canton to the bottom of the flag and narrow its width slightly. The legislation provided no height vs. length dimensions, but it did stipulate the width of the blue band was to be one-third the length of the entire flag. Also, the red of the flag was specified to be scarlet.

Why had Georgia finally adopted an official state flag? On the previous day, the 1879 General Assembly had passed a law rectifying state law regulating volunteer troops. Included in the revision was a provision that: "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."

Governor Colquitt approved Georgia's first official state flag on October 17, 1879.

Georgia State Flag Before 1879 (Unofficial)Georgia State Flag Before 1879 (Unofficial)

History does not record who made the first Georgia state flag, when it was made, what it looked like, or who authorized its creation. Probably, the banner originated in one of the numerous militia units that existed in antebellum Georgia.

In 1861, a new provision was added to Georgia's code requiring the governor to supply regimental flags to Georgia militia units assigned to fight outside the state. These flags were to depict the "arms of the State" and the name of the regiment, but the code gave no indication as to the color to be used on the arms or the flag's background. In heraldry, "arms" refers to a coat of arms, which is the prominent design--usually shown on a shield--located at the center of an armorial bearing or seal. Arms usually appear on seals, but they are not synonymous with seals.

Based on the best available evidence, the above flag is a reconstruction of the pre-1879 Georgia state flag as it would have appeared using the coat of arms from the 1799 state seal.

Georgia Flag Law

Georgia Code, Title 1, Chapter 4

TITLE 50. STATE GOVERNMENT.
CHAPTER 3. STATE FLAG, SEAL, AND OTHER SYMBOLS.
ARTICLE 1. STATE AND OTHER FLAGS.

 § 50-3-1. Description of state flag; militia to carry flag; defacing public monuments; obstruction of Stone Mountain .

(a) The flag of the State of Georgia shall consist of a square canton on a field of three horizontal bands of equal width. The top and bottom bands shall be scarlet and the center band white. The bottom band shall extend the entire length of the flag, while the center and top bands shall extend from the canton to the fly end of the flag. The canton of the flag shall consist of a square of blue the width of two of the bands, in the upper left of the hoist of the flag. In the center of the canton shall be placed a representation in gold of the coat of arms of Georgia as shown in the center of the obverse of the Great Seal of the State of Georgia adopted in 1799 and amended in 1914. Centered immediately beneath the coat of arms shall be the words "IN GOD WE TRUST" in capital letters. The coat of arms and wording "IN GOD WE TRUST" shall be encircled by 13 white five-pointed stars, representing Georgia and the 12 other original states that formed the United States of America. Official specifications of the flag, including color identification system, type sizes and fonts, and overall dimensions, shall be established by the Secretary of State, who pursuant to Code Section 50-3-4 serves as custodian of the state flag. Every force of the organized militia shall carry this flag while on parade or review.

(b)(1) It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, corporation, or other entity to mutilate, deface, defile, or abuse contemptuously any publicly owned monument, plaque, marker, or memorial which is dedicated to, honors, or recounts the military service of any past or present military personnel of this state, the United States of America or the several states thereof, or the Confederate States of America or the several states thereof, and no officer, body, or representative of state or local government or any department, agency, authority, or instrumentality thereof shall remove or conceal from display any such monument, plaque, marker, or memorial for the purpose of preventing the visible display of the same. A violation of this paragraph shall constitute a misdemeanor.

(2) No publicly owned monument or memorial erected, constructed, created, or maintained on the public property of this state or its agencies, departments, authorities, or instrumentalities in honor of the military service of any past or present military personnel of this state, the United States of America or the several states thereof, or the Confederate States of America or the several states thereof shall be relocated, removed, concealed, obscured, or altered in any fashion; provided, however, that appropriate measures for the preservation, protection, and interpretation of such monuments or memorials shall not be prohibited.

(3) Conduct prohibited by paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection shall be enjoined by the appropriate superior court upon proper application therefor.

(4) It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, corporation, or other entity acting without authority to mutilate, deface, defile, abuse contemptuously, relocate, remove, conceal, or obscure any privately owned monument, plaque, marker, or memorial which is dedicated to, honors, or recounts the military service of any past or present military personnel of this state, the United States of America or the several states thereof, or the Confederate States of America or the several states thereof. Any person or entity who suffers injury or damages as a result of a violation of this paragraph may bring an action individually or in a representative capacity against the person or persons committing such violations to seek injunctive relief and to recover general and exemplary damages sustained as a result of such person's or persons' unlawful actions.

(c) Any other provision of law notwithstanding, the memorial to the heroes of the Confederate States of America graven upon the face of Stone Mountain shall never be altered, removed, concealed, or obscured in any fashion and shall be preserved and protected for all time as a tribute to the bravery and heroism of the citizens of this state who suffered and died in their cause.

HISTORY: Ga. L. 1916, p. 158, § 3; Code 1933, § 86-1004; Ga. L. 1951, p. 311, § 43; Ga. L. 1955, p. 10, § 90; Ga. L. 1956, p. 38, § 1; Ga. L. 2001, p. 1, § 1; Ga. L. 2003, p. 26, § 1; Ga. L. 2004, p. 731, § 1.

§ 50-3-2. Pledge of allegiance to state flag

The following is adopted as the pledge of allegiance to the state flag: "I pledge allegiance to the Georgia flag and to the principles for which it stands: Wisdom, Justice, and Moderation."

HISTORY: Ga. L. 1951, p. 311, § 47; Ga. L. 1955, p. 10, § 94.

§ 50-3-3. Display of state flag

The state flag shall be displayed on appropriate occasions in the public and private schools of this state and in all patriotic meetings, and the citizens of the state are requested to take the pledge of allegiance set out in Code Section 50-3-2.

HISTORY: Ga. L. 1951, p. 311, § 48; Ga. L. 1955, p. 10, § 95.

§ 50-3-4. Designation of Secretary of State as custodian of state flag; procurement and furnishing of flags to schools

The Secretary of State is designated as the custodian of the state flag. From funds made available for such purpose, the Secretary of State shall procure suitable state flags; and he shall be authorized to furnish, without cost, to the various public schools of this state, to the superior and state courts, and to other departments and agencies of the state, counties, or municipal authorities, such flags for their use in displaying same. From such funds he is authorized also to procure such flags and facsimiles thereof as may cause the flag sufficiently and properly to be made known and displayed.

HISTORY: Ga. L. 1956, p. 38, § 2; Ga. L. 1970, p. 192, § 1; Ga. L. 1981, p. 986, § 1.

§ 50-3-5. Preservation of Confederate flags

The flags of the Georgia troops who served in the army of the Confederate States, and which have been returned to the state by the United States government, shall be preserved for all time in the capitol as priceless mementos of the cause they represented and of the heroism and patriotism of the men who bore them.

HISTORY: Ga. L. 1916, p. 158, § 3; Code 1933, § 86-1005; Ga. L. 1951, p. 311, § 44; Ga. L. 1955, p. 10, § 91.

§ 50-3-6. Display of Spanish-American War flags

The flags of the Georgia regiments which engaged in the Spanish-American War shall be displayed in the corridors of the capitol in a manner similar to those of the Confederate regiments.

HISTORY: Ga. L. 1916, p. 158, § 3; Code 1933, § 86-1006; Ga. L. 1951, p. 311, § 45; Ga. L. 1955, p. 10, § 92.

§ 50-3-7. Duty of Governor to accept flags

When any flag referred to in Code Section 50-3-5 or 50-3-6 is offered to the state, it shall be the duty of the Governor to accept it in behalf of the state and to make such provisions for its preservation as may be necessary to protect and preserve it from the ravages of time, dust, and moths.

HISTORY: Ga. L. 1916, p. 158, § 3; Code 1933, § 86-1007; Ga. L. 1951, p. 311, § 46; Ga. L. 1955, p. 10, § 93; Ga. L. 1982, p. 3, § 50.

§ 50-3-8. Use of national, state, or Confederate flag for advertising, selling, or promoting the sale of merchandise unlawful

(a) It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to copy, print, publish, or otherwise use the flag of the United States, the flag, coat of arms, or state emblem of the State of Georgia, or the flag or emblem of the Confederate States of America, or any flag or emblem used by the Confederate States of America or the military or naval forces of the Confederate States of America at any time within the years 1860 to 1865, both inclusive, for the purpose of advertising, selling, or promoting the sale of any article of merchandise whatever within this state.

(b) Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this Code section, any person, firm, or corporation which contracts with the state to publish an official Code shall be authorized to use the state emblem on the cover of the publication. Utilization by the contracting person, firm, or corporation of the cover of the publication, with the state emblem thereon, for advertising purposes shall not constitute a violation of subsection (a) of this Code section.

HISTORY: Ga. L. 1960, p. 985, § 1; Ga. L. 1982, p. 3, § 50.

§ 50-3-9. Abuse of federal, state, or Confederate flag unlawful

It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to mutilate, deface, defile, or abuse contemptuously the flag of the United States, the flag, coat of arms, or emblem of the State of Georgia, or the flag or emblem of the Confederate States of America by any act whatever.

HISTORY: Ga. L. 1960, p. 985, § 2.

§ 50-3-10. Use of flag for decorative or patriotic purposes

Nothing in this article shall be construed to prevent the use of the flag of the United States or any flag, standard, color, shield, ensign, or other insignia of the State of Georgia or of the Confederate States of America for decorative or patriotic purposes, either inside or outside of any residence, store, place of business, public building, or school buildi

HISTORY: Ga. L. 1960, p. 985, § 3.

§ 50-3-11. Penalty

Any person, firm, or corporation who violates any provision of Code Section 50-3-8 or 50-3-9 shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

HISTORY: Ga. L. 1960, p. 985, § 4.

§ 50-3-12. State flags to honor service of deceased qualifying elected state officials

(a) The purpose of this Code section is to recognize and honor those men and women who have dedicated their lives to public service through the representation of the citizens of this state and, in devoted service thereto, safeguarded the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of the State of Georgia. To carry out this purpose, the Secretary of State shall, from funds made available for such purpose, furnish, without cost, a state flag to honor the service of a deceased qualifying elected state official, which state flag may be displayed in the funeral service of the deceased elected state official and thereafter given to the elected state official's estate.

(b) For purposes of this Code section, a "qualifying elected state official" is an official elected to serve in a state position and shall include members of the Georgia General Assembly and any official elected by state-wide or local election to serve in a constitutionally created executive or judicial position or elected position on any constitutionally established board or commission. A person committing or convicted of a felony or crime of moral turpitude during or subsequent to holding office or who has been impeached or otherwise removed from public office shall not be considered a "qualifying elected state official."

(c) The Secretary of State is authorized to administer the recognition program set forth in this Code section and to provide rules and regulations and enter into contracts necessary for the administration of the provisions and the purposes set forth in the Code section.

HISTORY: Code 1981, § 50-3-12, enacted by Ga. L. 2006, p. 214, § 1/HB 1246.

§ 50-3-13. State flags to honor service of deceased qualifying public safety officers

(a) The purpose of this Code section is to recognize and honor those brave men and women who have dedicated their lives to the public safety of the citizens of this state and, in devoted service thereto, contributed to the safety, security, and individual freedom of the citizens of the State of Georgia. To carry out this purpose, the Secretary of State shall, if requested, from funds made available for such purpose, furnish, without cost, a state flag to honor the service of a deceased qualifying public safety officer, which state flag may be displayed in the funeral service of the deceased public safety officer and thereafter given to the officer's estate.

(b) For purposes of this Code section, a "qualifying public safety officer" is a peace officer, as defined in Code Section 35-8-2, sheriff, or firefighter, emergency medical technician, or emergency rescue specialist, as each is defined in Code Section 45-9-81, or member of the Georgia National Guard. In addition, "qualifying public safety officer" is an officer killed in the line of duty or an officer who has served as a qualifying public safety officer for a period of not less than five years. A person committing or convicted of a felony or crime of moral turpitude or whose certification or license to practice as a public safety officer is revoked or terminated shall not be considered a "qualifying public safety officer."

(c) It shall be the duty of any state or local agency with knowledge of the death of a qualifying public safety officer who is an employee of such agency or who retired from such agency to notify the Secretary of State's office for the purpose of providing a state flag to the deceased's estate. Any advocacy group representing the deceased or the deceased's department may also contact the Secretary of State on behalf of a deceased qualifying public safety officer.

(d) The Secretary of State is authorized to administer the recognition program set forth in this Code section and to provide rules and regulations and enter into contracts necessary for the administration of the provisions and the purposes set forth in the Code section.

HISTORY: Code 1981, § 50-3-13, enacted by Ga. L. 2006, p. 631, § 1/SB 381.

 

State Flags
State Flags
The flags of the US states exhibit a wide variety of regional influences and local histories, as well as widely different styles and design principles.
Hunting for a new job? Get advice or search over 1.6 million jobs on the largest job site
Colleges & Universities
Colleges & Universities: Search or Browse over 8500 Colleges, Universities, and Trade Schools in the US..

Find and Compare!

With access to over 8,500 schools to choose from!
Provides pricing transparency, scholarship information as well as numerous other key details on over 8,500 US colleges, universities and trade schools

Get Your Degree!

Find schools and get information on the program that’s right for you.

Powered by Campus Explorer

Support for eReferenceDesk
More information at
Support eReferenceDesk

Please click the "DONATE" button and enter the amount you wish to contribute:
PayPal