Politics influences the way of life in Georgia and several aspects including the national symbols such as the flag. It is in this context that the current governor was elected. Governor Sonny Perdue, during his campaign, promised to give the citizens a chance to come up with a flag design they wished to have. On May 8, 2003, a new flag was adopted. However, the designers of the flag based their ideas on the confederation’s first national flag of 1879, famously known as “Stars and Bars.” Although the Georgia State flag has been redesigned 8 times, the blue and red colors have been retained.
Design and Features of the Flag
The Georgia state flag is a modification of the previous generation design, incorporating the stars and bars. The flag a white horizontal strip sandwiched by two red horizontal stripes and a blue squire at the top left hand containing 13 glittering stars with the coat of arms in gold at the center.
The circular flow of stars indicates that Georgia was one of the initial 13 colonies. The court of arms and three pillars represent the legislature, executive, and judiciary. The state motto, “Wisdom, Justice, and Moderation” is represented by a male figure standing between the second and third pillars. The male, dressed in American Revolution regalia, represents traditional heritage. The sword represents how well armed the state is to stand and defend the Constitution. Additional words such as “In God We Trust" are placed below these stars indicating the foundation on which the state is laid on. That is acknowledging the Supreme Being, God, over the state of Georgia.
History of the Flag
The first flag of Georgia was designed in 1879 by Senator Herman H Perry. It was designed to recognize and honor the soldiers who participated in American Civil War. Between 1879 and 1902, another design of three stripes of red-white-red and a blue rectangle on the left-hand side was used in the state. In 1903, a pillar-shaped symbol was added to the blue rectangle but it was replaced in 1906 by a yellowish symbol while a blue ring was introduced in 1920. Between 1956 and 2001, the Senate introduced one of the most state debated flag. The flag was designed by John Sammons Bell to uphold racism and domination of the whites over blacks. Though there are no sufficient records, some argue that it was to commemorate soldiers who participated in Second World War. A flag with a blue background and golden circular crown in the middle was hoisted between 2001 and 2003. It was developed after protests that the existing flag was advocating for segregation. The designer, Cecil Alexander, wanted to dilute the perception that the other flag promoted racism.
Uses of the Flag
The flag is hoisted during state functions. It must be at full mast unless otherwise instructed due to death of a notable figure in Georgia or the US such as the president or congressman of that state or of another state. It must be displayed in government offices and other legally recognized offices.