Secession Flags (1860)
Two days after Lincoln’s election, a crowd gathered on one of Savannah’s public squares in a demonstration urging Georgia’s secession from the Union. As documented in a lithograph of the time entitled, “The first Flag of Independence raised in the South, by the Citizens of Savannah, Ga. November 8th 1860”, a flag is shown hanging from the monument in the square. The flag contains a coiled snake on white background with the inscription, “Our Motto, Southern States, Equality of the States, Don’t Tread on Me.”
This would qualify as Georgia’s earliest secession flag—and probably one of the earliest in the South. At least one secession flag of similar design survives in the collection of Georgia’s Secretary of State.