Georgia State Flag (c. 1920-1956)
Georgia State Flag
In 1902, Georgia’s General Assembly enacted legislation stipulating that Georgia’s coat of arms be incorporated on the vertical blue band of the state flag. Copies of the state flag with only the coat of arms (i.e., the interior section of the state seal that shows the arch) survive. However, 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 showed the above flag–but with a color seal. In some cases, the flag had a seal that was predominantly gold. In most cases, however, the seal is simply a blue line drawing on white background. In some cases, the seal’s outer edge touches the blue background, while in most the seal is situated in a larger circle of white. Also, until the mid-1950s (when a new seal was drawn), various versions of the Georgia seal were used on state flags.