||Current Georgia flag: 2003|
On May 8, 2003, Governor Sonny Perdue signed H.B. 380 creating a new state flag for Georgia. The act became effective immediately, giving Georgia its third state flag in a period of 27 months. Support for the new flag came from critics of the 2001 flag and those who felt there should be a public referendum on the state flag. The legislation also provided for a statewide advisory referendum on March 2, 2004, at which time voters will choose between the 2001 and 2003 flags. However, results of the referendum are not binding, and any future flag change will require an act of the General Assembly. But since the 1956 flag was not included in the referendum, many voters felt betrayed and refused to vote on the issue.
Georgia's new state flag is based on the First National flag of the Confederacy (aka the "Stars and Bars") and consists of a field of three horizontal bars of equal width, two red separated by a white bar in the center. In the upper left corner is a square blue canton the width of two bars. In the center of the canton is a circle of 13 white stars, symbolizing Georgia and the other 12 original states that formed the United States of America. Within the circle of stars is Georgia's coat of arms (the central design on the state seal) immediately above the words "In God We Trust" -- both in gold.