Flag of Georgia (State)
|Design||Three stripes consisting of red, white, red. A blue canton containing a ring of 13 stars encompassing the state's coat of arms in gold. |
In 2002, Sonny Perdue was elected Governor of Georgia, partially on a platform of allowing Georgians to choose their own flag in a state referendum. He authorized the Georgia legislature to draft a new flag in 2003.
The Georgia General Assembly's proposed flag combined elements of Georgia's previous flags, creating a composition that was inspired by the Confederate First National flag, the Stars and Bars, rather than the Confederate Battle Flag. Perdue signed the legislation into law on May 8, 2003.
The 2003 flag legislation also authorized a public referendum on which of the two most recent flags (the 2001 and 2003 versions) would be officially adopted as the flag of the state. The referendum took place during the state's March 2, 2004 presidential primary election. If the 2003 flag was rejected, the pre-2001 design would have been put to a vote. The 2003 design won 73.1% of the vote in the referendum. 
The design principle is based on the first national flag of the Confederacy, which was nicknamed the "Stars and Bars".
The ring of stars that encompass the state's coat of arms symbolize Georgia's status as one of the original Thirteen Colonies.
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 time of the American Revolutionary War. Within the arms, a sword is drawn to represent the defense of the state's constitution. An additional motto, In God We Trust, is positioned underneath these elements acting as the state's "foundation".