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Georgia Flags (1879-1920) (U.S.)

Last modified: 2015-09-18 by rick wyatt
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1904-1920s Flag

[Flag of Georgia (1904)] image by Rick Wyatt, 10 October 1998

1902 Flag

[Flag of Georgia (1902)] image by Rick Wyatt, 10 October 1998

In 1902, as part of a major reorganization of state militia laws, Georgia's General Assembly changed the state flag adopted in 1879. Where that flag had a plain blue field, the 1902 amendment provided: "On the blue field shall be stamped, painted or embroidered the coat of arms of the State; and every regiment and unassigned battalion shall, when on parade, carry this flag."

The above flag is a reconstruction of how Georgia's state flag would have appeared if the coat of arms from the actual state seal then in use had been applied to the blue field of the 1879 flag. However, no known copies of the 1902 flag as depicted above survive. By 1904, the coat of arms was being portrayed on a white shield, and it may be that technically accurate versions of the 1902 flag were never produced.

Source: Flags that have flown over Georgia Web Page

1879-1904 Flag

[Flag of Georgia (1879-1904)] image by Rick Wyatt, 10 October 1998

See for a newspaper clipping from 1879 announcing the introduction of this flag.

Another news story about the Georgia Flag. You may have noticed the difference in design from every other record about the Civil War Flag of Georgia in the prior news clipping (the addition of a cotton plant on the flag). In this story we are presented with two dichotomies. One is the date; the flag described is always dated 1879 but this article is from 1897 and says the flag is a new design. A transposition of one of the dates perhaps? I haven't found any news items about any new flag of the same design as the new flag of 1897 in 1879. In addition, the design does include the State Seal (not the Arms) of Georgia in gold; the Arms previously have been stated as being added to the 1879 flag in 1902, but here we have the Seal on the same flag as that attributed to 1879 added in 1897. Are we confused yet?
Dave Martucci, 14 November 2011

One bit of information that is relevant to the question is that the acting Adjutant General, Oscar J. Brown, served in that capacity from 1895 to 1898. In 1879 he was only a newly commissioned officer with two years experience. See So if there was a transposition of years somewhere, it wasn't the NY Times article citation which was the one in error.
Ned Smith, 14 November 2011

Following this up with a browse of some online Georgia newspapers in a subscription database shows that at least the lower house of the Georgia State Legislature did indeed pass a bill to establish a State Flag in October 1879. Unfortunately none of the articles I found contained the slightest bit of description of what it looked like.
Ned Smith, 14 November 2011