Georgia celebrates National Flag Day
14 January, 2019
Georgia celebrates National Flag Day
Today on the 14th of January Georgia celebrates National Flag Day. The State Council of Heraldry called on the Georgian citizens to display the flags of Georgia from the windows, balconies, cars, house roofs, etc. as a symbol of Statehood, Independence and liberty.

The flag of Georgia, also known as the Five Cross Flag, is one of the national symbols of Georgia. The flag obtained its official status on the 14th of January, 2004 by
the Mikheil Saakashvili’s government established after the Rose Revolution.The Georgian national flag is a white rectangle, with a large red cross in its central part touching all four sides of the flag. There are four bolnur-katskhuri crosses of the same color in the four corners of the flag.

History of Georgia’s state flag


Early Georgian states used to have the white flag with the single red St. George's cross. The design of the red-on-white cross prevailed in the country until the annexation by the Russian Empire in 1801. It is worth mentioning that the red-on-white Jerusalem cross was depicted as the flag of Tbilisi (the capital of Georgie) in a 14th-century map by Domenico and Francesco Pizzigano (the 14th-century Venetian cartographers). The composition of the flag is a symbolic image of Jesus Christ and the Four Evangelists.
Domenico and Francesco Pizzigano map
The flag of Tbilisi (the capital of Georgie) in a 14th-century map by Domenico and Francesco Pizzigano

When Georgia became the member of the Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic (1918), the federation's flag was a tricolor design, with a top band of dark yellow, a middle band of black, and a bottom band of red.
 the Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic
The flag of the Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic

During Georgia's brief existence as an independent state (the Democratic Republic of Georgia) from 1918 to 1921, a tricolor design was adopted. The wine-red color symbolizes the good times in the past and the future, while the black represents Russian rule, and the white represents hope for peace.
previous_flag_georgia
The flag of the Democratic Republic of Georgia

During the Soviet period, Georgia adopted several variants of the red Soviet flag incorporating either the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic's name or a red hammer and sickle with a star in a blue sun in the canton and a blue bar in the upper part of the flag.
soviet_flag_georgia
Georgia's flag during the Soviet regime

After declaring independence from the Soviet Union, the Supreme Council of the Republic of Georgia restored the previous flag used by the Democratic Republic of Georgia from 1918 to 1921.
georgian_flag
The current flag of Georgia since 2004

In 1999 the Parliament of Georgia passed a bill to restore the red-on-white cross design of the flag. The bill was not endorsed by the President, Eduard Shevardnadze. However, it was adopted in the early 2000s by the main opposition party, the United National Movement led by Mikheil Saakashvili.

Related stories:

Mikheil Saakashvili wants to return to Georgia and clear his name

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