Flag of Georgia

Flag of Georgia
Country Georgia
Population 3,728,282 (2023)
Area (Km²) 69,490
Сontinent Asia
Emoji 🇬🇪
  hex rgb
#DA291C 218, 41, 28
#FFFFFF 255, 255, 255

The national flag of Georgia is a rectangular white cloth with a red cross in the center, connected to all four sides of the flag. The rectangular cross with four small crosses in the corners is a common Christian symbol representing the Savior and the four evangelists (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John).

The first time this symbol was used as a heraldic sign was by Gottfried of Buion. He was a hero of the First Crusade who was the first to raise the Christian flag over the grave of Christ. 

Interpretation of the colors and symbols of the Georgian flag

  • white color symbolizes innocence, chastity and purity;
  • red - courage, valor and love; 
  • the flag with five crosses, in addition to the meaning of the Savior and the evangelists, is also mentioned as the emblem of Jerusalem in other sources.

History of the flag of Georgia

The history of the flag of the First Republic of Georgia begins in the summer of 1917, before the declaration of independence, when Georgian political parties formed a national inter-party council. At that time, sculptor Yakov Nikoladze prepared a sketch of the tricolor flag.  In 1918, after Georgia declared its independence, the country's flag was hoisted on the palace of the former crown prince, along with the red flag of the revolution. By the second half of that year, this flag was approved as the official national flag of Georgia with minor changes. Since then, it has become a symbol of the country and received the status of the national state flag. The colors of the flag of the First Republic of Georgia did not have a specific meaning, but different interpretations emerged. According to one of them, the black stripe symbolized the difficult past, and the white stripe symbolized peace. People hoped that when the country stabilized, the order of the stripes would change. The First Republic did not achieve stability because of the Soviet occupation. In exile, the flag of political exiles appeared, which had a white stripe at the top and a black stripe at the bottom. 

History of the Georgian flag - from three colors to five crosses

From 1921 to 1951, the flag of the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic remained almost unchanged. It had a red background with the abbreviation of the name of the Sovietized republic in the upper left corner. In April 1951, the final version of the flag was approved, which had a red background, a blue stripe, and the images of a hammer and sickle and a five-pointed star.

After seventy years, in 1990, multi-party elections were held in Georgia, and the newly elected Verkhovna Rada abolished the Soviet flag, restoring the state symbol of the Georgian Democratic Republic without changes. In the same year, one of the participants in the struggle against Soviet occupation, Alexander Sulkhanishvili, brought one of the oldest copies of the tricolor flag to Georgia.

The flag of the First Republic of Georgia was the national symbol until 2004. After the Rose Revolution, its leader Mikheil Saakashvili replaced the tricolor with a flag with five red crosses on a white background, symbolizing a "new beginning." Initially, the flag was met with skepticism, but after researching history, it became clear that the five-crossed flag was a historical symbol of Georgia. This symbol can be found on old maps used by travelers. One of the oldest maps, created by the Maltese cartographer Angelino Dulcert in 1339, shows a flag with five crosses over Tbilisi and Sukhumi. This indicates the existence of a certain type of autonomy in those territories. Maps and sources confirm the presence of the five-cross symbol on the top of Sukhumi. The presence of the symbol on many maps indicates its historical significance.

The flag of Georgia does not receive adequate attention from the state and society; this symbol is perceived as temporary, deployed only during public events or holidays. The flag with 5 crosses is a symbol of independent Georgia and should be respected and given more importance.