The current national flag was officially introduced on 14 January 2004.
The flag was used by the Georgian patriotic movement following the country’s independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.
By the late 1990s, the design had become widely known as ‘the Georgian historical national flag’ as vexillologists had pointed out the red-on-white Jerusalem cross shown as the flag of Tbilisi in a 14th-century map by Domenico and Francesco Pizzigano, the 14th century Venetian cartographers.
A majority of Georgians, including the Georgian church, supported the restoration of the flag that took place in 2004.
The winning entry replaced an earlier, three-colour flag first adopted for the 1918-1921 First Democratic Republic of Georgia before it was restored in 1990, ahead of Georgia’s proclamation of independence from the Soviet Union.
Drawn by painter Iakob Nikoladze, the design was selected for the original Republic that became independent from Imperial Russia following the 1917 Russian Revolution.
The State Council of Heraldry called upon Georgian citizens today to set and raise the national flag on their home windows, balconies, fences, roofs and cars to honour Georgian statehood and independence, national and individual freedoms.
Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili hosted a special event at her residency today and stated that the Georgian flag “symbolises the independence of the country, its freedom and everything which is valuable for us”.
The day of the national flag was first marked in 2012.