The current flag of the European nation of Georgia is a 2:3 ratio flag of red crosses against a white background; One large cross is positioned in the center of the flag, with one Bolnisi cross within the center of each quadrant. Although this flag, which is also referred to as the “Five Cross Flag,” was officially adopted by the nation in January of 2004, it originates from the symbol of the country’s largest political party. The five red crosses of Georgia’s flags have long been regarded as symbolic of either the five wounds suffered by Jesus Christ during his crucifixion or the group of Jesus Christ and his four evangelists of the Bible’s New Testament: John, Luke, Mark and Matthew.
Georgia has stood by several flags over the centuries. The earliest flag of the country dates to around the 5th century and was simply a red cross on a white flag. Later reports indicate that the flag of Queen Tamar’s rule around the 12th and 13th centuries featured a darker red cross. The flag would then change to what is known as a Jerusalem cross in the mid-1300s, featuring one large cross with four smaller crosses in the quadrants. When Georgia became a part of the Kingdom of Kartli-Kakheti in the last 1700’s, its flag became a singular large white cross in the center of a black background.
The Georgia flag experienced a stark change in design upon the downfall of the monarchy; Georgia’s brief three-year period as a Democratic Republic in the early 1900s removed any Christian symbolism in favor of a maroon flag with black and white horizontal lines in the upper left corner that stretch out to one-third of the flag’s horizontal space in recognition of its prior flag. Shortly afterward, Georgia became part of the Soviet Union and featured a yellow Communist hammer and sickle with a single star against a red background. This would change upon becoming a Soviet Socialist Republic, with the Communist symbols becoming part of the red background and surrounded by a teal sunburst design around the symbols that changes into a horizontal line stretching to the right side of the map. After the fall of the USSR in ’91, Georgia’s flag reverted to a slight redesign of its Democratic Republic days. The current Georgian flag of red crosses on a white background was adopted after a patriotic party rose to power.