Georgia’s state flag will soon be a topic of debate. Here’s why.

The debate over the Confederate battle flag flying near the South Carolina state capitol building has surely been one of the biggest domestic stories of this young week, and for good reason.

But it’s about to get a lot closer to home, fellow Georgians.

From 1956 to 2001, about two-thirds of the Georgia state flag was the Confederate battle flag – the same one that has flown in Columbia, South Carolina. After much debate that it wasn’t right to have that image on the state flag, Georgia voted to change it to a dark blue flag that featured the state seal, with each of the state’s past designs for the state flag at the bottom.

(Also read: Why we need to part ways with the Confederate flag)

In 2003, Georgia’s lawmakers decided they (correctly) thought the design was horrible, and wanted another new state flag. So they held a vote, and after 73 percent of the state voted in favor of the new design, it became the new Georgia state flag that remains today.

But that flag will likely cause controversy in the coming days and weeks as the debate about Confederate symbols rages on. This is the design for the first flag of the Confederate States of America, which later became known as the “Stars and Bars:”

CSA flag

And here’s the current Georgia state flag, which became the official state flag 12 years ago:

Georgia state flag

Granted, this is not the embattled battle flag, but it’s another symbol of the Confederacy, and its shelf life as the state flag is probably getting shorter by the day.

Capitol Building photo: Flickr/Ken Lund

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