THE FLAG OF GEORGIA
For Georgian historiography, several written sources are known, giving reliable notifications about the State Flag of Georgia (about its color and usage) - "as they glanced back, they saw the king [David Soslan] and his army near him and a flag (Gorgasliani) of King Vakhtang Gorgasali flying as entering Sindhi..." (The Georgian Chronicles). "[King Tamar] took a flag of Vakhtang Gorgasali and David the Builder (Gorgasliani, Davitiani) used successfully and begged Vardzia Mother of God for the flag and blessed the army and sent it to Persia." (The Georgian Chronicles). According to 13th century chronicler, Stephanoz Orbeliani, "this was established that the king should carry a white flag with a red mark." In order to ascertain a "name" of the flag, notification of a poet of 12th-13th centuries, Ioane Shavteli is also interesting: "encouraging its army, the flag of Vakhtang Gorgasali and David the Builder (Gorgasliani-Davitiani) was carried as a destroyer of the enemy."
Based on these notifications and comparatively later visual sources, the Gorgasliani-Davitiani flag took the shape, which it has today in 1320, when King George V the Brilliant (1314-1346) got "the locks of Jerusalem" after sending ambassadors to Sultan of Egypt. Since this time, a five-mark composition personifying Jesus Christ and heralds (with different varieties, including depicting five crosses) has been presented as a symbol of Georgia, which is confirmed by a lot of marine maps-portulans, on which a five-mark composition is depicted (on portulans) at the tops of fortresses of Tbilisi and Tskhumi (Sokhumi).
We present a small list of ancient historical marine maps:
A 1318 map of Pietro Vesconte (approx. 1310-1330), which was published in 1321 by Venetian statesman and geographer, Marino Sanudo senior, in the addition (continuation) of his book, Liber Secretorum, written approximately in 1307, Opus Terrae Sanctae. This is protected at the Royal Library of Great Britain (Pietro Vesconte is considered as a founder of portulan diagrams).
1339 portulan of Angelino Dulcert. Protected at the Royal Library of Great Britain.
1367 portulan of Francesco and Domenico Pizigano. Protected at Biblioteca Palatina in Parma.
1439 portulan of Gabriel Vallseca (approx. 1408-1467). Protected at National Library of Catalonia.
We frequently meet analogical images of five-cross composition of the State Flag of Georgia (symbolic image of Jesus Christ and four heralds) in different shapes in bas-reliefs of Georgian churches and genre art-figurative culture of the middle ages. They are presented on Nekresi church (6th century), Bochorma (10th century), Chkeri (15th century) churches, as well as on a silver coin of David III Kuropalates (10th century), Georgian ornaments, ethnographic samples (Khevsurian carpets; Talavari (Khevsurian clothes)), etc.
THE COAT OF ARMS OF GEORGIA
|Armiger||Republic of Georgia|
|Adopted||1 October 2004|
|Crest||Royal crown of Georgia Or|
|Escutcheon||Gules, with an image of Saint George, riding a horse trampling upon a crawlingdragon, whose head is pierced by the saint's spear, all of themArgent|
|Supporters||two lions rampant Or|
|Compartment||A decoration Or|
"Strength in Unity"
The main figure of the State Emblem of Georgia is Saint George, that is symbolically expressed as a red right-angled cross against a white background (in heraldry - a "purple" (red) right-angled cross on a silver field) in armory and vexillology (as well as in sacral and secular symbolism).
Saint George, as a symbol of united Georgia, i.e. an embodiment and patron of Georgia, was first depicted on a big state seal of King George III (1115-1184).
An unknown chronicler of King David IV the Builder writes that in 1121, in The Battle of Didgori, "Saint George the Martyr was leading Georgian army obviously and visibly." In his work Notifications of Foreign Pilgrims on Georgian Monks and Georgian Monasteries, Grigol Peradze, who studied historic sources about the origin of the name GEORGIA, gives a quite interesting notification, dated presumably by 1180, from a work of Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Jacques de Vitry (approx. 1160/70-1240), The History of Jerusalem - "these people are called Georgians, as they treat with particular reverence and adore Saint George, who they consider as their patron and standard-bearer... and respect him more than any other Saints." And Johann Count of Solms writs in 1483: "there is one more nation living far from Jerusalem... they are called Georgians, according to the name of Saint George, who they have chosen as their patron." This is interesting that, according to one of Georgian legends, which is given by Ioane Batonishvili (prince) in his novel Kalmasoba, David IV the Builder "saw a horse having horns at a narrow place of Mtskheta. The King called him and the horse came to theking, and the king caught him, and slaves of the king came and the king ordered to saddle the horse and put a bridle on the horse of Saint George."
According to Teimuraz Batonishvili (prince), "Georgian kings depicted face of Saint George the Martyr on their State Emblems, and his face was considered to come first for the State of Georgians."
Silver Saint George on a "purple" (red) field as a State Emblem is given by Valkhushti
Batonishvili (prince) on his 1735 map of Georgia and Caucasus. This is presented on a 1784 Big State Seale of King Erekle II as well. Saint George, as a main figure of the State Emblem of Georgia is mentioned in foreign sources as well: in 1672 so called Titularnik by Russian king Aleksey Mikhailovich; in 1698 travel report of Johann GeorgKorb, ambassador of Austrian Imperator Leopold I, etc.
In the State Emblem of Georgia, Royal Crown of Georgia is used as a mark of state sovereignty, which is known as Iveria Crown in international heraldry.
As for golden lions holding a shield, this is given according to images of State Emblems of kings of Georgia Levan, Kaikhosro, Georg XI, Vakhtang VI, Erekle II, George XII and David XII the Governor.
The Georgian National Anthern
Our icon is the homeland
Trust in God is our creed,
Enlightened land of plains and mounts,
Blessed by God and holy heaven. Freedom we have learnt to follow
Makes our future spirits stronger,
Morning star will rise above us
And lighten up the land between the two seas. Glory to long-cherished freedom,
Text by David Magradze
Music by Zakaria Paliashvili
Translated by Irakli Charkviani