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The flag of Georgia (Georgian: , Sakartvelos sakhelmtsipo drosha), also known as the Five Cross Flag (Georgian: , romanized: khutjvriani drosha), is one of the national symbols of Georgia. Originally a banner of the medieval Kingdom of Georgia, it was repopularized in the late 20th and early 21st centuries during the Georgian national revival. The current 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. A majority of Georgians, including the influential Catholicos-Patriarch of the Georgian Orthodox Church, supported the restoration of the flag and in 1999 the Parliament of Georgia passed a bill to change the flag. However, it was not endorsed by the President, Eduard Shevardnadze. It was adopted in the early 2000s by the main opposition party, the United National Movement led by Mikheil Saakashvili, as a symbol of popular resistance to Shevardnadze's rule as well as a symbol of the Rose Revolution. The flag was adopted by Parliament on 14 January 2004. Saakashvili formally endorsed it via Presidential Decree No. 31 signed on 25 January, following his election as President. 14 January is annually marked as a Flag Day in Georgia. Design The national flag of Georgia, as described in the decree:The Georgian national flag is a white rectangle, with a large red cross in its central portion touching all four sides of the flag.
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