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Georgia Facts and Symbols

History Facts:

  • Georgia was founded by James Oglethorpe on February 12, 1733. It was the thirteenth of the 13 original colonies.
  • Savannah is Georgia’s oldest city.
  • Georgia became a state on January 2, 1788.
  • Georgia’s name comes from King George II.
  • Georgia has had five capitals: Savannah (1777-1785), Augusta (1786-1789), Louisville (1789-1807), Milledgeville (1807-1867), Atlanta (1868-present)
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. was born in Atlanta on January 15, 1929. Today you can visit his childhood house and museum maintained by the U.S. Department of Interior’s National Parks Service. A federal holiday was established in 1986 for every third Monday in January to be set aside in recognition of Dr. King.
  • Atlanta hosted the 1996 Olympics.

General Facts:

  • Georgia has the second most counties in the United States with 159. Texas has the most with 254.
  • Georgia is the 24th largest state (land area) in the United States, the 9th most populous state (as of 2010) and the largest state east of the Mississippi River.
  • Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is known as the busiest airport in the world according to the Airports Council International.
  • Surrounding States: Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee and Alabama
  • Highest Point: Brasstown Bald
  • Nickname: The Peach State and Empire State of the South
  • State Motto: Wisdom, Justice, Moderation


  • 16 Electoral votes
  • 2 U.S. Senators
  • 14 U.S. Representatives
  • 56 State Senators
  • 180 State Representatives


  • Seal (adopted in 1799)

  • Flag (adopted in 2004)

Georgia State Flag

  • Bird: Brown Thrasher

Brown bird with yellow eyes sitting in a tree

Photo Courtesy of the National Park Service

  • Flower: Cherokee Rose

white flowers with a yellow center

  • Crop: Peanut
  • Reptile: Gopher Tortoise
  • Amphibian: Green Tree Frog
  • Tree: Live Oak
  • Fish: Largemouth Bass
  • Mineral: Staurolite
  • Vegetable: Vidalia Onion
  • Marine Mammal: Right Whale
  • Fruit: Peach
  • Insect: Honeybee
  • SongGeorgia On My Mind

Feel free to check out our Georgia Facts Infographic!