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National Flag Day in Russia

20. August 2010 by Christy 0 Comments

Russia's National Flag Day on August 22nd marks the anniversary of the day Russian officials replaced the flag of the Soviet Union with Russia's traditional flag.


The Traditional Flag of Russia

Russia’s traditional, red, white, and blue flag (right), originally used as an ensign for merchant and war ships, first became the country’s official national flag in 1896. While there are several theories regarding the origin, meaning, and order of the colors, there’s no official, or universally accepted, reason. Some say the colors came from the coat of arms of the Grand Duchy of Moscow, while others believe they represent the Russian social system under the monarchy, with white representing God, blue representing the Tsar, and red representing peasants.

After the October Revolution in 1917, the Bolshevik government discarded Russia’s tricolor flag and replaced it with the flag of the Soviet Union, a plain red flag with a hammer and sickle and a red star in the upper left corner. The Soviet flag retained its official status until the 1991 August Coup, an attempt by members of the Soviet Union's government to take control of the country from Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev. This unsuccessful attempt led to the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the discarding of the flag of the Soviet Union as the nation’s official flag.

While National Flag Day is not a bank holiday or one where citizens enjoy a day off from work, the day is still significant to many people as it symbolizes the fall of the Soviet Union. This year’s National Flag Day falls on Sunday, August 22nd.