Flag of Latvia

24 April, 2014

The national flag of Latvia was officially adopted in 1922, though the flag was in use as early as the 13th century. Although its use was suppressed from 1940 under the Soviet rule, after regaining its independence, Latvia flew its national flag on the 27th of February 1990 once again.

The red colour is said to symbolise the readiness of the Latvians to give the blood from their hearts for freedom and their willingness to defend their liberty but according to legend, a Latvian leader was killed in battle and the white sheet he was wrapped in became stained with his blood, all apart from the part where his body lay. During the next battle, this sheet was raised as a flag and the Latvian army was victorious, leading to the sheet being adopted as the new national flag.

According to Latvian law the national flag is “carmine red”, also known as Latvian red.

There are certain laws pertaining to the use of the flag, for example, the flag should be places at least 2.5 metres above the ground on a flagpole that is straight, flat, painted white and made of wood. If the flag is not displayed continuously, it should be raised at sunrise and lowered at sunset.

On the 20th of July 2013, Riga castle was engulfed in flames and many Latvians were horrified by the fate of the Latvian flag that flew over the main castle tower. The flag was rescued by Latvian soldiers, folded up and stored away, and once the fires had all been put out, and the castle was out of danger, the flag was taken back and raised again over the castle.

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