National Flag Day!

Today Russia celebrates its National Flag Day! While it is not a day off, special events will be hosted in many Russian cities. Saint Petersburg dwellers, for instance, will be able to attend a free concert on Palace Square, a military parade and an acrobatic air show by the “Russian Knights” stunt pilots.

On August 22 Russia commemorates the events of 1991 when the three coloured flag was raised over the white marble building of the Russian government, in replacement of the Soviet red flag with the hammer and sickle.

Although the National Flag Day is a young holiday, the story of the tricolour itself is an old one. The “father” of the white-blue-red was Peter the Great, who, according to some historians, took inspiration from the Dutch flag for the choice of the colours. In 1705 he decreed that the flag had to be raised on any merchant vessel and later began to be used for terrestrial forces as well.

Following the revolution of 1917 the tricolour was replaced by the Communist red banner, displaying the acronym “РСФСР”.

Flag_of_Russian_SFSR_(1937-1954)

In 1954 and additional change took place, since the universal Soviet flag with a blue stripe along the mast was adopted.

Flag_of_Russian_SFSR

This flag remained in place until 1991, when, following a failed coup d’état attempt, the Supreme Soviet of the Russian SFSR ordered the restoration of the old imperial colours as the Russian flag.

As there is no official indication of the meaning of the colours, the Internet pullulates with different interpretations, and you may as well pick the one that you fancy the most. The one I liked is that the white represents nobility, the blue honesty, and the red courage or love.

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