3rd Lecture in the Cycle “Flags of European and World Countries” – Russia, 13.09.2018

On 13 September 2018 the HGZD president LTC Dr Željko Heimer held in the Coordination of Croatian Friendship Societies the third lecture of the cycle “Flags of European and World Countries”, held under auspices of the President of the Republic Ms. Kolinda Grabar Kitarović. This time the topic was the flags of Russia.

The Russian tricolour begun as the naval ensign in the end of the 17th century. The story is preserved in several interpretations, but it is certain that a great influence was from the Dutch shipbuilding and their shipbuilders as well as Emperor Peter the Great, who left several sketches for the flag in his manuscripts.

The white-blue-red flag that we today know, was introduced as the ensign for the warships, and it was not immediately taken for the national flag on land. Only in 1858, in its stead, the black-golden-white flag was adopted for the national flag on lnad, but its popularity never reached the Pan-Slavic tricolour, and finally in 1883 the two were permitted to be used on land one next to the other. In 1896 the Slavic tricolour “won” becoming he only Russian national flags.

In the end of World War I in the October Revolution the system in Russia changed, and the revolutionary red flag replaced the tricolour. With the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic Constitution the flag was defaced with golden initials, soon stylistically determined. Only in 1954 the Soviet red flag with golden sickle and hammer with a star was defaced with a light blue stripe long the hoist.

With teh changes in the Soviet system by the end of the 1990s, the popularity of the tricolour raised again, and in 1991 it was readopted as the Russian national flag, legally determined in 1993 and 2000.

Besides the national flag, there were numerous flags used in Russia in its several ceturies long vexillological history, both on sea for various military, border, police and other official ships and their commanders, and for various state institutions on land. The Russian Federation today inherited that rich customs being one of the most productive vexillographic countries in the world.