The History of the Russian Flag

The History of the Russian Flag

Red, While and Blue... Most people growing on th USA have a sturdy association of these with everything American. Yet the the three horizontal stripes of the same colors, white, blue, and red, make a Russian flag.

Here's a little bit of history.

The flag was originally designed in 1600s after Peter The Great, one of Russia's most influential rulers, travelled to Netherlands to learn about shipbuilding. He was so impressed with that country's flag - with three horizontal bands of red, white and blue - that he patterned his own after it and had it designed for his fleet or ships. The flag was first used as an ensign for merchant and war ships and only became official in 1896.

While there are several theories as to the origin and reason for the choice of white, blue and red for the colors, none is currently accepted as universally correct. There is no official meaning assigned to the colors in Russian laws. One of the different interpretation associates white with sincerity, the middle blue layer - with truthfulness, and the bottom layer of red - with bravery and love.

The flag continued to be used by the Russian Provisional Government even after the Tsar was overturned in the February Revolution and was not replaced until the OCtober Revolution which established a Bolshevik government. From that time period, a red flag charged with communist symbols - a hammer, sickle, and star. The hammer symbolized the nation's industrial workers. The sickle represented agricultural citizens. Finally, the five-pointed star rising above the hammer and sickle represented the rule of the Communist Party.

After the fall of socialist system in August 1991, the old design was restored. The modern era flag underwent a slight change in 1993 and has been official since 2000. The flag of Russia provided the Pan-slavic colors of red, blue and white that appear in the flags of Slavic countries (including the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Serbia).