The flag used by the Republic of South Ossetia, and North Ossetia–Alania is a tricolour, top to bottom white, red, and yellow. The flag is also said to represent the social structure of ancient Ossetian society, which was divided into three social groups forming an organic whole: the military aristocracy, the clergy, and ordinary people. The colours symbolize moral purity (white), martial courage (red), and wealth and prosperity (yellow). In blazons, the flag is described as Per fess Argent and Or, a fess Gules. The South Ossetian version was prescribed by the South Ossetian Constitution of 26 November 1990 and confirmed by the Regulation on the National Flag of 30 March 1992.
The flag of South Ossetia has identical colours to the flag of North Ossetia-Alania, but slightly different proportions (being narrower horizontally).
Under the Soviet Union, North Ossetia had a predominantly red flag with a blue trim on the left edge, the hammer and sickle and the words "North Ossetian ASSR" in both Russian and Ossetian. Shortly before the collapse of the Soviet Union, it was replaced with the present flag, which was adopted on October 2, 1991.