Flag of Ukraine
|Use||National flag and civil and state ensign|
|Adopted||January 28, 1992 (originally in 1918)|
|Design||A blue and yellow bicolor|
|Variant flag of Ukraine|
|Adopted||January 28, 1992|
|Design||White with a blue cotized cross that extends to the edges of the flag, and with the national bi-color in the canton.|
|Variant flag of Ukraine|
|Name||Ground force ensign|
|Design||Raspberry color field with Ground Forces logo in the center.|
|Variant flag of Ukraine|
|Name||Air force ensign|
|Design||Blue field with Air Force logo in the center.|
|Variant flag of Ukraine|
|Name||Sea Guard ensign|
|Design||Green cross with a miniature Ukrainian flag in the upper left corner.|
The national flag of Ukraine (Ukrainian: державний прапор України; translit.: derzhavnyy prapor Ukrayiny; literally ‘state flag of Ukraine’) was officially adopted for the first time in 1918 by a short-lived Ukrainian People's Republic. At that time the commonly used yellow–blue flag had already turned into blue and yellow and sported a trident (tryzub) in the upper left corner. The insignia remained unchanged by the successive government of Pavlo Skoropadsky, and then by the Directorate of Ukraine. During the Soviet era, Bolsheviks had been using red and later red-blue flags as the official flag of the Ukrainian SSR. The blue and yellow flag was officially restored in 1992 following Ukrainian independence.
Interestingly, Ukrainians commonly refer to the flag as yellow and blue (жовто-синій, zhovto-syniy) — a different version of the flag used during UNR (Ukrainian National Republic) years (1917–1921) with yellow on the top and blue on the bottom. Yellow on the top represents golden domes (Kupola) of Christian churches and blue the Dniper river.
The roots of Ukrainian national symbols come from before Christian times when yellow and blue prevailed in traditional ceremonies, reflecting fire and water.
Yellow–blue, red-black, crimson-olive and especially raspberry color banners were widely used by Cossacks between 16–18th centuries. These were not the only possible combinations, since normally Cossacks would fly their hetman's banners, which were similar to the coats of arms of the nobility. Also, yellow and blue were the colours common on coats of arms in Galicia. In fact, the coat of arms of Lviv to this day remains a golden lion on a blue field.
Some put the starting point of the current national flag of Ukraine in year 1848, when during the Spring of the Nations a yellow and blue banner flew over the Lviv magistrate for the first time. Although this move did not have significant consequences, the newly formed Ukrainian divisions in the Austrian army used yellow and blue banners in their insignia.
It has to be noted that although most Ukrainians identify their flag in the verbal language as "yellow and light blue" (Ukrainian: жовто-блакитний, zhovto-blakytnyy), the current flag in reality is blue (the top string) and yellow (the bottom string). The issue is quite notable, because the historical rotation of the flag (from yellow–blue to blue–yellow) did not affect the spoken language. Back in 1848 the flag was indeed yellow and blue, and it was later rotated to blue and yellow to be appealing to a common person. The common explanation of "blue sky above yellow field of wheat" was invented around that time, and, although it has nothing to do with the choice of colours and the history of the original yellow and blue banner, it certainly formed the flag as we know it today.
In the late 19th century, the Austro-Hungarian Empire was much more tolerant toward the Ukrainian national movement than the Russian Empire. A lot of literary work was done there, thus spreading the idea to the rest of Ukraine.
There is a popular interpretation of the meaning of the colors used in the Ukrainian flag according to which the color blue represents the color of the sky, and yellow symbolizes the lush golden wheat fields of this country. This association is thought to have been developed in the mid nineteenth century. However, this interpretation is seems to be only a poetic metaphor due to the fact that in UNR in 1917 and sometimes later was used the yellow-top and blue-bottom flag.
Short independence: 1917–1920
Both blue–yellow and yellow–blue flags were widely used during the Ukrainian struggle for independence in 1917.
There are reliable sources that indicate that an official flag was declared by the Ukrainian People's Republic in 1918 is blue–yellow. Some sources mention that the yellow–blue was adopted by Tsentralna Rada on March 22, 1918 But it is incorrect information. Other sources point out that no hard proof of such decision exists. Instead, they refer to the decision on the Fleet Flag, which was set to be light blue–yellow as an indication that the official flag was light blue–yellow. Also were adopted other service flags of the Ukrainian People's Republic.
The official flag of Pavlo Skoropadsky's Hetmanate also was light blue–yellow and became the same under Symon Petlura's Directorate. The flag of West Ukrainian National Republic was blue and yellow. The anarchist free-soviets that existed during the civil war used the black flag.
Among Ukrainian immigrant organizations there were proponents of both blue–yellow and yellow–blue flags. Eventually, it was agreed to use the blue–yellow flag until the issue was resolved in the independent Ukraine.
Soviet Ukraine: 1922–1993
The Soviet Ukraine, similar to other Soviet republics, used a red flag with the abbreviation "УСРР" or "УРСР" (Ukrainian Socialist Soviet Republic, or Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic from 1936) in gold in the top left corner. In 1937 the hammer and sickle symbol in gold was added to the flag.
In 1947 the Soviet republics, including Ukraine, adopted new flags instead of the previous featureless ones. The new Ukrainian flag consisted of a red (top, 2/3) and a blue (bottom, 1/3) stripes, with the golden star, hammer and sickle in the top left corner.
Return of the national flag
Under the influence of Mikhail Gorbachev's perestroika and glasnost years, the individual Soviet republics had strengthened their sense of national unity, which led to the Collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. This concerned the three Baltic states and Western Ukraine, which were the last territories annexed into Soviet Union. These efforts were accompanied with attempts to restore the respective historical national symbols. In 1988, the Supreme Soviet of the Lithuanian SSR re-established Lithuania's historic coat of arms as the state symbol. The Parliaments of Latvia and Estonia soon followed.
The events in the Baltic countries soon led to similar processes in Ukraine. Particularly, West Ukraine and Ukrainian SSR's capital Kiev (Kyiv) constantly held political demonstrations with the national yellow-and-blue flags waving above the heads of demonstrators.
- On March 20, 1990, the town council of Ternopil voted upon the usage and re-establishment of the yellow-and-blue flag and the tryzub as well as the national anthem Shche ne vmerla Ukrainy. On the same day, the yellow-and-blue national flag was flown for the first time in about 80 years on a governmental building in Kiev, replacing the then official red-and-blue flag of the Ukrainian SSR.
- On April 28, 1990, the oblast council (oblasna rada) of Lviv also allowed the use of the national symbols of Ukraine within the Oblast.
- On April 29, 1990, the yellow-and-blue flag was flown from the Ternopil city theater's flagstaff without the official flag of the Soviet Union hanging above it.
- After July 24, 1990, the yellow-and-blue flag was flown for the first time over an official governmental building of the Kiev City Council on the Maidan Nezalezhnosti square of the Khreschatyk street.
- After the declaration of independence of Ukraine on August 24, 1991, the national yellow-and-blue flag flew for the first time over the Ukrainian Parliament (Verkhovna Rada) building on September 4, 1991.
Ukrainian People's Republic (naval flag; 1917–1921)
Ukrainian People's Republic of Soviets (1917–1918)
Ukrainian SSR (1919–1929)
Ukrainian SSR (1929–1937)
Ukrainian SSR (1937–1949)
Ukrainian SSR (1949–1992)
Modern Ukraine (since 1992)
Yellow–blue flag on Ukrainian People's Republic poster, B. Shippikh, Kiev, 1917.
The Ukrainian flag flying on Maidan Nezalezhnosti.
Flag of Ukraine located on Union of Lublin Mound.
The Law of Ukraine states that the colors of Ukrainian flag are "blue and yellow", but other state bodies have determined the colors. In the table below the colors are given according to the technical specification DSTU 4512:2006:
|Pantone formula guide coated/uncoated, second Edition, 2004–2005 years||2935 C||012 C|
|RGB color model||005BBB||FFD500|
Article 20 of the Constitution of Ukraine states the following, citing: "the State Flag of Ukraine is a banner of two equally sized horizontal bands of blue and yellow color." (Ukrainian: "Державний Прапор України є банер з двох однакових за розміром горизонтальних смуг синього і жовтого кольору." ).
- List of flags of Ukraine
- Coat of arms of Ukraine
- Flag of Crimea
- Flag of Dalmatia
- Flag of Saint-Ghislain
- Flag of Herve
- Flag of Barbados
- Ukraine celebrates National Flag Day, Xinhua News Agency (23 August 2012)
Ceremony of hoisting Ukraine's national flag held at presidential administration, Kyiv Post (23 August 2011)
Україна відзначає День Державного прапора On Tuesday, August 23, all of Ukraine celebrates National Flag Day. Measures to raise the national flag are planned throughout the country., 1+1 (23 August 2011)
- A little less often is used also "blue and yellow" and "yellow and azure".
- Geraldika.ru Флаг Украины
- State Symbols of Ukraine, Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, website.
- Ukrainian Historical Journal, 1999, #4, ISSN 0130-S247
- Українське військо у ХХ-ХХІ сторіччі
- Grechylo A. Ukrayinska Terytorialna Heraldyka. Lviv, 2010, pp. 98-118. ISBN 978-966-02-5259-2
- Abbott, Peter; Eugene Pinak (2004). Ukrainian Armies 1914–55. Illustrated by Oleksiy Rudenko and Dmitro Adamenko. Botley, Oxford, England: Osprey Publishing. pp. 9, 13. ISBN 978-1-84176-668-3. OCLC 57637763.
- Svirko, W.; A. Rubcov, A. Gorpinchenko, W. Sinel'nikova, G. Docenko, O. Kupko, I. Potapenko, E. Ershova (September 2006). State Flag of Ukraine. DSTU 4512:2006. Kiev: State Standards of Ukraine. p. 7.
- Constitution of Ukraine
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