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The Soviet Banner of Victory (Russian: Знамя Победы, Znamya Pobedy) is the banner raised by the Red Army soldiers on the Reichstag building in Berlin, on May 1, 1945, the day after Adolf Hitler committed suicide. It was raised by three Soviet soldiers: Alexei Berest, Mikhail Yegorov, and Meliton Kantaria, from USSR.
The Victory Banner, made under battlefield conditions, is the official symbol of the Victory of the Soviet people against Nazi Germany during the Second World War. It is also believed to be one of the national treasures of Russia. The Cyrillic inscription reads:
Although this flag was not the only one to be hoisted on the Reichstag, it was the first and only survivor of all the "official" flags specially prepared to be raised there. On May 9, during Victory Day parade in Moscow, a copy of Victory Banner #5 is carried immediately behind the Russian flag by members of the Moscow Commandant's Regiment Honor and Colors Guards. (In 2015 the order was reversed.)
According to the Law of the Russian Federation, the Banner of Victory is to be stored forever in a place which provides its safety and public availability.
How it happened
Report of the commander of the 3rd assault army to the head of political administration of The Red Army about the fight for Reichstag and placing the Victory Banner on it. (quotes)
July 2, 1945.
The Commander of the 1st Belarussian Front Marshal of Soviet Union comrade Zhukov ordered the troops of 3rd assault army headily enter Berlin, to secure the downtown and Reichstag and to place the Victory Banner on it. <...>
Having defeated the last enemy strongholds the troops of the army entered Berlin at 6:00 AM on the 21st of April 1945. <...>
After seizing the downtown the troops of the 3rd assault army penetrated the neighborhood of Reichtag at the end of 29 of April 1945..
On the 30th of April with the sunrise they started the massive assault on Reichtag. <...>
On the 30th of April 1945 at 14:25 the fighters of superior corporal Syanov's group fought their way to the roof and reached the dome. The courageous warriors - Communist Lieutenant Berest, Comsomol Member Soldier Egorov and member of no party Junior Corporal Kantaria have set the banner, the symbol of our Great Victory, the Proud Flag of the Soviet Union flew above the German Parliament building!
The burned and pierced by bullets Banner was victoriously flying above defeated Berlin <...>
The Commander of the troops of the 3rd Assault Army, Soviet Union Hero, Сolonel-General Kuznetsov
Member of Military Board of the 3rd Assault Army Major-General Litvinov
Yeltsin's Victory Banner
There was a variation of the Soviet flag, without the hammer and sickle, to which president Boris Yeltsin gave a status similar to that of the national flag, on April 5, 1996. President Vladimir Putin also adopted the Victory Banner as the official flag of the Russian Army. This flag was named after the flag raised on the Reichstag, but it is also called Victory Flag.
- Russian archive: Second World War: B. 15 (4-5). Fight for Berlin (Red Army in the defeated Germany).— M.: Terra, 1995. Chapter III. «Banner above Reichtag»
- Федеральный закон Российской Федерации «О знамени Вооруженных Сил Российской Федерации, знамени Военно-Морского Флота, знаменах иных видов Вооруженных Сил Российской Федерации и знаменах других войск»
- Федеральный закон Российской Федерации от 7 мая 2007 г. N 68-ФЗ "О Знамени Победы"