Flag of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic

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Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic
Flag of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (1954–1991).svg
Flag of the Russian SFSR (1954–1991)
UseState and war flag
Adopted9 January 1954
Design A red flag with a light-blue stripe at the pole, with golden red star and hammer and sickle.
Designed byValentin Petrovich Viktorov
Flag of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (reverse).svg
Reverse flag
DesignA red field with a light blue strip on the fly side.

The last Soviet-era flag was adopted by the Russian SFSR in 1954 and used until 1991. The flag of the Russian SFSR was a defacement of the flag of the Soviet Union. The constitution stipulated:

The state flag of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic presents itself as a red, rectangular sheet with a light-blue stripe at the pole extending all the width [read height] which constitutes one eighth length of the flag.

Like the flag of the Soviet Union, the hammer and sickle represented the working class; more specifically, the hammer represented the urban industrial workers and the sickle represented the rural and agricultural peasants. The red star represented the CPSU and Communism. The red in the flag represented the Russian Revolution and revolution in general. The blue stripe symbolized the wide Russian skies and the waters of its seas and rivers.


The first flag of the Russian SFSR, adopted on 14 April 1918, was a flag showing the full name of the recently born Soviet republic before the then imminent Russian spelling reform. Its ratio was unspecified.

From 1918, the flag was red with the gold Cyrillic characters РСФСР (RSFSR) in the top-left corner, in a traditional Vyaz' style of ornamental Cyrillic calligraphy.

From 1920, the characters was redesigned as described in the Russian Constitution of 1925. However this flag was oftentimes not used, with the 1918 flag being used until 1937.

Detailed construction sheet for the Russian SFSR flag issued on 22 January 1981.

In February 1947, the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR issued a resolution calling for the Soviet republics to adopt new flags. The design was suggested to be based on the state flag of the USSR, as to indicate the idea of the republic within the union, and to include colors and national ornaments to express the geographical, national, historical and cultural characteristics of each republic.

On 9 January 1954, the new national flag of the RSFSR was approved by the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR.[2] The flag was designed by artist Valentin Petrovich Viktorov. On 2 June 1954, the description of the flag was included in the Constitution of the RSFSR.[3]

After the events of the attempted coup in Moscow, Boris Yeltsin, the president of the Russian SFSR adopted a resolution that the imperial tricolor flag based on the Russian Empire would be the flag of RSFSR. On 22 August 1991 the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR decided:[4]

Prior to the establishment of the new state symbol of the Russian Federation, the historical flag of Russia -the flag with equal horizontal white, azure, scarlet stripes should be regarded as the official national flag of the Russian Federation.

It was first hoisted at 12:00 pm on 22 August 1991 at the White House. A tricolor with the hammer and sickle on the centre was also later proposed.[1]

On 1 November 1991, the Constitution of the RSFSR was amended to adopt the white-azure-scarlet flag as the official national flag.[5][6]

Pro-Russian activists occupied the Security Service of Ukraine building in Luhansk with the flag of the Russian SFSR, seen from the left.

Proposed flag of the Russian SFSR[edit]

A proposal for the state flag of the RSFSR was created by Mikhail Rodionov. It consisted of a traditional tricolour flag and a hammer and a sickle in the middle of the flag. Because of his proposal, he was accused of nationalism in 1950, at the Leningrad affair case.[citation needed]

Other Russian SFSR flags[edit]

The banner of the republic was a 1:1 ratio red flag with gold fringe, commonly used in ceremonies. The banner was also used on the first inauguration of Boris Yeltsin as President of the Russian SFSR on 10 July 1991.[7]

Regional flags based on the flag of RSFSR[edit]

Flags of the Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republics of RSFSR were defacements of the 1954 flag of RSFSR, with texts or acronyms of the name of the republic in official languages.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "State flags of the RSFSR" Государственные флаги РСФСР [flags of the RSFSR]. www.vexillographia.ru (in Russian). Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  2. ^ Указ Президиума Верховного Совета РСФСР от 9 января 1954 г. "О Государственном флаге РСФСР"
  3. ^ Закон РСФСР от 2 июня 1954 г. "О Государственном флаге РСФСР"
  4. ^ "Ob ofitsial'nom priznanii i ispol'zovanii" Об официальном признании и использовании [On official recognition and use]. www.bestpravo.com (in Russian). Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  5. ^ Закон РСФСР от 1 ноября 1991 года № 1827-I "Об изменениях и дополнениях Конституции (Основного Закона) РСФСР"
  6. ^ Статья 181 Конституции (Основного Закона) Российской Советской Федеративной Социалистической Республики
  7. ^ Banner of the republic-FOTW