A horizontal bicolor of red over azure (light blue) with the golden hammer and sickle and gold-bordered star on top of the canton
The first flag of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic was adopted on March 10, 1919 to serve as the symbol of state of the Ukrainian SSR. Details of the official flag changed periodically before the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991, but all had as their basis the red flag of the October Revolution. According to the decree of the Presidium of Supreme Soviet of Ukrainian SSR on 21 November 1949, the blue in the bottom symbolizes the mightiness and beauty of the people, and the blue banner of Bohdan Khmelnytsky.
Before this 1919 flag, a flag in 1918 was used with red and blue, with yellow stripes in the canton.
The first flag was red with the gold Cyrillic sans-serif letters У.С.С.Р. (USSR, acronym for Ukrayinskaya Sotsialisticheskaya Sovetskaya Respublika (Ukrainian Socialist Soviet Republic) in the Russian language). In the 1930s a gold border was added. In 1937, a new flag was adopted, with a small gold hammer and sickle added above the gold Cyrillic serif letters У.Р.С.Р. (URSR, for Ukrayinsʹka Radyansʹka Sotsialistychna Respublika in the Ukrainian language).
Flag of the Ukrainian SSR (1919–1929)
Flag of the Ukrainian SSR (1929–1937)
Flag of the Ukrainian SSR (1937–1950)
The Soviet Union and two of its republics (Ukraine and Byelorussia) all became members of the nascent United Nations (UN) in 1945. Since all of their flags were red with only small markings in upper left corner, the UN demanded changes to the flags in 1949. To comply, the Ukrainian Soviet authorities dropped the lettering and added a blue horizontal stripe (1⁄3 of the width). Ukraine adopted this new design as its official flag on July 5, 1950. Other constituent republics of the Soviet Union soon followed suit and customized the bottom third of their flags.
While the Soviet flag was flown in the later months of 1991, even after the failed coup, the blue-yellow flag was gradually re-introduced between March 14, 1990 beginning at town of Stryi until its independence on August 24, 1991.
Early variant of the flag of the Ukrainian SSR, before the unification of details