The Official Karelia
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Historical reference on the official symbols of the Republic of Karelia

The National Flag of the Republic of Karelia

The National Flag and the National Coat of Arms of the Republic of Karelia were authorized as official symbols in 1993, however they are based on historical traditions and heraldic symbols both of the Soviet period, and of earlier time.

The modern National flag of the Republic of Karelia grows out the compromise. During disorder of the USSR and the beginning of the democratic arrangement of Russia, in the republic sharp discussions went on about preservation of the flag of Karelian ASSR (a red panel with a light blue strip along the staff over the width of the flag) or about returning to the flag of Uhtinskaya republic (the red "Scandinavian" cross with black border around it on a green field).

As a result, in the Supreme Soviet of the republic after several votings the variant developed by Alexander Ivanovich Kinner based on the idea of the flag of Karelian-Finnish SSR of 1953 has won. The Article 118 of the Constitution of Karelian-Finnish SSR said then: "the national Flag of the Karelian-Finnish SSR represents a panel consisting of three horizontal color strips: red top strip, blue middle strip making one sixth of the width of the flag, and green bottom strip making one fifth of the width of the flag."

On February 16, 1993, at the session of the Supreme Soviet of the Republic of Karelia A.I.Kinner's flag was approved. Article 158 of the Constitution of the republic was accepted in the following edition: "the national Flag of the Republic of Karelia represents a rectangular panel with equal horizontal strips: the top strip of red color, the middle strip of blue color, and the bottom strip of green color. The ratio of width of the flag and of its length is 2:3." (In the present Constitution of the Republic of Karelia it is the Article 12).

The given colors of the flag are for a long tome worshiped by the population of Karelia. Green and blue colors are related to the living environment the Karelian land of woods, lakes and rapid rivers. Green is the color of nature, vegetation, and of the basic riches of the republic, it personifies hope and belief in happiness, blue is the color of lakes and rivers, and it means greatness and beauty. Red is not only the color of force and courage of people, but also a traditional color of the red on white Karelian embroidery. These colors are not focused on any ethnic or social group of population of the republic, moreover, they unite and rally all inhabitants. In consciousness of broad masses of the republic colors of the flag of Karelian-Finnish SSR associate with the victory in the Great Patriotic War, 1941-1945, fast restoration of national economy destroyed within this period, growth of the standard of life of the population of Karelia.

Colors and arrangement of strips on the Karelian flag are go well with the national Flag of the Russian Federation.

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Created: February 13, 2003. Last updated: February 13, 2003.
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