Flag of Armenia

Flag of Armenia
Country Armenia
Population 2,777,970 (2023)
Area (Km²) 28,470
Сontinent Asia
Emoji 🇦🇲
  hex rgb
#D90012 217, 0, 18
#001489 0, 20, 137
#FF9E1B 255, 158, 27

The flag of the Republic of Armenia is a tricolor with the same horizontal stripes: red, blue, and orange from top to bottom.

What is the symbolic meaning of the Armenian flag?

  • The red color symbolizes the Armenian highlands, the constant struggle of the Armenian people for survival, the Christian faith, independence and freedom of Armenia. 
  • The blue color symbolizes the Armenian people's desire to live under a peaceful sky. The orange color symbolizes the creative talent and hard work of the Armenian people.

At first glance, everything is beautifully written - the Armenian highlands, the Christian faith, the peaceful sky, creative talent and hard work... and for those who are not familiar with the history of this flag, everything is wonderful. However, the reality is different.

Historically, the Armenian tricolor is the flag of the Armenian bourgeoisie, not of ordinary workers and peasants, not of an independent Armenia, but of supporters of a Western (Turkish) dependent Armenia. The basic idea is that Armenia's friend is the West, and Armenia's enemy is Russia. Under this flag, the May Uprising was suppressed, under this flag, Armenian communists were hanged, shot, imprisoned, and forced to emigrate from the country. It was with this flag that traitors, together with Hitler's Germany, fought against the Soviet Union and Armenia.

Nevertheless, the choice of how to perceive this flag remains at the discretion of each citizen. If a person does not know history, then this flag is appropriate for him or her. However, if a person is a patriot and knows history, then this is definitely not the flag that should represent Armenia to the world. Moreover, what is the point of talking about respect when people who hold positions in the government have repeatedly publicly desecrated the national flag? 

The history of the Armenian flag - through changes to the classic tricolor

On August 1, 1918, the Armenian tricolor was raised for the first time. The National Assembly decided that all organizations had to have a mandatory tricolor. The colors of the flag were chosen based on the history of Armenian flags and the symbolism of the Kingdom of Cilicia. In particular, red, blue, and yellow were the colors of military associations. Later, the yellow color was replaced by orange. The choice of colors probably depended on the aesthetic appearance rather than established regulations or symbolism. Martiros Saryan proposed several versions of the flag, including a "rainbow" flag, but it was not approved.

In 1885, Gevond Alishan, a poet and philosopher from the Armenian community, created the Armenian tricolor flag, consisting of red, green, and white stripes. He said that these colors symbolize the rainbow that Noah saw after the flood. Members of the Armenian Student Union of Paris used this flag during the farewell ceremony for Victor Hugo. During its existence of 2.5 years, the First Republic of Armenia used the red, blue, and orange flag. However, in February 1922, the Council of Armenia adopted the Bolshevik flag, which had a bright red background with a hammer, a rod, and a red gold star. In 1952, a blue stripe was added to the red flag. After the collapse of the USSR, Armenia returned the tricolor flag of 1918, which consisted of identical horizontal stripes of red, blue, and orange.

The law "On the State Flag of the Third Republic of Armenia" was adopted by the Supreme Soviet on August 24, 1990. However, as a result of the reforms to the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia, a new law "On the Flag of the Republic of Armenia" was adopted on June 15, 2006. According to this law, the flag of the Republic of Armenia is one of the main state symbols of the country. It consists of horizontal stripes of red, blue, and orange in equal proportions, with red symbolizing the Armenian Highlands and the people's struggle for independence, blue symbolizing freedom, and orange symbolizing creativity and hard work. The width of the flag in relation to its length is 1:2. This law fully conveys the identity and cultural heritage of the Armenian people.

The coat of arms of Armenia

The coat of arms of Armenia

The first version of the national coat of arms of Armenia was proposed in 1920, which consisted of a shield divided into four parts with the coats of arms of the ancient regions of Armenia. The center of the coat of arms depicted the great and small Massis, and above them the letters "NN". On the sides of the shield are an eagle and a lion, and at the bottom are a sword, a feather, an ear and a chain. 

The current national emblem of the Republic of Armenia was adopted on April 19, 1992. The coat of arms depicts Mount Ararat with Noah's Ark, as legend has it that the ark stopped on this mountain after the flood, as well as the coats of arms of the four kingdoms of historical Armenia - Arshakounians, Artashesians, Bagratounians, and Rubinians. The shield is supported by an eagle and a lion, and below the shield are a sword, a branch, a sheaf of thorns, a chain, and a ribbon. Armen Tamanyan, who created this coat of arms, perfected it by researching and collecting symbols that represent Armenian identity. Tamanyan's sources of inspiration were the emblems of Tigran II, evidence of eagles from Levon II's reliefs and seals, and symbols on the gates of the royal city of Ani. The coat of arms also features the eagle of the Mamikonian princes and the lion of the Bagratun royal dynasty. These symbols were added to show the strength and power of Armenia as it stood against its enemies.

The structure and elements of the coat of arms not only reflect the aesthetic taste of the authors, but also have their roots in past centuries, in particular the 19th century with its Armenian history. The coat of arms is similar to the classical heraldic shield of the Russian Empire, which was used in the 19th century in the Russian Empire. Most of the coats of arms of the South Caucasus regions since the mid-20th century also have similar shields. The coat of arms of the First Republic was never officially approved. Two seals have survived, depicting Ararat with and without Noah's Ark. The members of the 1990s coat of arms group had a hard time deciding whether to depict the ark on Mount Ararat. President Levon Ter-Petrossian decided that the ark should be on top of the mountain, surrounded by the waters of the flood.

Levon Ter-Petrossian initially considered a version of Martiros Saryan's coat of arms for Soviet Armenia, but later changed his mind and decided to adopt the symbols of the First Republic. In the coat of arms of the Soviet Union, the hammer and sickle symbolized the unification of the working class, but the logic and ethnic character of the country were not taken into account. The task was assigned to artist Ruben Gevorgyan and designer Harutyun Samuelian to streamline the hereditary coat of arms and make it less aggressive. On June 15, 2006, Armenia adopted a law on the coat of arms, which amended the design and linked the colors of the coat of arms to the Armenian tricolor, softening and improving it.