Flag of Russia

Flag of Russia
Country Russia
Population 144,444,359 (2023)
Area (Km²) 16,376,870 (2023)
Сontinent Europe
Emoji 🇷🇺
  hex rgb
#FFFFFF 255, 255, 255
#1C3578 28, 53, 120
#E4181C 228, 24, 28

The flag of Russia was approved on December 11, 1993 and consists of three stripes of equal size - white, blue and red in the appropriate sequence.

What do the colors of the Russian flag mean?

  • White: symbolizes purity, independence and peace. It also reflects the ideals and values of the Russian people.
  • Blue: represents faith, loyalty and hope. It reminds us of Russia as a maritime power and its connection to the seas and oceans.
  • Red: symbolizes courage, strength and bravery. It is a symbol of heroism and patriotism inherent in the Russian people.

The combination of white, blue and red is the national colors of Russia and has a long history. It can often be found in other state symbols, such as the coat of arms and anthem. The Russian flag has 2:3 proportions, meaning that its length is twice as long as its width. At the top of the flag is the Russian national emblem, which also has its own symbolism and history.

Interesting facts about the national flag of the Russian Federation:

  • The Russian flag was raised on the moon during the Luna 2 mission in 1959;
  • In 2013, residents of Vladivostok created a huge flag 700 meters long, which was included in the Guinness Book of Records; 
  • The largest Russian flag was raised on Mount Elbrus in 2016 with an area of almost 1,000 square meters;
  • In 2020, the largest flag in the world was made in the Kuban. The Russian tricolor was the size of a football field. It was unfurled in the sky of the Moscow region. This event took place during the celebration of the Russian Flag Day and was recorded in the Guinness Book of Records.
  • There is a maritime legend that says sailors used a cheat sheet called "BeSiK" - white, blue, red (Russian: "БеСиК - белый, синий, красный") to memorize the order of the colors on the flag and avoid punishment.

What flags of other countries are similar to the Russian flag?

The tricolor used in the Russian flag is quite popular. In general, there are 10 flags that have the same combination of colors. They can also be divided into 3 groups: 

  • different sequence and shade of colors. Serbia(1) - red, blue and white flag with the coat of arms. Croatia(2) and Paraguay(3) have a red, white, and blue tricolor with a coat of arms. The flags of the Netherlands(4) and Luxembourg(5) are red, white, and blue tricolor. The sequence of colors is different, and, in the case of the Luxembourg flag, the color is a shade of blue. Not as obvious a resemblance as the previous ones, but still worth adding to the list - France(6). The blue-white-red tricolor, but the stripes are vertical rather than horizontal;
  • identical sequence of colors: white, blue, red. These are the flags of Slovenia(7) and Slovakia(8) - they are exactly the same as the flag of the Russian Federation, only the coats of arms of the countries are additionally placed on the flag;
  • three colors, but the number of stripes is different. Flags of Thailand(10) and Costa Rica(9). The flag of Thailand has 5 stripes: blue, white, double red, white and blue. Costa Rica's flag is exactly the same, except the colors are inverted, i.e.: red, white, double blue, white, red.

These are the main countries whose flags have similarities to the Russian flag. We could add more to this list: Czech Republic, Philippines, Chile, Cuba, Haiti, and Puerto Rico. But this is not entirely appropriate, because the similarity is only in colors, but the shape and symbolism is different. And looking at them, the thought of a resemblance to the Russian flag does not come to mind.

What flags of other countries are similar to the Russian flag?

History of the Russian flag

The tricolor first appeared in Russia about 350 years ago and has become a symbol of the country. The colors white, blue and red are of great importance in the Russian heraldic tradition. The first Russian warship, the Orel, was built in 1667-1668. Black, white and azure fabric was ordered to create the ship's banners. However, due to the uprising of Stepan Razin, the first Orel was burned down, so the exact appearance of the first tricolor is unknown. According to the most reliable version, the flag may have had a blue cross on a white and red background. During the reign of Tsar Peter the Great, the flag of the Moscow kingdom appeared, which was used during the tsar's first sea voyage in 1693. The ancient flag is kept in the museum and is the oldest of all surviving tricolors. It has a square shape and consists of white, blue, and red stripes, with a double-headed eagle with a red shield and St. George on its chest at the top.

In 1705, Peter the Great issued a decree requiring foreign merchant ships to fly the tricolor without the eagle. Warships flew the St. Andrew's flag. In the nineteenth century, the white, blue, and red flag was used on land. Russian pioneers often marked the newly discovered lands with memorial crosses, but in 1806, an expedition to South Sakhalin planted the St. Andrew's flag and tricolor on the shore. In 1858, Emperor Alexander II approved a new national flag consisting of black, yellow, and white horizontal stripes. However, this flag looked similar to the flag of the Austrian Empire and was not approved. The next emperor, Alexander III, brought back the Peter the Great tricolor, and the black, yellow, and white flag remained a symbol of the Romanov dynasty.

After the 1917 revolution, the red flag with the inscription "Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic" was the official flag of Soviet Russia. However, the inscription was removed in 1924 and the image of a golden hammer and sickle with the upper golden outline of a five-pointed star was added to the flag. The red "workers'" flag remained official until the collapse of the USSR. It was only in 1991 that the white, blue, and red flag returned as the national symbol of Russia. In December 2000, President Vladimir Putin signed the law "On the State Flag of the Russian Federation," which defines the colors, aspect ratio of the flag and rules of use.