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23 Aug. 2023

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National Flag Day of Ukraine: what you should know about the blue and yellow symbol of invincibility

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National Flag Day of Ukraine: what you should know about the blue and yellow symbol of invincibility

Every year, on the eve of Independence Day, August 23, Ukrainians celebrate the National Flag Day. Learn about the importance of this holiday, the meaning and history of the national flag of Ukraine

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The blue and yellow flag has become not only a visual expression of the national face, but also a symbol of freedom and the unbreakable will of the people to fight for independence.


The day celebrated in Ukraine on August 23 is called the National Flag Day and carries a long history of devotion, heroism and the desire to achieve one's own path of development.


We tell you about the history of the national flag of Ukraine, the importance of national symbols in modern times, and interesting facts about the blue and yellow flag.


National Flag Day of Ukraine: a symbol of freedom and independence


The national flag is an important authentic component of any country's symbolism.  The national flag of Ukraine was approved by the Verkhovna Rada on January 28, 1992.


Every year, on August 23, Ukrainians celebrate Flag Day. The holiday was established by a decree of Leonid Kuchma in 2004 to foster respect for the national symbols of Ukraine.


The blue and yellow flag of Ukraine is not only a symbol of the state, but also of national dignity and identity. It is an element that unites all Ukrainians, regardless of their political or religious position, reminding them of the nation's roots and history. 


Flag Day in Ukraine is traditionally celebrated by raising the national flag across the country. Flags are raised from government buildings and windows, as well as abroad. This year, even more Ukrainian flags will be raised around the world.


How was the national flag of Ukraine created?


The flag, as a symbol, with its history and meaning, has crossed the ages since ancient times and spread to the Ukrainian lands in the Middle Ages. In the minds of the Slavs, flags occupied a special place; they were considered the holiest of all idols.


The yellow and blue colors have deep roots in Ukraine, and their combination was organically woven into the Christian religion.


These colors have been used on Ukrainian lands in various historical periods, including the times of Kievan Rus, the Rus' Voivodeship, and the Cossack period.


The city of Lviv, founded in 1256, was given a coat of arms with a golden lion on a blue background. The same colors were used on the flags of the Ruthenian Voivodeship.


During the revolutionary events of 1848-1849, a yellow and blue flag was also used in the western Ukrainian lands. These colors symbolized the movement for national freedom.


The first official recognition of the blue and yellow flag was the law of the Central Rada of March 22, 1918. And Ukraine's independence in 1991 was marked by the adoption of the same flag as a national symbol.


The blue and yellow colors became not only an element of the national flag, but also combined deep historical roots, reflected the national spirit and the desire for freedom.


What does the flag of Ukraine symbolize?


According to the folk interpretation, the blue color symbolizes the clear sky, and the yellow color symbolizes a field of ripe wheat; this interpretation led to the popularization of the flag in the Prydniprovia region in the early 20th century.


However, there are other interpretations of the colors of the Ukrainian flag. From a religious point of view, blue is the color of divine power, and yellow is the color of faith.


There is also a version of the sacred interpretation of colors, according to which yellow is a sun-like, fiery, creatively active divine principle (fire), and blue is a conservative, passive one that needs to be activated (water).


The significance of the National Flag Day in times of war


The current military situation in Ukraine makes the Flag Day especially significant and important. The Ukrainian flag is a symbol of the unity of the people and support for the Ukrainian army, which protects the country's territorial integrity and sovereignty.


Flag Day is an opportunity for Ukrainians to express their patriotic passion and pride for their country. In addition to the events, ceremonies and celebrations organized on this day, people use this opportunity to express their support for the army, volunteers and all those who contribute to the defense of Ukraine's independence.


During the all-out war, the whole world recognized the dedication and courage of the Ukrainian people, and blue and yellow flags were hung on balconies, worn by people and attached to cars as a sign of support for the Ukrainian people.


The red and black flag


The history of the red and black flag as a symbol of Ukraine's struggle for freedom is as old as the history of the national flag.


Ilya Repin's famous painting "Cossacks Writing a Letter to the Turkish Sultan" depicts two poles wrapped in red and black cloth. The Cossacks did use such flags in their campaigns.


Red and black were used as ideological colors by the Ukrainian Sich Riflemen during the First World War. They embroidered these colors on their clothes and sang songs about red and black. This flag was also raised by the UPA soldiers.


While the yellow and blue flag symbolizes the national unity and unity of Ukraine, the red and black flag is the revolutionary flag of Ukraine. The black color symbolizes the Ukrainian land, and the red color symbolizes the blood of the fighters for freedom and independence of Ukraine.  And this flag symbolizes struggle, resistance, rejection of what is happening, and progress.


Interesting facts about the Ukrainian flag


One flag


Ukraine's statehood was proclaimed under the blue and yellow flag three times: 1917, 1941, and 1990.


Turned upside down


There is a widespread legend that the Ukrainian flag should be yellow and blue, not blue and yellow, and that the upside-down flag is the main cause of Ukraine's misfortunes.


Two years in prison


In Soviet times, possession of a blue and yellow flag was a criminal offense punishable by two years in prison. A public display of the Ukrainian flag was considered a very frightening event at the time.


The giant flag


The record-breaking flag was hoisted in Artemivsk in 2014: a two-color banner weighing 300 kg and covering 2,400 m².


In 2018, Dnipro's flag was awarded two records: as the largest flag covering a city and as the flag with the tallest flagpole, which is 72 meters high.


In 2016, Ukrainian climbers climbed to the top of the world's highest volcano, Ojos del Salado, in the Andes Mountains. 6872 meters, with blue and yellow flags.


Football, flag and hopak


On July 27, 1976, during a soccer match between the German Democratic Republic and the Soviet Union in Montreal, a fan named Danylo Mykhal, dressed in an embroidered shirt and carrying a Ukrainian flag, ran onto the field and danced hopak.


This behavior lasted 15 seconds, after which the police intervened. At the stadium, 150 Ukrainians unfurled banners and posters with the words "Freedom to Ukraine!".


Mikhal explained that he wanted to dramatize the fate of the Ukrainian people and support Ukrainian football players.


The flag of the "Cyborgs"


During the defense of the Donetsk airport, the "cyborgs" continued to hang flags on buildings despite constant shelling.


Blue and yellow flags flew over the control tower until it was destroyed by the enemy.


We remind you! Ukrainians will soon celebrate one of the main national holidays - Independence Day. Given the martial law, no mass events are expected, but some celebrations are still planned. Find out more about how the capital will celebrate the 32nd anniversary of the country's independence here.




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