Flag Of Armenia: History And Meaning

The flag of Armenia is the official symbol of the Republic of Armenia, a country located in the Caucasus region. It is made up of three horizontal stripes of equal size, colored red, blue and orange.

This symbol was officially established after the independence of Armenia from the Soviet Union in 1991. Previously, it had been used in the Armenian Democratic Republic between 1918 and 1920. Eventually this emblem was discontinued because the country was invaded and annexed by the Soviet Union.

However, before the existence of this flag, historically Armenia has had many more, highlighting some of its Christian heritage and its cultural characteristics. Also during Soviet rule there were different flags.

The significance of the colors of the flag is established by an official law of 2006. The use of the tricolor must always be present in a large part of public institutions.

Red has a multiple representation, as it identifies the struggle of the Armenian people, Christianity and freedom. Blue is identified with the skies and the peace of the country. Finally, the orange is the one that represents the talent and work of the Armenians.

Article index

  • one

    History

    • 1.1

      French tricolor

    • 1.2

      Armenian tricolor of independence

    • 1.3

      Soviet Armenian flags

  • two

    Meaning of the flag colors

  • 3

    Uses and applications

  • 4

    References

History

You can study the history of Armenia through its flags. The Artaxid Dynasty was one of the first to develop pavilions for the Armenian territory.

This monarchical family ruled Armenia from 189 BC. Until 12 BC when it was invaded by the Roman Empire. The flags used by the Artaxid Dynasty consisted of designs with birds and flowers, alternating colors such as purple and red.

Animal symbols continued to be present on Armenian flags. The Arsacid Dynasty also used birds and suns. In Bagrátida Armenia, which lasted between 885 and 1045, the lion and the Christian cross were chosen. This animal was kept on the flags of the exiled kingdoms of Cilicia.

The first tricolor would be seen in the last kingdom of Cilicia under the Lusignan dynasty. A flag of three horizontal stripes, red, blue and yellow, with eleven stars distributed and two crossed swords was chosen.

French tricolor

Many centuries later, Armenia was again identified with pavilions. The country gradually returned to its idiosyncrasy, after years of Persian and Ottoman rule. The Catholic priest Ghevont Alishan proposed an Armenian flag to be used at Victor Hugo’s funeral in Paris, at the request of a group of Armenian students.

This flag was composed of three horizontal stripes: red, remembering the first Easter Saturday, green to represent Easter Sunday and white to complete the combination.

The design was modified in the late 19th century, also by Alishan. This time it was three vertical stripes of red, green and blue. This design also had a Christian motivation and represented the rainbow that Noah saw from Mount Ararat.

Armenian tricolor of independence

Tricolor has been a constant since then in all Armenian flags. The short-lived Federal Democratic Republic of Transcaucasia brought together the entire Caucasus in 1918 after the fall of the Russian Empire. Its flag is made up of three horizontal stripes: yellow, black and red.

Georgia seceded from the republic, and Azerbaijan and Armenia followed. It was at this time that the Democratic Republic of Armenia was established, which ruled between 1918 and 1920. This country established the same tricolor as it is today.

The creator of this flag was the academic and linguist Stepan Malkhasyants. It was made up of three horizontal stripes of red, blue and orange, with a 2: 3 ratio.

This country was dissolved in 1920 after the conquest by the Red Army and the annexation to the Soviet Union. From this moment on, all the flags began to be red and have communist symbols.

Soviet Armenian flags

The first was the flag of the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic. It consisted of a red cloth with the inscription CCCP (initials of the USSR in Russian) in yellow letters. Subsequently, the republics of the Caucasus in the USSR were unified and formed the Federal Socialist Soviet Republic of Transcaucasia.

Their flag was red, with a hammer and sickle encased in a star. Around it, the initials of the country, ZSFSR, were inscribed in the Cyrillic alphabet. Autonomy returned to Armenia in the USSR in 1936, the new flag imitated the previous one. Completely red, it had a yellow hammer and sickle with the inscription HSSR, in Armenian.

In 1952 the most important flag of Soviet Armenia was adopted. The flag has two large red stripes at the ends and a ¼ in the middle, blue. At the top left was a yellow hammer and sickle, along with a star.

In 1990, when Armenia was still Soviet but the USSR was about to fall, the Malkhasyants flag was restored. The proportions changed, as they were now 1: 2.

Meaning of the flag colors

After the constitutional reform of 2005, a law on the flag was decreed that clearly establishes in its article 2 the meaning of the colors.

According to the law, red represents “the Armenian highlands, the continuing struggle of the Armenian people for the survival, maintenance of the Christian faith, independence and freedom of Armenia” (The Law of the Republic of Armenia on the flag of the Republic of Armenia, 2006).

Blue, on the other hand, is identified with “the will of the Armenian people to live under peaceful skies.” Finally, orange represents the “creative talent and hard-working nature” of Armenians (The Law of the Republic of Armenia on the flag of the Republic of Armenia, 2006).

Popularly, the meaning of colors has also been understood in another way. In this case, red would signify the blood shed in the Armenian Genocide. The blue would be for the skies, while the orange would represent the national courage.

Uses and applications

The 2006 flag law, in its article 3 and subsequent articles, establishes where and how it should be used. The pavilion must be permanently in the presidential residence, the National Assembly and the government buildings, in addition to the Constitutional Court. (The Law of the Republic of Armenia on the flag of the Republic of Armenia, 2006).

To them must be added the office of the Attorney General, the Human Rights Defender and the Central Bank of Armenia. In addition, it must be present in all courts and other bodies of the State of the country (The Law of the Republic of Armenia on the flag of the Republic of Armenia, 2006).

The flag must always be 2.5 meters from the ground. The only exception that the law establishes is in the event of a duel, where the flag is hoisted at half mast. In addition, in these cases a black ribbon must be added to the top of the flag, which is the length of the entire flag.

Flag Day was set to be June 15, because the flag law was passed on June 15, 2006.

References

  1. Arias, E. (2006). Flags of the world . Editorial Gente Nueva: Havana, Cuba.
  2. Ionesyan, K. (July 16, 2009). Day of Mourning: Armenia grieves for crash victims. ArmeniaNow . Recovered from armenianow.com.
  3. Parliament of Armenia. (June 15, 2006). The Law of the Republic of Armenia on the flag of the Republic of Armenia . Recovered from parliament.am.
  4. Smith, W. (2014). Flag of Armenia. Encyclopædia Britannica . Recovered from britannica.com.
  5. The Government of the Republic of Armenia. (sf). General Information. The Flag. The Government of the Republic of Armenia . Recovered from gov.am.

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