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Hymn, flag, emblem

The National Anthem of Russia is composed by Alexander Alexandrov, lyrics written by Sergey Mikhalkov. It constitutes a reintroduction of the music of the Soviet anthem but with revised lyrics. It was adopted in late 2000 with the approval of President Vladimir Putin and replaced the former anthem, The Patriotic Song. The first public broadcast of the new anthem happened in the first minutes of year 2001 on the TV. According to the section 4 of Russian Anthem Law, all state-owned TV and radio channels must broadcast the national anthem twice a day.





Rossiya — svyashchennaya nasha derzhava,
Rossiya — lyubimaya nasha strana.
Moguchaya volya, velikaya slava —
Tvoyo dostoyan’e na vse vremena!

Slav’sya, Otechestvo nashe svobodnoye,
Bratskikh narodov soyuz vekovoy,
Predkami dannaya mudrost’ narodnaya!
Slav’sya, strana! My gordimsya toboy!

Ot yuzhnykh morey do polyarnogo kraya
Raskinulis’ nashi lesa i polya.
Odna ty na svete! Odna ty takaya —
Khranimaya Bogom rodnaya zemlya!


Shirokiy prostor dlya mechty i dlya zhizni.
Gryadushchiye nam otkryvayut goda.
Nam silu dayot nasha vernost’ Otchizne.
Tak bylo, tak yest’ i tak budet vsegda!


English translation
Russia—our sacred State,
Russia—our beloved country.
A mighty will, a great glory —
Is your legacy for all time!

Be glorious, our free Fatherland,
Fraternal peoples, a union for the ages,
Common wisdom handed down by our forbears
Be glorious, our country! We pride ourselves in you.

From the southern seas to the arctic circle
our forests and fields spread before you
You are unique in the world, you are without compare
The land of my birth protected by God.


Open spaces for dreams and for living
Are opened for us by the coming years
Our strength is given to us by faith in our Fatherland
Thus it was, so it is and always will be!



Flag of Russia

A tricolour consisting of three equal horizontal fields, white on the top, blue in the middle and red on the bottom. Popular myth traces the origin of the Russian flag to Tsar Peter the Great's visit to the Netherlands in 1699. The tsar, who went there to learn about shipbuilding, realised the need for Russia to have a flag for its navy too. He based Russia's flag on the flag of the Netherlands, making it a tricolour with three equal horizontal fields, but he chose Russian colors for it (the flag of the Netherlands at that time was orange, white and blue, with no red).

This story, while widely circulated, is certainly a myth, as a German flag book of 1695 (predating Peter's trip to Western Europe) already describes flags of a similar design belonging to the Tsar of Muscovy. While the Russian tricolour is allegedly based on the Dutch civil ensign, it was used earlier than is commonly presumed (in fact, it was already flown by the Oriol, the first boat of the Russian Navy, in 1667).

Three colours came from the coat of arms of the Duchy of Moscow, which depict Saint George wearing white (silver) armour, riding a white horse, wearing a blue cape and holding a blue shield, on red field. According to another version, these three colours were associated with the robes of the Virgin Mary, the holy protectress of Russia.

Adoption of new state symbolism of the Russian Federation was raised after declaration of independence of Russia and disintegration of the USSR. The President of Russia decree from December 11, 1993 approved the Regulations on the Russian Federation Flag. The decree specified proportions of flag, which became equal - 2:3 instead of earliest - 1:2 that corresponded more to old pre-revolutionary Russian Flag. Words: white, dark blue and red were referred to the Flag Colours as more habitual (instead of beautiful, but inappropriate in official documents "azure" and "scarlet" as it was in 1992.).The informal symbolism explanation of flag colours is the following: white - Peace, Cleanliness, Purity, Perfection; dark blue - Belief and Fidelity, Constancy; red - Energy, Force, Blood, which was shed for the Fatherland. B.Yeltsin by his decree from August 20, 1994 pronounced August 21 to be a national holiday - the Day of the Russian Federation Flag. Debate concerning the state symbolism inflamed with new force in the State Duma in January 1998. According to the Constitution, the separate law should approve the State Emblem and Flag; in fact the State Emblem was introduced by the decree of President B.Yeltsin. The appropriate law did not legalize the State Flag approved by with the Supreme Soviet. On behalf of the President the bill on the legislative approvement of existing State Emblem and Flag was introduced to the State Duma, but that Emblem did not suit the communist deputies, who considered it to be monarchic. Decisions were not reached. The State Duma deputies at the President Putin suggestion considered and finally passed the Constitutional Laws on the Emblem, Anthem, Flag and military banners on December 8, 2000. The Emblem and Flag were left as before. The Council of Federation approved these laws on December 20, 2000.The President Putin signed the Constitutional laws on the Emblem and Flag on December 25.
The laws came into force after publication in "Russian newspaper" on December 27, 2000.
It was decided that the Armed Forces Banner should be red only and the Navy Banner should be the Andreyevsky Flag. The ratio of the length to the width is equal to 3:2. The Council of Federation approved these laws on December 20, 2000. The President Putin signed the law on the Armed Forces Banner on December 29, 2000. The law came into force after publication in "Russian newspaper" on January 4, 2001.
The President Putin solemnly handed over the new Banner of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation to the Ministry of Defence representatives. This banner participated in the parade, which was dedicated to the 56th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War. The All-army officer assembly petitioned for replacement of the Naval Flag of the USSR by the Naval Flag of Russia that is the Andreyevsky Flag in the beginning of January 1992. And at the summit of the CIS leaders in January 16, it was decided to raise the Andreyevsky Flag on the ships of former USSR i.e. the Naval Flag of Russia, that is the successor to the USSR (the ships, which were transferred to other states of the CIS, raised the flags of the appropriate states). Then the new patterns of all naval flags were developed. The President of Russia signed the Approvement Decree on the new flags on July 21, 1992. The new flags were solemnly raised on the ships of the Navy (except for the Black Sea Fleet which status had not been stipulated yet). In accordance with the Decree the Naval Flag of Russia was established as follows: a white field with the blue St. Andrews cross. Also was established the new Jack (restored pre-revolutionary variant).

The State Emblem of Russian Empire since XV century had been a double eagle. Its shape changed lots of times & the last variant (1883) was close to the Russian Federation Emblem that is in force nowadays (with significant difference - there were emblems of provinces on the eagle's wings).
At the time of Provisional Government (from March till November of 1917) the Emblem had been a double eagle without the symbols of royal power (now it is on the coins of 1, 2 & 5 rubles value). The State Emblem of Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (picture of golden Sickle & Hummer crisscross, their shafts down, in the red background, in the sun rays, in the setting of ears, with the legend 'RSFSR' & 'Proletarians of all countries unite!', with the five-point star on the top of the Emblem) was confirmed by the Constitution of RSFSR accepted on the 10th of July, 1918, that came into force on the 19th of July, 1918; then it was described in the RSFSR Constitutions of 1937 & 1978 (the 'RSFSR' legend was changed to 'Russian Federation' by the amendments to the Constitution of the 21st of April, 1992).

In fact, since the 3rd of December, 1993 the Emblem (the golden double eagle on the red shield, topped with three crowns, with the scepter & orb in its clutches, with the horseman striking the dragon, on the red shield on his breast), confirmed by the B.N. Yeltsin decree N2050 of the 30th of November, 1993 (in the period of 'step-by-step constitutional reform'). The shield with the double eagle (in force since 1993) was confirmed by the federal constitutional law 'About State Emblem of Russian Federation' of the 27th of December, 2000; it was published & came into force on the 27th of December, 2000.

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