The Flags of Belarus
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The A Belarus Miscellany Web site proudly displays (on its opening page) two of the first postage stamps issued by the newly independent Republic of Belarus (August 31, 1992; specifically, the 4th & 5th stamps). The white-red-white flag and the Pahonia are important, affirmative symbols of Belarus as a people and as an independent nation.
- For information about the other traditional symbols of Belarus, see the Pahonia and the National Anthem of Belarus information and links on this A Belarus Miscellany Web site.
- For information about the postage stamps of Belarus, see the Bel-Poshta and Other Postage Stamp information at this Web site. Note: This flag stamp is the first time since 1921 when Belarus issued a postal stamp, an important aspect of the nation's sovereignty.
- For a dramatic photograph (by ? ) that appeared in Narodnaya Hazieta during that brief period (in the late 1980s--early 1990s) filled with the hope of democracy, see a copy of the cover of the book, Belarus: At a Crossroads in History (1993) at this Web site.
The A Belarus Miscellany Web site includes the image of the historical white-red-white flag of an independent, democratic Belarus, whose history goes back as far as the Middle Ages. This flag was also adopted by the Belarusian Democratic Republic in 1918, and has three horizontally arranged stripes, white-red-white, of equal width.
The current official symbols of Belarus, as of the referendum of May 14, 1995, returned Belarus to a modified Soviet-era flag (from either 1951 or 1956; I have found two dates) and state seal (similar to the other Soviet republics; from 1919).
To anyone familiar with the current situation in Belarus and with the history of Belarus, the reasons for including the white-red-white flag and the Pahonia here instead are obvious.
I will be very happy to include the official flag of a democratic, independent Republic of Belarus on this Web site; but only when such a state exists. (That is, when there is rule of law, civil society, checks and balances, open media, and protection for individual and human--including economic--rights in Belarus.)
- Other Factoids:
The white-red-white flag and the Pahonia symbols are considered (by the current regime in power in Belarus) to be only displayed by those people who are "against" them. This regime claims that these symbols are tainted since they were used by Nazi collaborators and sympathizers during World War II. (Yet somehow, the current modified Soviet symbols used by the Republic of Belarus are not tainted, even though millions of Belarusians were murdered or imprisoned by the Soviets before, during, and after World War II.)
Of course, reality is more complicated than what is described by the current regime, even if such statements were accurate--which they are not. The Soviets referred to all people who did not support them as "fascists" or fascist sympathizers, yet in many ways, a civil war was fought in Belarus during World War II.
- Refer to the link included here for information about the current official flag of the Republic of Belarus, and for images of other historical (Soviet) flags of Belarus.
- Belarusian Flag Information This link is part of the Flags of the World (FoTW) Web site.
- Also refer to the following FoTW page for information about the Byelorussian SSR (USSR) flags of the Soviet era of Belarus. (Note that the current official flag comes from the Soviet BSSR flag of 1951--states the flags Web site; another source cites 1956 as the year.)
- Also refer to the World Flag Database: Belarus from a site in the UK
- Refer to this section of the Virtual Guide to Belarus Web page for a discussion of the following symbols of Belarus, as well as associated pointers to other sites: Belarusian Statehood: Belarusian State, Anthem, Symbol, and Flag.
And especially refer to the Belarusian State Symbol: Pahonia -- the Chase section of the Virtual Guide.
- Refer to the material about the November, 1996, Referendum, for further background information about the current regime in Belarus.
As the inventories of traditional flags, patches, label pins, etc., are depleted, it is getting more and more difficult to find these traditional symbols of Belarus. If you know of a commercial source, please contact me, and I will add that reference here. (I will give preference to Belarusian non-profit cultural organizations to this list.)
- Go to the Commercial Sources - Menu
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