The Flag of Belarus: History, Meaning, and Symbolism

flag of Belarus
© M_Videous/Shutterstock.com

Written by Jennifer Gaeng

Published: December 12, 2022

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The flag of Belarus has a long history. The hoist (staff) end of the red and green flag of Belarus’ is decorated with a white and red design. The State Committee for Standardization of the Republic of Belarus introduced the current design in 2012. Are you interested in learning more? In this article, we are going to explore the history, meaning, and symbolism of the flag of Belarus.

Flag of Belarus History

In 1995, the primary elements of the Belarusian national flag were first laid forth.

©MaciejForyszewski/Shutterstock.com

The early 1900s (Soviet Era)

Prior to Belarus becoming a Soviet Republic in 1918, the flag was initially used by the Belarusian People’s Republic. After that, the Belarusian national movement in West Belarus used it. Then, when Nazi Germany invaded Belarus between 1942 and 1944, its flag was extensively used unofficially. The current flag is a variation of the one flown in 1951 when the country was a republic of the Soviet Union.

1951

The flag of the Byelorussian SSR was formally adopted on December 25, 1951. The flag was somewhat altered in 1956 with the addition of the architectural features of the state emblems. These emblems consisted of a red star and a gold hammer and dagger (sickle). The final specifications of the flag were defined in Byelorussian SSR Constitution Article 120, and they are very similar to those of the nation’s current flag. The length-to-breadth ratio of the flag was 1:1, the same as that of the Soviet Union.

1995 (referendum)

The current flag of Belarus was adopted from a proposal that had been approved in a vote in May 1995. Since then, the flag that was flown over the country in 1951, when it was a Soviet Union republic, has been changed. The hammer and sickle and red star, which were considered “communist” symbols, were removed from the Soviet-era flag, and the colors used in the pattern of embellishment were reversed.

Numerous flags adopted by Belarusian government officials and agencies following the 1995 referendum were modeled after this national flag. For instance, a decree titled “Concerning the Standard of the President of the Republic of Belarus” established the presidential pattern, which has been used since 1997. The design of the standard is an exact replica of the national flag, with the addition of the red and gold Belarusian national insignia. The national flag’s ratios make the standard practically square. It is used to indicate the president’s attendance in buildings and appearance on vehicles.

President Lukashenko signed a decree in 2001 giving the Belarusian Armed Forces a flag. The national decorative pattern runs the length of the hoist of the flag. The word “Armed Forces” is arched over the Belarusian coat of arms on the front of the flag, and the words “of the Republic of Belarus” are printed beneath it in gold letters. The military’s emblem, a red star encircled by an oak and laurel wreath, is located in the center of the reverse of the flag. The slogan “For our Motherland” appears above the insignia, and the complete name of the military unit appears below.

Flag of Belarus Meaning

flag of Belarus

The primary colors of the flag of Belarus are red and green with accents of white.

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Design

In Presidential Decree No. 214, which was released on June 7, 1995, the primary elements of the Belarusian national flag were first laid forth. Two horizontal red and green stripes that span two-thirds of the flag’s height are sewn onto a rectangular fabric. One-ninth of the flagstaff is covered by a typical red and white decorative pattern from Belarus. The ratio of the flag’s width to its length is 2:1.

The only significant differences between the current flag and that of the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic are the removal of the hammer and sickle and the red star, as well as the switch from white-on-red to red-on-white in the hoist design. The color pattern on the hoist of the flag, which is a conventional design Belarusians regularly use, was inspired by local plants and flowers. The majority of the time, these patterns are used in woven garments for ceremonial events including religious ceremonies, funerals, and social gatherings.

Colors

The primary colors of the flag of Belarus are red and green with accents of white. Although the flag’s colors don’t have any formal meaning, according to President Alexander Lukashenko, red stands for the country’s independence and the sacrifices made by its ancestors, while green represents the sanctity of life. However, many different symbolisms of this nation’s flag are said to exist.

Flag of Belarus Symbolism

Based on its colors and design, the Belarusian flag is claimed to stand for a variety of things. Red, for instance, is supposed to represent strength, bravery, honor, and vigor. Green is a color that stands for life, creativity, natural harmony, faith, health, and vitality. White also represents harmony, wisdom, and purity.

According to tradition, the stunning pattern that climbs the hoist symbolizes the country’s deep spiritual legacy and centuries-old heritage. In addition to representing sustenance, agriculture, and procreation, the national flag’s exquisite design honors skill and hard labor, which are the cornerstones of its people’s prosperity.

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About the Author

Jennifer Gaeng is a writer at A-Z-Animals focused on animals, lakes, and fishing. With over 15 years of collective experience in writing and researching, Jennifer has honed her skills in various niches, including nature, animals, family care, and self-care. Hailing from Missouri, Jennifer finds inspiration in spending quality time with her loved ones. Her creative spirit extends beyond her writing endeavors, as she finds joy in the art of drawing and immersing herself in the beauty of nature.

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