25 February 2011, Friday, 11:51
author: Marina Shumilova
February 25 is the Day of State Flag RB and it is marked since 2002.
The adoption of the declaration about state sovereignty RB in 1990 anticipated the necessity in its new official attributes – the state flag, the emblem and the hymn. 19 years ago on February 25, 1992, the Supreme Soviet of the Bashkir Autonomous Soviet Republic has passed the law concerning renaming of the Republic. According to the law the Republic was renamed into Republic of Bashkortostan. The Supreme Soviet has also approved the new flag, becoming one of the official symbols of its sovereignty. The state emblem and the state hymn RB have been approved later, on October 12, 1993.
The present state flag RB has its own history. First, the designers of the project turned back to the past – to the flag, which, as it turned out, appeared still at the beginning of the XIX century. The information about that flag is rather poor: on the background of the two-headed eagle and the hexagonal stars, scattered all over the cloth there were the phrases, taken from Koran. Since Bashkiria was included into the staff of Orenburg province that time, that flag wasn’t a state one. It was rather a symbol of the definite social group – the Bashkir Cossacks. It was also offered to take the flag, which was approved by the first Bashkir Government on August 21, 1918. The description of that flag is available. It represented the cloth, consisting of three equal horizontal stripes: the upper stripe was blue, the middle – green and the lower – white. The blue color meant the belonging of Bashkir to the Turk group, the green was interpreted as the adherence of Bashkirs to Islam and the white color symbolized the striving of Bashkir nation for peace, prosperity and happiness.
New variants of the flag were also offered to the contest’s jury. One of the variants contained the semi-crescent – the symbol, common for all Muslim countries, which appeared still in the times of the Osman Empire. Another variant represented the image of the stylized ancient Indian swastika, interpreted as the sign of light and generosity. These variants were rejected by the jury because the state symbol should have the attributes, uniting all nations, living in the state, into one unity and the variant with the semi-crescent pointed to the belonging to the definite religion and was rather a religious sign, not talking about the swastika, which in spite of its original quite peaceful meaning, aroused absolutely definite historical associations in Russia.
The commission has given the preference to the variant of the flag, designed by the painters Ural Masalimov and Olga Asabina. The state flag RB represents the rectangular cloth with the equal horizontal stripes of green, white and blue colors (bottom-up). The green color means freedom and eternity of life; the white color stands for peacefulness, openness and readiness to mutual cooperation of all Republican nations; the blue color means clarity, virtue and purity of intentions. The green color is considered the color of Islam, it is so but the green color is present on the state flags of non-Muslim countries too – Ireland, Mexico, Portugal, Italy, Bolivia, Brazil, Hungary and Bulgaria. The golden emblem – the circle with the stylized saltwort flower, consisting of seven petals, stands in the center of the white stripe. The saltwort flower symbolizes friendship and seven its petals point to the seven clans of Bashkir nation.
For the last years the state flag RB has become the inseparable and customary attribute of the Republican state and public life. It is well-known beyond Bashkortostan too, fluttering over the buildings of the Republican representative offices in Russian regions and accompanying our official delegations both in CIS and foreign countries.