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Soviet Union

Советский Союз

Last modified: 2005-04-09 by
Keywords: soviet union | ussr | sssr | cccp | communism | hammer and sickle (yellow) | serp i molet | hammer | sickle | red flag | star: 5 points (fimbriated) |
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[Flag of USSR]
by António Martins, 01 Nov 2002
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About the flag

The Soviet national flag, as most soviet flags, used a medium, bright shade of red. Soviet flag laws clearly distinguish between this shade of red, or scarlet (alyĭ | алый), and a darker shade (krapovyĭ | краповый or purpurnyĭ | пурпурный) used only on a few flags.
António Martins, 28 Jan 2001

History and symbology

The hammer and sickle itself, originate from the unique Russian unity of the peasants (the sickle) with the workers (the hammer) who together formed the Soviet Russian state. The Red field is symbolism of the blood that has been spilt by workers the world over in the fight for their emancipation, and was directly inherited from the red banner flown at the Paris Commune; the original and hitherto “base” symbol of a workerʼs government flag. The single yellow star is both the representation of the life and immense energy of the sun, empty because within is the blood or production of workers struggle; and also the five points of the star symbolize the single unity and international representation of the government — each of the five points is representative of the five (up to then known/recognized) continents.
Brian Basgen (Marxists Internet Archive Director), 07 Jul 2000

Soviet flag with hammer, sickle and star was not created in 1918! It was adopted in 1923. The star on the flag was red with yellow border (not plain red). Only the coat of arms and some military colours were with hammer and sickle in 1918. Hammer and sickle existed in soviet symbolism since 1917.
Victor Lomantsov, 08 Jul 2000 and 09 Jul 2000


Vertical hoisting

[SU flag vert. hoisted] by Al Kirsch and António Martins, 08 Nov 2001

In USSR vertical flag hanging of flags was very rare. I never saw it. But I saw a foto of 1980ʼies with vertical flag of USSR, with an upright hammer and sickle on the upper “hoist” (dexter). I think this foto was from the Olympic Games of 1980.
Victor Lomantsov, 20 Nov 2000

This is a special flag for vertical display. If [a regular] flag was simply rotated 90 degrees clockwise, the H&S moved to the upper right and faced “down”. If the flag was “flipped” as the US flag is, the H&S faced “down” and was reversed.
Al Kirsch, 08 Nov 2001

According to my understanding, the H&S appeared only on the obverse of the Soviet flag and the reverse was plain red. If so, then flipping [a regular] flag over like the US flag would give you only a vertically hoisted plain red cloth.
Joe McMillan, 08 Nov 2001



Typical finial

[soviet flag finial] image by Zach Harden, 09 Sep 2001,
and António Martins, 15 Nov 2002

This finial was used in the Soviet Union. Belarus is currently using this finial as their own.
Zach Harden, 09 Sep 2001



Coat of arms

[Coat of arms of the Soviet Union]
by António Martins, 05 Aug 1999

The state emblem of the Soviet Union (corresponding to a coat of arms) had the Earth superimposed by the hammer and sicle.
Elias Granqvist, 25 Nov 2000

Two bundles of corn ears heavily draped with a scroll, reading in all the 15 SSR languages the motto «workers of the world, unite thee»; the bundles encirle an earth globe (viewed approx. from the vertical of the Black Sea) showing solid continents and coordinate lines in 20 deg. intervals. On it a hammer and a sickle, crossed per saltire, in naturalistic look. Under the globe a rising sun with alternating long and short rays made of single lines (approx. 30 visible rays); above the globe a double fimbriated dense star.
António Martins, 05 Aug 1999

Victor Lomantsov, 21 Mar 2001

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