|Flag of Armenia|
|Adopted||August 24, 1991 |
The flag of Armenia is a horizontal tricolour of red, blue, and orange. The aspect ratio is 1:2.
Originally the flag was adopted in 1918, but it had aspect ratio 2:3 then.
The official definition of the colours, as stated in the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia, is:
- Red symbolizes the Armenian Highland, the Armenian people's continued struggle for survival, maintenance of the Christian faith, Armenia's independence and freedom. Blue symbolizes the will of the people of Armenia to live beneath peaceful skies. Orange symbolizes the creative talent and hard-working nature of the people of Armenia.
Other interpretations of the colours were proposed.
The flag is based on the colours used by Rubenid Dynasty that established the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia (11th-14th centuries).
At the collapse of the Russian Empire in 1917, the area became part of the short-lived state Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic (February-May 1918, together with Georgia and Azerbaijan). The federation was dissolved on May 26, 1918, when Georgia declared its independence. Two days later, on May 28, 1918, Armenia proclaimed its independence as the Democratic Republic of Armenia.
On November 29, 1920 Bolsheviks established the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic. A new flag was introduced and fixed in the constitution, accepted on February 2, 1922 by the First Congress of Soviets of the Armenian SSR — it was a red banner with Russian abbreviation ССРА (for "Soviet Socialist Republic of Armenia") in canton. That flag existed only for a month, because on March 12 the Armenian SSR united with the Georgian SSR and the Azerbaijan SSR into the Transcaucasian SFSR. On December 30, 1922 the Transcaucasian SFSR became one of the four republics that united to form the Soviet Union. The flag of the republic had a hammer and sickle inserted into a star with initials "ЗСФСР" (ZSFSR). These letters stand for Закавказская Советская Федеративная Социалистическая Республика (Zakavkazskaya Sovetskaya Federativnaya Socialisticheskaya Respublika, "Transcaucasian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic").
In 1936, the TSFSR was dissolved into its three constituent regions: the Georgian SSR, the Armenian SSR, and the Azerbaijan SSR. The Armenian SSR adopted a red flag with the hammer and sickle and the abbreviation ՀԽՍՀ in golden Armenian letters (HXSH, in the Western Armanian language) in canton. In 1940 the abbreviation was changed to ՀՍՍՌ (HSSR) to reflect the name of the republic in the Eastern Armenian language (Haykakan Sovetakan Sotsialistakan Respublika).
In the early 1950s new pattern of flags for the Soviet Republics was introduced, and the Armenian SSR adopted its new flag in 1952. It was the same as the flag of the Soviet Union but with blue horizontal stripe in the middle.
In late May 1988, amid rising nationalist tensions, Armenia's new Communist party leader allowed the banned tricolour of the Democratic Republic of Armenia to fly in Yerevan for the first time in over sixty years.
Armenia declared its state sovereignty on August 23, 1990 and changed the name to the Republic of Armenia. In August of 1991 a referendum was held on the question of secession. Following an overwhelming vote in favour, full independence was declared on September 21, 1991. Three days later the republic adopted the contemporary tricolour.