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Flag of Karelia
Respublika Kareliya
Adopted Febuary 16, 1993
Designed by Aleksandr Ivanovich Kinner
Proportions 2:3

The flag of the Republic of Karelia, a constituent subject of the Russian Federation, is an equal horizontal tricolour of red (upper stripe), blue, and green.

SymbolismEdit

The flag is based on the flag of the Karelo-Finnish Soviet Socialist Republic (1940-1956), with the red colour symbolising the working people, the blue — the lakes and rivers, and the green — the woodlands.

HistoryEdit

The first Karelian flag, designed by Finnish artist Jonas Heiska, appeared on June 29, 1918, in the village of Ukhta (Uhtua in Finnish, renamed to Kalevala at that time) occupied by the Finnish army. In 1919 Ukhta became the site of the provisional government of the White Sea Karelia (East Karelia).

On March 21, 1920, the local government proclaimed Karelia independent from Russia. Its flag was designed by Finnish artist Akseli Gallen-Kallela. The green field did symbolise the woodlands and nature of Karelia; the black Scandinavian cross — its soils and grief; the red — the blood shed by patriots, joy, and fire. The flag was in use until 1922 when the Red Army finally took the whole region under control.

The Karelian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic within the Russian SFSR was formed on July 25, 1923, but it did not adopt a flag until 1937. In 1937-1940 it used different red flags with the names of the RSFSR and the Karelian ASSR in Russian, Karelian, and/or Finnish languages in canton.

After the Soviet-Finnish Winter War of 1939-1940 on March 31, 1940, the status of Karelia was upgraded to the Karelo-Finnish Soviet Socialist Republic within the Soviet Union. The flag it adopted included the hammer-and-sickle and the name of the republic in Finnish and Russian languages.

In 1941-1944 during the war known as the Continuation War in Finland and considered a part of the Great Patriotic War in the Soviet Union, in the Finnish-occupied areas of East Karelia the 1920 flag was flown alongside with the flag of Finland.

In 1947 it was decided that the Soviet republics should adopt flags of new design. On September 1, 1953, the Karelo-Finnish SSR adopted a flag based on the flag of the Soviet Union with a blue and a green horizontal stripes at the bottom, to represent the lakes and the woodlands of Karelia.

On July 16, 1956, the status of Karelia was downgraded and it became the Karelian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic within the RSFSR again. Its flag was the flag of the RSFSR defaced with the abbreviations "КАССР" and "KASNT" (in Russian and Finnish respectively). On May 30, 1978, a new constitution was passed, according to it the flag was defaced with the names "Карельская АССР" and "Karjalan ASNT".

In November 1991 the Republic was renamed to the Republic of Karelia. On February 16, 1993, the Supreme Council of the republic adopted a horizontal tricolour flag (based on the 1953 Karelo-Finnish flag) proposed by A.I. Kinner, one of the members of the council.

ReferencesEdit

Russia Federal subjects of Russia
Republics: AdygeaAltayBashkortostanBuryatiaChechnyaChuvashiaDagestanIngushetiaKabardino-BalkariaKalmykiaKarachay-CherkessiaKareliaKhakassiaKomiMari ElMordoviaNorth Ossetia—AlaniaSakhaTatarstanTuvaUdmurtia
Krays: AltayskiyKamchatkaKrasnodarKrasnoyarskKhabarovskPermPrimorskyStavropolZabaykalsky
Oblasts: AmurArkhangelskAstrakhanBelgorodBryanskChelyabinskIrkutskIvanovoKaliningradKalugaKemerovoKirovKostromaKurganKurskLeningradLipetskMagadanMoscowMurmanskNizhny NovgorodNovgorodNovosibirskOmskOrenburgOryolPenzaPskovRostovRyazanSakhalinSamaraSaratovSmolenskSverdlovskTambovTomskTulaTverTyumenUlyanovskVladimirVolgogradVologdaVoronezhYaroslavl
Cities of federal status: MoscowSaint Petersburg
Autonomous oblast: Jewish
Autonomous okrugs: ChukotkaKhanty-MansiNenetsYamalo-Nenets

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