World Facts

What Do the Colors and Symbols of the Flag of Lithuania Mean?

The flag Lithuania was adopted on April 25, 1918.

Lithuania is a nation in the Baltic region of Europe. The country has a population of about 2.8 million people. The region that is now Lithuania was originally inhabited by several Baltic tribes, and in the 1230s, the King of Lithuania, Mindaugas, first unified the lands to establish the Kingdom of Lithuania. The kingdom soon became very powerful and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was the largest European nation by the 14th century. Later, the Russian Empire annexed most of the territory of Lithuania during the 18th century. After the end of the First World War, the Act of Independence was signed in February 1918, which established the Republic of Lithuania.

History of the Flag of Lithuania

The current flag of Lithuania was first adopted on April 25, 1918, only two months after its independence. However, the independence of Lithuania only lasted from 1918 until 1940. The country was first occupied by Soviet Russia, and later by Nazi Germany. During the Soviet occupation, the flag of the Republic of Lithuania was discarded and replaced by a Soviet Lithuanian flag. The flag was initially a Soviet flag featuring the republic’s name, and later it appeared as a red flag with green and white bars at the bottom. The flag of the Republic of Lithuania was readopted following the re-establishment of the nation’s independence. On March 20, 1989, the previous flag introduced in 1918 was restored as the country's national flag.

Flag Design

The design, size, and use of the flag is defined in Lithuanian law that was passed in 1991 and amended in 2004. The flag is a tricolor of horizontal bands of yellow (top), green (middle), and red (bottom).

Symbolism

The yellow color on the flag of Lithuania symbolizes prosperity and the sun. The green color, forming the middle band of the tricolor, represents the greenery of the countryside and the forests of Lithuania. Green also symbolizes hope and freedom. Red, the bottom band, represents the courage of the Lithuanian people and the blood they shed to ensure the country's independence.

Use of the Flag

There are several rules regarding the use of Lithuania's national flag. The flag can be flown both horizontally and vertically. In the former case, the yellow band must be at the top, and in the latter case the red band must be towards the right. There are several other protocols regarding the use of the flag. Display of the flag is always encouraged, however, there are certain days, such as Flag Day (January 1) and Freedom Fighters Day (January 13), on which raising the flag is strongly encouraged or legally required.

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