The flag of Ukraine is a simple design consisting of two equal bands of blue and yellow. The former is on top while the latter is below. These are the two official flag colors as determined by the Law of Ukraine. The colors are based on the flag of the 12th century Kingdom of Galicia–Volhynia. The two colors have been used on the national flag of Ukraine since 1848 and were officially adopted for the nation’s flag back in 1918. During the period when Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union, the flag was outlawed and was not reinstated until 1991, although it was on a provisional basis. On January 28, 1992, the Parliament of Ukraine officially restored the blue-yellow flag.
Symbolism of the Flag of Ukraine
To understand the importance of the colors, a brief analysis of the history of Ukraine is required. The origin of the colors goes all the way back to before the Christian times when, in traditional ceremonies, the blue and yellow colors were used to reflect water and fire. The clearest known usage of these colors goes all the way back to the Battle of Grunwald, which involved fighters from the Polish-Lithuanian Union. Other color combinations that were also used include red-black, raspberry, and crimson-olive.
However, after 1848, a different explanation arose after the order of the colors was changed from yellow-blue to blue-yellow. The blue color is said to represent the blue sky while the yellow represents wheat. However, this popular explanation has nothing to do with the choice or the history of the color but has now become the common one amongst the majority of Ukrainians and the world. The order of the colors was changed as legislators believed that the current order is more appealing to the eyes of the common person.
The order of the flag is a discussion that has been around since 1918. However, the government of Ukraine stated clearly that the top color would be light blue while the yellow one would be below. Both the government of the Ukrainian People’s Republic and the Ukrainian State had similar thoughts on the arrangement of the colors. The light blue was later changed to a darker blue since it was determined that light blue would not be seen clearly under the sun.
Flag Day in the Ukraine
Flag Day in Ukraine has been celebrated every year on August 23 since 2004. Initially, there was a similar celebration on July 24 of every year with the first time being 1990. However, after the Independence Day in 1992, the celebration was changed to August 24. The law states clearly that all public buildings must fly the flag on that day and other holidays.
Other days the flag is flown includes days such as election days, regional-specific holidays, the election of a president, the passing away of a prominent politician, or when the Cabinet of Ministers decrees it. Should the flag be flown due to the death of a prominent politician, it is usually flown at half-mast and a black ribbon of mourning is also attached.