What Does the Flag Look Like?

The Ukrainian state flag consists of two colors: blue (at the top) and yellow (at the bottom), both forming equal bicolor horizontal bars. The official flag has a height to width ratio of 2:3. However, there are various criticisms about the correct shade of the yellow color which most believe should be golden yellow. The Ukrainian flag is simply called the state flag of Ukraine but Ukrainians may call it the “yellow and blue”. Initially, the current flag became official in 1918 during the first independence. On January 28, 1992, after the fall of USSR, the people of Ukraine re-adopted the flag by Decree No 2067-XII of the Verkhovna Rada (parliament).

What Do the Flag's Colors and Symbols Mean?

Long before the introduction of Christianity in Ukraine, the Kievan Rus (Kingdom of Galicia or Kingdom of Rus) used the blue and yellow colors. Blue symbolized the skies, mountains, and streams while the golden yellow symbolized the vast wheat fields. Later on, early Ukrainian Christianity incorporated the colors into the church symbols and subsequently, the state adopted the colors.

Who Designed the Flag?

Nobody designed the Ukrainian flag but has been historically used on Kyiv Coat of Arms to symbolize the wheat fields, fire, water, and landscape. These colors became prominent over a long period and through different rulers. However, some critics argue that the flag borrowed Sweden’s colors.

What Have Historical Versions of the Flag Looked Like?

The earliest representation of the flag, used in the 1410 Battle of Grunwald, had a golden yellow lion in a blue background climbing a white hill. During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Cossacks flew different blue and yellow banners with different courts of arms. The closest variant of the Ukrainian flag came in 1848 in Lemberg (Lviv) and it closely resembled the modern one but had different shades of blue and yellow. By the early 1900s and at the onset of the Revolution of 1905, Dnieper Ukraine, used the flag, additionally, during the struggle for independence (1917), demonstrators in Russian Ukraine openly flew this flag. Green Ukraine (Zeleny Klyn) used the blue and yellow flag but with an additional green equilateral triangle on the left. Between 1922 and 1991, Soviet Ukraine used a small yellow blue on the top left corner of a red background (1917-1918) followed by pure Red flag written У.Р.С.Р. in gold (1919-1937). From 1937 to 1949, a small golden sickle and hammer symbol was added on top of У.Р.С.Р. between 1949 and 1991, a star was positioned on top of the hammer and sickle and У.Р.С.Р. removed. The red color covered the upper three-quarter of the flag and a horizontal light blue added at the bottom.

This page was last modified on January 9th, 2018