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National Flag Day of Ukraine

On the 23d of August, just before the Independence Day, Ukraine celebrates National Flag Day of Ukraine. On this day you could see Ukrainian flags everywhere: on the buildings and balconies, in the windows, on the flagpoles, in the cars, on the bags and backpacks, etc.

The first ceremonial raising of the yellow-and-blue Ukrainian flag in modern times took place on 24 July 1990 at the flagstaff of the Kyiv City Council, two years before the flag was officially adopted as the National flag of the Ukrainian state (1992).

After the publication of the relevant Presidential Decree, the Flag Day was announced on August 23, 2004.

Flag of Ukraine consists of two equal horizontal stripes of blue and yellow colors. Some put the starting point of the current national flag of Ukraine in year 1848, when during the Spring of the Nations a a yellow and blue banner was adopted by the Main Ruthenian Council in Lviv and flew over the city’s magistrate for the first time. Although this move did not have significant consequences, the newly formed Ukrainian divisions in the Austrian army used yellow and blue banners in their insignia.

The short-lived Ukrainian People’s Republic adopted this flag as national flag in 1918, but later, after formation of the Soviet Union, the flag was outlawed. It was officially restored only in 1992, after proclamation of independence.

Two colors of the flag are symbolical for Ukrainians. The roots of Ukrainian national symbols come from before Christian times when yellow and blue prevailed in traditional ceremonies, reflecting fire and water. Yellow–blue, red-black, crimson-olive and especially raspberry colour banners were widely used by Cossacks between the 16th and 18th centuries. Also, yellow and blue were the colours common on coats of arms in Galicia. In fact, the coat of arms of Lviv to this day remains a golden lion on a blue field.

A modern interpretation of the meaning of the colors used in the Ukrainian flag is that the color blue represents the color of the sky, and yellow symbolizes golden wheat fields. This association is thought to have been developed in the mid nineteenth century.