Russian trade tricolor over a replica of the Peter's vessel
Oh Russia! forget the former glory:
The two-headed eagle is afflicted
And yellow children for fun
Given the shreds of your banners.
The two-headed eagle is afflicted
And yellow children for fun
Given the shreds of your banners.
Long way to the state flag. Subject stories The VO readers liked the flags. All of them agreed that this topic, even if it is rich to disbelief, but the third article should be devoted to the flag of Russia. And it even turns out somehow inconvenient: where is our flag? And our story is no less interesting than that of Italian. The same ancient and full of myths. For example, for some reason, some people believe that the flag of the same Ivan the Terrible was red. And this despite the fact that the description of the "Great Banner" of Ivan IV (1560) and himself have survived. This is what the “great banner” looked like, sewn according to the medieval tradition from fabrics of different colors and, in addition, covered with embroidered images. It was “built” (then they wrote “build”, not sew!) From Chinese taffeta with one “slope”, that is, with a triangular braid at the top. The middle was azure (light blue), the slope was sugar (that is, white), the border around the main panel was lingonberry, and around the slope was poppy. In the middle of the azure cloth there was a circle of dark blue taffeta, in which there was an image of the Savior in white clothes and on a white horse. Around this circle were embroidered golden cherubim and seraphim, and to the left of the circle and under it were also a large heavenly host, also in white clothes and on white horses. Another circle was sewn into the slope, but this time made of white taffeta, and in it was Saint Michael the Archangel with a sword in his right hand and a cross in his left, on a golden winged horse. At the same time, both the middle and the entire slope were embroidered with gold - crosses and stars.
"Great banner" of Tsar Ivan the Terrible
Another banner is known, which is referred to in the chronicle description of the siege of Kazan by Ivan the Terrible in 1552 and where it is said: “and the sovereign of the kherugvi ordered the Christian to unfold, that is to say, the banner, on them the image of our Lord Jesus Christ Not Made by Hands” After the seizure of Kazan at the banner, which had the name of the "Most Merciful Savior," not only was a solemn prayer service immediately served, but in the place where this flag stood during the siege, the tsar ordered to erect a church! That is, this banner played the role of a kind of icon and was colored accordingly icon-painting, and not at all worldly canons. And we are very lucky that this historical banner has survived to this day and is now kept in Armory chamber of the Kremlin. Its length is 4 arshins 2 vershoks (i.e. about 3 meters), its height is 2 arshins 2 vershoks (1,5 meters). The image of Christ is, in fact, an icon on the fabric, embroidered with gold, silver and silk threads; two crosses and five stars are embroidered on the slope, and the edge is trimmed with gold and crimson silk. The fabric itself is dark crimson and, in addition, patterned.
Among the relics of the Armory are the whole banners of Ermak, under which he conquered the Siberian Khanate of Kuchum. They are all blue. The length of each is more than 3 arshins (2 meters), and two images are embroidered on one at once: Christ and St. Michael, on the other two - a unicorn and a lion.
Well, referring to the more ancient chronicle miniatures, we often see flags with panels in the form of triangular pennants of red and blue colors, that is, everything is according to the iconographic tradition: after all, these are the colors of the robe of the Virgin.
Accordingly, the tsars who succeeded Ivan IV used very similar flags, "built" of expensive brocade, woven with gold, and embroidered with the faces of the patron saints of Russia and the Russian army. This is how, for example, the banner of the Great Regiment of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich, father of Peter the Great, sewn in 1654, looked like.
The banner of the Great Regiment of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich from 1654 to 1701, when it was canceled by Peter I
It is interesting that, although the banners of the sovereign regiments, that is, large military formations, were real works of art, the banners of the Streletsky regiments were, on the contrary, extremely simple and were multi-colored panels without any embroidery, but with the obligatory straight cross of contrasting colors in relation to the main field. Moreover, all the "colored" Moscow rifle regiments, which also wore colored hats, caftans and boots, had almost the same design, but different colors.
As for Peter I, at the beginning of his reign he used the old-style banners with a "slope" and all kinds of embroidery. This, for example, was his coat of arms in 1696.
Coat of arms of Peter I 1696
However, it is interesting that the sea flag of the Russian state appeared five years before it was born! Then, in 1667, by the tsar's decree, the first Russian warship "Eagle" was built on the Volga, and it was he who needed the flag. In a document of 1667 entitled: "Painting, what else is needed for the ship structure, cut off what is now bought ..." the commander of the ship "Eagle" asked to release him more matter for the flags, and added the following: "and those flowers are all Kindyaki like the Great The sovereign will indicate, only on ships there is, which state is the ship, that state is the banner. " That is, judging by the text, he did not know the colors and structure of the state moisture of Russia, but he knew that the ships sail under the state flags, which is why he asked for the appropriate fabrics, that is, "Kindyaks."
The choice of the flag was then taken very seriously. So, Alexei Mikhailovich prepared a special "Scripture on the conception of signs and banners or ensigns", which depicted the flags of all the biblical twelve tribes of Israel, as well as the state and naval flags of England, Denmark, Sweden and Holland. Then April 9, 1667. The Siberian order received an order "to send from exchange goods three hundred and ten arshins of kindyaks and one hundred and fifty arshins of worm-like (that is, red), white, azure (blue) tafts for shipbuilding for banners and yalovchiks (yalovtsy - pennants)."
True, it is still impossible to establish the design of the flag from the surviving documents. But it is believed that it included a blue straight cross, as well as two white squares and, accordingly, two red squares located diagonally, and in addition it was also trimmed with a red border. That is, for some reason it is very similar, just like the banners of the "colored" Moscow rifle regiments!
Flag of 1668
That is, how he looked exactly, we still do not know, but we can only assume this. But it is known that in 1693 Peter I, sailing on the White Sea, for the first time raised the "flag of the Tsar of Moscow" on his yacht. And that flag consisted of three horizontal stripes of white, blue and red, and in the center of the flag a two-headed eagle was embroidered in gold. This flag can be considered the state flag, since there were simply no others at that time, but since the tsar himself was there, it can also be considered the tsar's standard.
Flag of Russia, 1693
In 1712, Peter I personally created a model of the flag for the naval fleet, a very simple and laconic white flag with an oblique azure cross - St. Andrew's flag, named in honor of the Holy Apostle Andrew the First-Called. The flag of stripes of white, blue and red remained in the Navy as the flag of merchant ships, it also became the military field flag of the Russian army, part of the officer's uniform (as an officer's scarf over his shoulder), and then also the state flag of the empire!
Andrew's flag, 1712
Why didn't Peter I keep the old flag with a vertical blue cross, or why didn't he arrange the stripes vertically? We can only guess about that. One thing is clear: the origin of the red and blue colors of the Russian flag from the colors of the clothes of the Virgin, as they were depicted on the icons. This is why these colors were so popular. And people saw these colors from early childhood, considered them a shrine and kissed, begging the Lord for grace for themselves and their children.
And for a long time, these two flags, trade-imperial and naval, suited everyone in Russia. But in 1858, Emperor Alexander II adopted a new flag for special occasions, which had completely different colors: the upper stripe is black, the middle yellow and the lower one is white. The proposal came from Baron Kene, who pointed out to the emperor that the colors of the flag did not correspond to the colors of the state coat of arms, which was a violation of the rules of German heraldry.
Flag of Russia, 1858
A decree was issued, according to which black, orange (gold) and white became the state colors of the Russian Empire. The symbolism of the flowers was simple and understandable: black symbolized the earth, and the other two - gold and silver. In addition, the benefit of black is also that it implies absolute dominance. He can “paint over” any other color, but “paint over” black is not so easy. However, the new flag did not gain popularity in society, since the influence of the "non-reckoning" was felt in it, and the Germans were not liked in Russia. There was one more, purely psychological reason: the black color, heavy, gloomy, the color of hell and hellish torment, was located in it above! This was a violation of the tradition of visualizing the “heavenly world” as “the golden world” (“the color of paradise”), the world of “divine purity” (“dove color” of innocence) and the world of “heavenly blue”. People were not ready for this psychologically and therefore did not accept the new flag in their hearts.
But here Alexander III, during his coronation, noticed that his festive procession was decorated with some flags, but the city was decorated with completely different ones. That is, black-yellow-white colors sharply discord with white-blue-red. The emperor, who stood up for the unity of power and people, considered this situation abnormal and on April 28, 1883 ordered to raise exclusively the white-blue-red flag of the Russian merchant marine fleet on all solemn occasions.
However, this flag received state status only on the eve of the coronation of Emperor Nicholas II. At the same time, his description indicated that the red color in it symbolizes "statehood", azure (blue) - the patronage of the Mother of God (remember the color of her clothes on the icons!), But white in this case no longer symbolized purity, but freedom and independence.
In 1914, the Russian flag changed again. A special circular from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs introduced a new national white-blue-red flag with a yellow square ("kryzha") added to the top with a black double-headed eagle. Well, apparently, the black eagle on a yellow background looked very good. By the way, the personal naval standard of Peter the Great, with maps of the seas washing Russia in the claws and beaks of eagles, was just such a yellow and black eagle!
Peter I standard
It turned out to be very successful in all respects, which is why it was not replaced until 1917. Psychologically, the black eagle is absolute dominance, and the golden background is absolute wealth. And what can be opposed to these two symbols? Nothing!
Imperial Standard (1857-1883)
In April 1918, at the suggestion of Sverdlov, the state flag began to look like this: a red cloth with the inscription "RSFSR" in gold in the upper left corner. Everything is obvious, simple and clear.
Russian flag in 1918
In 1920, the flag of the USSR was adopted, on the model of which, that is, with a hammer and sickle in the upper right corner, and abbreviations denoting a particular republic, the flags of our union states were also created. But the flag of Russia as such did not exist until 1954, when on May 2, by a decree of the Presidium of the RSFSR, the Russian flag was finally approved. It was a red cloth with a light blue stripe near the shaft from top to bottom. In the upper left corner were the traditional golden hammer and sickle, and above them a red five-pointed star bordered in gold. It is clear that the blue color in this case symbolized the blue sky above us and the blue seas around us, but the original, “spiritual” context of this flag has not disappeared anywhere either. If Peter I himself was a somewhat more religious person, he could well have come up with a blue-red or red-blue flag for Russia with a golden Orthodox cross located on the color separation line. All according to the well-known popular saying: a candle to God, and a devil of a poker! I would follow all the icon-painting traditions and create a very memorable laconic flag, on which the Orthodox would be baptized, like an icon. Such a flag, like the power of the sovereign, the "anointed of God", would be easy to deify. But he did not think of this, alas!
Flag of Russia, 1954
And August 22, 1991 was marked by the beginning of a new history of the Russian flag. A rectangular cloth with horizontal stripes of white, blue and red colors of different sizes with an aspect ratio of 1: 2 was adopted as the state flag.
Flag of Russia, adopted in 1991
Note that the flag of our Fatherland is a banner with a very, very difficult fate in all respects. Twice it was compromised by the bloodshed of the brotherly blood of Russians: the first time during the Civil War, when it was used by the armies of the White Guards, and during the Great Patriotic War, when the ROA fought under it.
It would seem that this alone would have been enough to permanently abandon this symbol, but apparently in 1991 they thought differently or simply forgot about these episodes ... in a hurry. Meanwhile, it was quite possible to revive the old imperial flag of the heyday of the Russian Empire, that is, the black-yellow-white tricolor. And, by the way, in order to be accepted then on the wave of the general thirst for change, it was only necessary to turn it over so that the black "mourning" strip was below!
Then the flag would read like this. Below is the "land", the main wealth of Russia, its black soil, its bowels. In the middle, "gold" is all that is created by the labor of its citizens on this earth. By the way, the primordial wealth of Russia is “the gold of bread”. Finally, the upper band is white, the color of purity of thoughts, piety, and nobility. It could have turned out beautifully, wouldn't it, but that too ... didn't work out. Well, the president's standard, as before, could have been gold, with the same black eagle clutching a hammer and sickle in its paws!