Armenian Flag: Red, Blue, and Orange
One of the most prominent symbols for Armenians around the world is the Armenian flag. Dominated by its red, blue, and orange stripes, this flag has been a symbol of unity and strength for Armenians all over the world. Armenia became independent in 1991 after almost 70 years of Soviet rule and, prior to the First Republic, nearly 600 years of foreign rule. The flag is a reminder of how Armenia is finally an independent country.
The Story of the Armenian Flag
The flag of the Republic of Armenia was adopted on August 24th, 1990 by the Armenian Supreme Soviet. The flag is characterized by its red, blue, and orange (apricot-colored) stripes.
The colors of the flag of Armenia have significant meaning that symbolizes the Armenian culture and history. It was derived from the flag that was used for the First Republic of Armenia in 1918.
According to the Constitution of Armenia, the red stripe is meant to symbolize the Armenian Highland, the struggle for survival of the Armenian people, their Christian faith, and the long-awaited independence and freedom of Armenia. Some people also interpret the red color to symbolize the blood of the 1.5 million Armenians who were killed in the Armenian Genocide.
The blue stripe is meant to signify peace and how the Armenian people wish to live peacefully.
And the orange color refers to the talent and hard-working nature of Armenians.
The inspiration behind the design was the flag of the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia under the rule of the Lusignan Dynasty.
Famous Armenian painter Martiros Saryan had proposed a rainbow flag to symbolize the rainbow that appeared over Mount Ararat when Noah’s Ark landed on the mountain, but the idea was rejected. However, you may see the flag at the Martiros Saryan House Museum.
Armenian National Flag Day
The Armenian National Flag Day is celebrated every year on June 15th as of 2010. It is celebrated on this day due to the fact that the Law on the National Flag of Armenia was passed on June 15th, 2006.
The flag, according to the law, must be displayed on all state holidays, which include: January 1st (New Year’s), January 6th (Armenian Apostolic Christmas), March 8th (International Women’s Day), April 7th (Motherhood and Beauty Day), May 1st (International Worker’s Solidarity Day), May 9th (Victory and Peace Day), May 28th (First Armenian Republic Day), July 5th (Armenian Constitution Day), September 21st (Armenian Independence Day), and December 7th (Spitak Earthquake Remembrance Day).
In addition, it must be displayed on the following buildings: Presidential Residence, Parliament building, Government building, Constitutional Court, the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the Central Bank of Armenia, and other government buildings, including Armenian embassies across the world.
History of the Armenian Flag
As Armenia has a very long history, it also has had many different flags. Here are some of the most prominent flags that were used during the different dynasties and other time periods in Armenian history. These flags frequently featured animals, such as tigers, eagles, or dragons.
The flag of the Artaxiad Dynasty (190 BC-12 AD)
The flag of the Arsacid Dynasty (52 AD-428 AD)
The flag of the Bagratid Dynasty (885-1045)
The flags of the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia under the Rubenid Dynasty, Hethumid Dynasty, and Lusignan Dynasty respectively (1198-1375)
Flag of the Armenian SSR (1952-1990)
Current Flag of the Republic of Armenia (1990-)
Flag of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh)
The Republic of Artsakh is considered to be a de facto independent country. Its national flag, which was adopted on June 2, 1992, looks very similar to the flag of the Republic of Armenia. The only thing that is different is the white pattern on the right side.
The red, blue, and orange stripes all share the same meaning that they do on the Armenian flag. However, the white pattern on the side, which has five steps, is meant to symbolize the separation of Artsakh from Armenia. This is in reference to the fact that Artsakh was a part of the Azerbaijan SSR, and then declared its independence in 1992, which ensued in a bloody war that continues today. The ultimate goal of the flag’s pattern is for Artsakh and Armenia to be joined together once more.
Coat of arms of Armenia
The Armenian Coat of Arms is another important national symbol of Armenia, and it is also celebrated on June 15th. It was adopted by the Supreme Council in 1992. As pictured above, the Coat of Arms is frequently displayed in the center of the Armenian flag. It was derived from the coat of arms used during the First Republic of Armenia and was designed by Alexander Tamanyan and Hakob Kojoyan.
The Coat of Arms is significant because it combines symbols from Armenia’s past and present. The four sections represent the four independent kingdoms in Armenian history. The upper left features a lion with a cross, which was the symbol of the Bagratuni Dynasty. The upper right has the two-headed eagle of the Arshakuni Dynasty, the lower right features the lion with a cross from the Rubenid Dynasty, and the lower left features the two eagles facing each other from the Artashesyan Dynasty.
The center of the Coat of Arms features Mount Ararat with Noah’s Ark on top of it, since, according to the Book of Genesis, Noah’s Ark landed on Mount Ararat.
On either side of the Coat of Arms, there is a lion and an eagle. They are meant to symbolize nobility, courage, power, wisdom, and patience.
And finally, there are five important symbols on the bottom of the Coat of Arms. The first is the sword representing the power of the Armenian nations and how it was able to break free from the chains of oppression. Then there is the broken chain, which represents the long-awaited independence of the Armenian people. There are also wheat ears, which show the hard-working nature of Armenians and their work in agriculture. The ribbon is meant to represent the colors of the Armenian flag, and the feather is a symbol of Armenians’ intellect and cultural heritage.