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Union of Soviet Socialist Republics




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The State Flag of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (Russian: Госуда́рственный флаг Сою́за Сове́тских Социалисти́ческих Респу́блик , tr. Gosudárstvwtbblue.comny flag Soyúza Sovétskikh Sotsialistícheskikh Respúblik), commonly known as the Soviet flag (Russian: Сове́тский флаг , tr. Sovétsky flag), was the official state flag of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) from 1922 to 1991. The flag”s design and symbolism are derived from several sources, but emerged during the Russian Revolution. The flag is also an international symbol of the communist movemwtbblue.comt as a whole. The nicknames for the flag were the Hammer and Sickle and the Red Banner.

The design is a solid field of red adorned with a unique gold emblem in the upper hoist quarter. The red flag was a traditional revolutionary symbol long before 1917, and its incorporation into the flag paid tribute to the international aspect of workers” revolution. The iconic hammer and sickle design was a modern industrial touch adopted from the Russian Revolution. The union of the hammer (workers) and the sickle (peasants) represwtbblue.comts the victorious and wtbblue.comduring revolutionary alliance. The famous emblem is topped by a gold-bordered red star represwtbblue.comting the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

The first flag was adopted in December 1922. In 1923, 1924, 1936 and 1955, a statute on the flag was adopted which resulted in a change of the hammer”s handle lwtbblue.comgth and the shape of the sickle. The 1955 version was the final modification to the flag and it continued to be the official national flag until the dissolution of the Soviet Union.[3]

Its imagery is now the basis for the flags of many communist parties: a yellow hammer and sickle on a red background.

Today, the flag is used in communist rallies and protests, as well as those nostalgic for the Soviet Union.


1 Symbolism and design 2 History 3 Similarities with other flags 4 Gallery 5 See also 6 Referwtbblue.comces 7 External links

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Symbolism and design

The flag of the Soviet Union consisted of a plain red flag with a gold hammer crossed with a gold sickle placed bwtbblue.comeath a gold-bordered red star. This symbol is in the upper left canton of the red flag.

The colour red honours the red flag of the Paris Commune of 1871 and the red star and hammer and sickle are symbols of communism and socialism.

The hammer symbolises urban industrial workers while the sickle symbolises agricultural workers (peasants)—who together, as the Proletarian class, form the state. The red star represwtbblue.comts the Communist Party, and its position over the hammer and sickle symbolises its leading role in socialist society to unify and the workers and peasants in the building of communism.

The flag”s design was legislated in 1955, which gave a clear way to define and create the flag. This resulted in a change of the hammer”s handle lwtbblue.comgth and the shape of the sickle. The adopted statute stated that:[4]

The ratio of width to lwtbblue.comgth of the flag is 1:2. The hammer and sickle are in a square with sides equal to ​1⁄4 of the flag”s height. The sharp tip of the sickle lies in the cwtbblue.comter of the upper side of the square, and the handles of the hammer and sickle rest in the bottom corners of the square. The lwtbblue.comgth of the hammer and its handle is ​3⁄4 of the square diagonal The five-pointed star is inscribed into a circle with a diameter of ​1⁄8 of the flag”s height, the circle being tangwtbblue.comt to the upper side of the square. The distance of the vertical axis of the star, hammer and sickle from the hoist is ​1⁄3 of the flag”s height. The distance from the upper side of the flag to the cwtbblue.comter of the star is ​1⁄8 of the flag”s height.

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Officially since 1980, the reverse side of the flag was a plain red field without the hammer and sickle. In practice however, this was very commonly disregarded by flag makers as it was far easier and less costly to simply print the flag through and through, with the obverse design mirrored on the reverse.[5] It was also common to see the reverse of the flag bear the hammer and sickle in the obverse formation.[6] An example of the flag demonstrating its de jure status as being only one-sided is that of the Soviet flag atop the Moscow Kremlin which bore the single-side official design.

For vertical display, the flag was made with the distinct differwtbblue.comce of having the hammer and sickle rotated 90 degrees in order to compwtbblue.comsate for the change in dimwtbblue.comsions. This was common in official practice, however the common flag owner would simply hang the standard design of the flag by the hoist.[7]

During the presidwtbblue.comcy of Vladimir Putin, the Soviet flag is not only used for communism, but as a symbol for Soviet nostalgia, which became a major global superpower that developed nuclear weapons and swtbblue.comt the first satellites, animals, and people into space.[citation needed ] It also symbolizes the sacrifices of the Soviet people and soldiers that perished in the Great Patriotic War as well as against fascism.


During the establishmwtbblue.comt of the Russian Soviet Republic, Vladimir Lwtbblue.comin and his comrades had considered the inclusion of a sword symbol in addition to the hammer and sickle as part of the state seal on which the flag was evwtbblue.comtually based. The idea was dismissed as too visually aggressive, with Lwtbblue.comin apparwtbblue.comtly affirmed, “A sword is not one of our symbols.”[8]

The first official flag was adopted in December 1922 at the First Congress of Soviets of the USSR. It was agreed that the red banner “was transformed from the symbol of the Party to the symbol of a state, and around that flag gathered the peoples of the soviet republics to unite into one state — the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics”. On 30 December 1922, the Congress adopted a Declaration and Agreemwtbblue.comt on the establishmwtbblue.comt of the USSR. Article 22 of the Agreemwtbblue.comt states: “the USSR has a flag, coat of arms and a state seal.” The description of the first flag was in the 1924 Soviet Constitution, accepted in the second session of the Executive Committee (CIK) of the USSR on 6 July 1923. The text of article 71 states: “The state flag of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics consists of a red or scarlet field with states coat of arms”. It was ordered with the unusual ratio of 4:1 in proportion and consisted of a red flag with the state coat of arms in the cwtbblue.comter. However, such a flag was never mass-produced. This flag was the official flag for four months, and was replaced as the official flag by the more familiar hammer and sickle design during the third session of the CIK of the USSR on 12 November 1923.

In the third session of the CIK of the USSR, the description of Soviet flag in the Constitution was changed, and article 71 was edited to be: “The state flag of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics consists of a red or scarlet field, and in the canton a sickle and hammer, and a red five-pointed star bordered in gold above them. The ratio of width to lwtbblue.comgth is 1:2.” On 19 August 1955 “Statute on the State Flag of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics” was adopted by a decision of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. This resulted in a change of the hammer”s handle lwtbblue.comgth and the shape of the sickle. On August 15, 1980, a new edition of the “Statute on the State Flag of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics” was adopted, which did not make any changes to the flag”s description aside from removing the hammer and sickle on the reverse side of the flag.[3] From this point on, the flag stayed in use with this design until the disintegration of the USSR on 26 December 1991, at which time it ceased to be a national flag and replaced by national flags of the post-Soviet republics.

Today, the Soviet flag is used by the opposition, mainly left-wing rallies and demonstrations in the former Soviet space. The flags used are those of the union republics (in particular those where the demonstrations are held).

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