Flag of Russia

Russian Federation
Flag of Russia.svg
UseCivil and state flag, civil and state ensign
Adopted11 May (29 April O.S.) 1696
(de facto for vessels)
(de facto for land use)
12 August 1991
(as flag of RSFSR)
11 December 1993
(current version)
DesignA horizontal tricolour of white, dark blue and red
Flag of Russia (1696–1917).svg
Variant flag of Russia

The flag of Russia (Russian: Флаг России) is a tricolor flag consisting of three equal horizontal fields: white on the top, blue in the middle and red on the bottom. The flag was first used as an ensign for Russian merchant ships and became official as the flag of the Tsardom of Russia in 1696. It remained in use until the establishment of the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic in 1917.

During the Soviet Union's existence, it used the flag with the red field with the golden hammer and sickle and the golden bordered red star on top. With the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the pre-revolutionary tricolor was re-introduced as the flag of the Russian Federation in 1991 in the 1:2 ratio. The Tsarist tricolor was fully restored in 1993 after the constitutional crisis as the current flag.


Practice fight of the Dutch Fleet in the honour of Tzar Peter the Great, 1697

Two accounts of the flag's origin connect it to the tricolor used by the Dutch Republic (the flag of the Netherlands).[1][2]

The earliest mention of the flag occurs during the reign of Alexis I, in 1668, and is related to the construction of the first Russian naval ship, the frigate Oryol. According to one source, the ship's Dutch lead engineer Butler faced the need for the flag, and issued a request to the Boyar Duma, to "...ask His Royal Majesty as to which (as is the custom among other nations) flag shall be raised on the ship." The official response merely indicated that, as such issue is as yet unprecedented, even though the land forces do use (apparently different) flags, the tsar ordered that his (Butler's) opinion be sought about the matter, asking specifically as to the custom existing in his country.[3]

A different account traces the origins of the Russian flag to tsar Peter the Great's visits to Arkhangelsk in 1693 and 1694. Peter was keenly interested in shipbuilding in the European style, different from the barges ordinarily used in Russia at the time. In 1693, Peter had ordered a Dutch-built frigate from Amsterdam. In 1694 when it arrived, the Dutch red-white-and-blue banner flew from its stern.[4] Peter decided to model Russia's naval flag after this banner by changing the sequence of colors.

The Dutch flag book of 1695 by Carel Allard, printed only a year after Peter's trip to Western Europe, describes the tricolor with a double-headed eagle bearing a shield on its breast, and wearing a golden crown over both of its heads.

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Vlag van Rusland
العربية: علم روسيا
asturianu: Bandera de Rusia
azərbaycanca: Rusiya bayrağı
беларуская: Сцяг Расіі
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Сьцяг Расеі
bosanski: Zastava Rusije
brezhoneg: Banniel Rusia
čeština: Ruská vlajka
Cymraeg: Baner Rwsia
davvisámegiella: Ruošša leavga
ދިވެހިބަސް: ރޫސީވިލާތުގެ ދިދަ
Esperanto: Flago de Rusio
हिन्दी: रूस का ध्वज
hrvatski: Zastava Rusije
বিষ্ণুপ্রিয়া মণিপুরী: রাশিয়ার ফিরালহান
Bahasa Indonesia: Bendera Rusia
íslenska: Fáni Rússlands
עברית: דגל רוסיה
latviešu: Krievijas karogs
lietuvių: Rusijos vėliava
македонски: Знаме на Русија
Bahasa Melayu: Bendera Rusia
Nederlands: Vlag van Rusland
norsk nynorsk: Det russiske flagget
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Rossiya bayrogʻi
Pangasinan: Laylay na Rusia
Plattdüütsch: Flagg vun Russland
polski: Flaga Rosji
română: Drapelul Rusiei
русский: Флаг России
Simple English: Flag of Russia
slovenčina: Vlajka Ruska
српски / srpski: Застава Русије
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Zastava Rusije
Türkçe: Rusya bayrağı
українська: Прапор Росії
vepsän kel’: Venäman flag
Tiếng Việt: Quốc kỳ Nga