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Russian WWII commemorative flag

Last modified: 2013-12-05 by zoltán horváth
Keywords: ww ii | commemorative flag | star: yellow | law |
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Russian WWII commemorative flag
image by António Martins, 18 Nov 1999
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Description of the flag

In fact it is the Soviet Flag, better: the Victory flag that was hoisted on the Reichstag in Berlin in 1945, but without the hammer and sickle. To the decree is attached a very well known photo of Evgueni Khaldei which shows the Soviet soldier putting the Soviet Flag on the Reichstag, but there is just a star on the flag.
Pascal Vagnat, 16 May 1999

The weird red flag with yellow star is a frequent sight as the May 9th celebrations approach — I don’t remember to have seen this flag in Feb 23rd (officially Fatherland Defenders Day, in practice Men’s Day), though according to the law the flag is to be used on both days. Wasn’t this law of 15 April 1996 met with outrage by normal russians? It seems to me that no matter how unnapropriate one might regard the hammer and sickle symbol in nowadays Russia, replacing it on a flag intended to be used to commemorate the victory of the Soviet Army is, to say the least, a very crude act of history falsification.
António Martins, 24 Apr 2000

Law of 1996 was not met with outrage by normal russians. “Normal russians” ignored this Law… I never saw real flags according Law of 1996. National tricolours and plain red flags are used on war-holidays. Veterans use flags of USSR with star, hammer and sickle.
Victor Lomantsov, 26 Apr 2000

No russian I asked about it seemed to know about this flag, but I have seen it, red with larger yellow star, already twice: In last year’s May 9th here in Cheboksary, hoisted on the roof of some large government facility (a court of law, if I recall correctly) and this year in Nizhniy Novgorod (three weeks before May 9th), hoisted outside a fancy restaurant on Gorkiy Square. In both occasions it was hoisted along the russian national flag.
António Martins, 01 May 2000

Does the 15 April 1996 law prescribe specific measures and position for the star?
António Martins, 18 Nov 1999

Law quote

Decree of the President of the Russian Federation Relating to the Victory Flag

To perpetuate the memory of the heroic exploits of the people in the course of the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945, in order for the Fatherland to honour the merit of the Soviet soldiers and as a sign of gratitude of the descendants to the victors over the Fascist invaders, I enact:
  1. On state holidays of the Russian Federation, military glory days (victory days) of Russia, at the time of military ceremonies and mass demonstrations connected with the victory of the Russian people, the Victory Flag will be used simultaneously with the State Flag of the Russian Federation.
  2. The Victory Flag, raised in May 1945 on the Reichstag, will be hoisted on May 9 (Victory Day of the Soviet people in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945) and February 23 (Defenders of the Fatherland Day) at the time of wreath-laying on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier by federal agents of the State, in the course of the military parade and the march past of the veterans of the Great Patriotic War, at Red Square in Moscow.
  3. In other cases given above in paragraph 1 of this decree the symbol of the Victory Flag will be used.
  4. The symbol of the Victory Flag consists of a red field of which the proportion of the length to the hoist is 2:1. On the obverse and the reverse, in the upper corner near the hoist is placed a representation of a five-pointed star.
  5. This decree is effective the date of signature.
The President of the Russian Federation
B. Yeltsin
The Kremlin, Moscow, 15 April 1996

translated by Dean Tiegs, 16 May 1999

It is my understanding of this decree that the actual historic flag [the actual banner made by Yevgeni Khaldei the night before it was raised in Berlin, in May 1945] is to be raised twice a year in Red Square.
David Cohen, 17 May 1999, and Dean Tiegs, 18 May 1999

Unfortunately, and as usual, the law is quite verbose about secondary, irrelevant and subjective questions, but fails to give construction details. How big should the star be? Where exactly placed?
António Martins, 18 May 1999