What Do the Colors on the Russian Flag Represent?

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The Russian flag has three equal horizontal fields with white at the top, blue in the middle and red at the bottom. Some Russians believe that white stands for generosity, blue for loyalty and red for courage. There is no official explanation for the meaning of the colors.

Others believe that white represents Belo Russian people, blue represents Ukrainians and red symbolizes Russians. Another theory is that white represents God at the top, red symbolizes peasants at the bottom and blue stands for the emperor (before 1917) in the middle. Peter the Great designed the flag as Russia’s naval flag in 1699, patterning it after the flag of the Netherlands, but using Russian shades of the colors white, blue and red. It was adopted as the nation’s flag from 1883 to 1917 and re-adopted in 1991 when the Soviet Union fell, shortly before Russia became a member of the United Nations.