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Vilnius City (Vilnius, Lithuania)

Last modified: 2013-10-07 by zoltán horváth
Keywords: lithuania | vilnius |
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image by Jaume Ollé, 2 November 1996



See also:

Subdivisions:

  • Antakalnis
  • Fabijoniskes
  • Grigiskes
  • Justiniskes
  • Karoliniskes
  • Lazdynai
  • Naujamiestis
  • Naujininkai
  • Naujoji Vilnia
  • Paneriai
  • Pasilaiciai
  • Pilaite
  • Rasos
  • Senamiestis (Oldtown)
  • Seskine
  • Snipiskes
  • Verkiai
  • Vilkpede
  • Virsuliskes
  • Zirmunai
  • Zverynas

Overview

Above is the city flag: The Coat of Arms depicts St Christopher and Jesus (as a baby).  The city also uses a triangular pennant, red with a small yellow horizontal stripe in the middle.  On the square in front of the old Town Hall, an impressive number of flag poles all had this pennant.  On other occasions (as shown on local post cards) these are used for various rectangular flags.
One restaurant showing the city flag had a dark-red background with a bright red shield but I'm inclined to believe this was an error in manufacturing.
Festive cream-coloured hanging banners celebrating Mindaugas's coronation, 750 years ago, were to be seen in a few places.  They consisted basically of a dark, crowned capital letter "M" ; the largest I saw, a white one (in Knatterfahne fashion) flew in front of the (Catholic) Cathedral showing some additional text and accompanied by a city pennant.
In Vilnius and Kaunas, a "Nigerian" flag turned out to be that of Vilniaus Banka, the difference being the addition of the bank's name (and symbol?) in what seemed to be grey lettering... not easy to decipher.
Jan Mertens, 15 August 2003

Vilnius city casual - WRONG colour on FOTW: the main field must be purpure (dark red), not red. On purpure field with narrow yellow fess the small arms of Vilnius city: St. Christopher with infant Jesus. Flag proportions the same as of representational flag. No decorations. I have no picture, because in the book there is only the representational flag shown. Also the statement about proportions is intentionally citated: see below about ambiguity.
Virginijus Misiunas, 05 November 2009

The answer from Vilnius City municipality is very reliable and comprehensive: they've sent a copy of Vilnius City Municipal Council's 18/07/2007 act No.1-120 "About the confirmation of description of Vilnius City heraldry digital variant, arms and flag usage".
The answer is sent by Violeta Kolonaitiene, the senior specialist of Culture and art division. Also I acknowledge Vitas Karciauskas, the manager of Culture and heritage division, and Kristina Uleviciute, the director of Culture, sport and tourism department, for the care about my request.
The proportions of flag are 2:3, i.e. the description in the "Heraldry of Lithuania" book is wrong in this detail, but the picture is correct. The fess is 1/10 of height, i.e. the horizontal stripes are purpure-yellow-purpure 9-2-9. The main field shall be purpure / dark red (Pantone 188). The fess is yellow (Pantone 130). Colours of arms (Pantone): golden 123 C, yellow 1235 C, silver 427 C, red 1795 C, and codes of green and brownish (both used only on the greater arms) are not described.
The Vilnius City casual and representational flags are of the same proportions, and the same elements have the same sizes. Just the additional elements of greater arms (supporters, motto and wreath) and of representational flag itself (border, fringe, finial and bands) should be added.
So the actual picture of Vilnius City casual flag is not correct, neither the proportions not the colors. I think the flag of country capital should have a little higher priority than usual.
Virginijus Misiunas, 18 May 2010


Representational Flag


image by Virginijus Misiunas, 27 February 2010

Vilnius city representational - on a purpure (dark red) field with a narrow yellow fess the great arms of Vilnius city: St. Christopher with the infant Jesus, arms has supporters, wreath and motto. Free edges bordered with a narrow green stripe, fringe is golden, finial is a golden charge of arms on a knob and golden bands. There is a serious ambiguity about the proportions of this flag: the description says 1:2, but the picture shows 2:3.
Virginijus Misiunas, 27 February 2010


Coat of Arms


image from <www.vilnius.lt>, located by Jan Mertens, 23 August 2003

From <www.vilnius.lt>: "The Vilnius coat of arms is St. Christopher (Kristupas) wading in the water and carrying the Infant Jesus on his shoulders. The coat of arms was given to the city in the seventh year of its existence, i.e. in 1330.
In pagan times, i.e. until the end of the 14th century, the Vilnius coat of arms featured Titan Alkis, hero of Lithuanian ancient tales, carrying his wife Janteryte; on his shoulders across the river".
Jan Mertens, 23 August 2003


"Independent Republic of Užupis"

  image by Jens Pattke, 23 August 2013
Blue version

image by Jens Pattke, 23 August 2013
Green version

image by Jens Pattke, 23 August 2013
Red version

image by Jens Pattke, 23 August 2013
Yellow version

Užupis is a neighborhood in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, largely located in Vilnius' old town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Užupis means "on the other side of the river" in the Lithuanian language and refers to the Vilnia River. The name Vilnius was derived from the Vilnia. The district has been popular with artists for some time, and has been compared to Montmartre in Paris due to its bohemian atmosphere. The district houses art galleries, artists' workshops, and popular cafés. On April Fools Day, 1997, the district declared itself an independent republic (The Republic of Užupis), replete with an army of 12 personnel.
Užupis is quite small and isolated, being only about 148 acres (0.60 km2) in size. On one side it is separated from the Old Town by the Vilnia River, on the other there are steep hills, and on the third there is an industrial area built under the Soviet rule. The first bridges across the river were built in the 16th century, at which time the district's inhabitants were mostly Jewish.
In 1997, the residents of the area declared a Republic of Užupis, with its own flag, currency, president, constitution, and an army (numbering approximately 17 men). They celebrate this independence annually on Užupis Day, which falls on April 1st. Artistic endeavours are the main preoccupation of the Republic and indeed the current President of the Republic of Užupis, Romas Lileikis, is himself a poet, musician, and film director. The first major initiative undertaken by the Republic after its foundation was to build a monument for Frank Zappa, in Vilnius.
Artūras Zuokas, a former mayor of Vilnius, lives in Užupis and frequently takes part in the Republic's events.
It is unclear whether the statehood of the Republic, recognized by no government, is intended to be serious, tongue-in-cheek, or a combination of both. The decision to place Užupis Day on April 1 (April Fools' Day) may not be coincidental.
The Constitution of the Republic of Užupis:
Everyone has the right to live by the River Vilnelė, while the River Vilnelė has the right to flow by everyone.
Everyone has the right to hot water, heating in winter and a tiled roof.
Everyone has the right to die, but it is not a duty.
Everyone has the right to make mistakes.
Everyone has the right to individuality.
Everyone has the right to love.
Everyone has the right to be not loved, but not necessarily.
Everyone has the right not to be distinguished and famous.
Everyone has the right to be idle.
Everyone has the right to love and take care of a cat.
Everyone has the right to look after a dog till one or the other dies.
A dog has the right to be a dog.
A cat is not obliged to love its master, but it must help him in difficult times.
Everyone has the right to sometimes be unaware of his duties.
Everyone has the right to be in doubt, but this is not a duty.
Everyone has the right to be happy.
Everyone has the right to be unhappy.
Everyone has the right to be silent.
Everyone has the right to have faith.
No one has the right to violence.
Everyone has the right to realize his negligibility and magnificence.
Everyone has the right to encroach upon eternity.
Everyone has the right to understand.
Everyone has the right to understand nothing.
Everyone has the right to be of various nationalities.
Everyone has the right to celebrate or not to celebrate his birthday.
Everyone shall remember his name.
Everyone may share what he possesses.
No-one can share what he does not possess.
Everyone has the right to have brothers, sisters and parents.
Everyone is capable of independence.
Everyone is responsible for his freedom.
Everyone has the right to cry.
Everyone has the right to be misunderstood.
No-one has the right to make another person guilty.
Everyone has the right to be personal.
Everyone has the right to have no rights.
Everyone has the right to not be afraid.
Do not defeat.
Do not fight back.
Do not surrender.

The Flag of the Republic of Užupis:
The Republic of Užupis has four official national flags. They are always white. In the center of the cloth with a colored logo is shown. The logo is blue or red or yellow or green. Really dominated but in the streets of Vilnius, the blue version of the flag.

Coat of Arms

image by Jens Pattke, 23 August 2013

Sources: www.fotobankas.lt/.../id/133747/search/Užupis photo)
http://www.spiegel.de/reise/staedte/0,1518,329608,00.html (in German)
Jens Pattke, 23 August 2013

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