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Commonwealth of Independent States


Last modified: 2024-04-11 by zachary harden
Keywords: cis | commonwealth of independent states | sun: disc | arcade | sng | chs |
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Содружество Независимых Государств, СНГ

CIS flag
image by Željko Heimer, 13 Dec 2003

Member states:
Armenia | Azerbaijan | Belarus | Georgia (until 2008) | Kyrgyzstan | Kazakhstan | Moldova | Russia | Turkmenistan | Tajikistan | Ukraine (until 2018) | Uzbekistan

See also:


Meaning and history of the flag

Already in the beginning of 1994, during a meeting of the CIS-states, a contest was announced to come for a flag and emblem for Community [Commonwealth — M.S.] of Independent States. Winner became the artist Alexander Wasiljewitsch Grigorjew from St. Petersburg. His proposal was brought into the meeting by the Secretary-General I. Korotttschen and on April 15, 1994 the council took over the designs with the words that it had to be discussed before comming official. However, although not official yet, the flag and emblem is already in use.
The flag and emblem are having a sky-blue background. The yellow (golden) circle in the centre (the grain, heart and the sun) symbolising the idea of Light, Warmth and Life. Around it a white symbol like an arcade, standing for cooperation, collective house, growing mighty trees, a cup holding Light and the warmth of the sun for humanity and giving it.
Meaning of the colours:

  • Sky-blue = peaceful sky, and spiritual sphere.
  • White = purity, prosperisty and
  • yellow (gold) for the light, warmth, life and eternal dignity.

Mark Sensen, 30 Nov 1995, quoting Jiří Tenora (in VDCN’s Info Bulletin 88 [inf])

Please note that Jiří Tenora gives "sky-blue", while the law text clearly states "dark blue" (although it should not be as dark as that since here "dark blue" stands for Russian "синий", which is normal, wide shade range "blue", while "sky-blue" is Russian "голубой").
António Martins, 06 Nov 1999

Law quote

I came across a UN document containing information on the flag of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and the use of that flag. The flag is described in Decision on the Statute on the Flag of the Commonwealth of Independent States which was «done at Moscow on 19 January 1996 in one original in the Russian language».
Article one deals with the design and symbolism of the CIS flag:

Statute on the Flag of the Commonwealth of Independent States

The flag of the Commonwealth of Independent States (hereinafter referred to as the flag of the Commonwealth) shall be the symbol of the Commonwealth of Independent States (hereinafter referred to as the Commonwealth) and shall consist of a right-angled dark blue field in the center of which is a white figure made up of vertical bars, diverging symmetrically in the upper part of the figure to right and left to form concentric ring-shaped design elements. The latter broaden towards the top and are rounded, while their length and width decrease from the center of symmetry towards the periphery. In the upper part of the design is a golden circle surrounded by the ring-shaped elements.

The design symbolizes the aspiration for equitable partnership, unity, peace and stability.

The proportion of the width of the flag to its length shall be 1:2.
The following articles (2-11) deals with the use of the flag. An interesting specification of the use of the flag for CIS peace keeping forces is in an appendix to the «Decision on the adoption of the statute on collective peace-keeping forces in the Commonwealth of Independent States, adopted in Moscow on 19 January 1996»:


Description and illustration of the distinguishing insignia of the Collective Peace-keeping Forces

Positions and demarcation lines shall be marked by flags of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

Flag dimensions:
  • At the command post of the Commander of the Collective Peace-keeping Forces — 1×2 m;
  • At the command posts of units, command and observation posts and observation posts of subunits and other duty stations — 0,5×1 m;
  • At lines of demarcation between the conflicting sides — 1×2 m;
  • Small flags displaying the symbol of the Commonwealth measuring 20×40 cm shall be affixed to combat equipment and means of transport, and pennants measuring 15×30 cm shall be affixed to passenger vehicles.
All this (and much more) was contained in a «Letter dated 26 January 1996 from the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General». The document is available from the UN. [The original gopher link is modified into current location of this document. Ed.]
Jan Oskar Engene, 03 Aug 1997

In Album 2000 [pay00], the blue field is approximated as Pantone 279c (and yellow 116c), which is a grayish light blue shade.
Željko Heimer, 13 Dec 2003

According to Russian Standard GOST 30470-97 "Flag of the Commonwealth of Independent States. Technical Specifications", the colors are 285 C for blue and 116 C for yellow.
Zachary Harden, 2 January 2022

Council of Commanders of Border Troops

image by Zachary Harden, 11 April 2024

The flag used the Council of Commanders of Border Troops, a coordination body for border troops/border control agencies, is the emblem of the council placed in the center of a sky-blue background.
Zachary Harden, 11 April 2024