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Ukraine - Historical Flag (1848)

Last modified: 2018-12-15 by rob raeside
Keywords: ukraine | galicia |
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[1848 Ukrainian Flag] image by Jan Oskar Engene, 7 September 1996

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Ukraine: Flag based on arms adopted by Supreme Ruthenian Council, Lviv, 1848.

In the 19th century, the area inhabited by Ruthenians, as the Ukrainians were then known, was divided between Russia and the Austrian Empire. Austria got Galicia after the partition of Poland in 1772. Territory was later added, including the Duchy of Bukovina. From 1815, the former Polish possessions of Austria were known as the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria. Ukrainians were a majority only in the eastern parts of this kingdom. As a kingdom, Galicia had three flags.

The origins of Ukraine's flag can be traced back to the convention of the Supreme Ruthenian Council, meeting in Lviv in October 1848. At this meeting, an emblem (coat of arms) for the Ukrainians was adopted. This was a golden rampant lion on blue [Encyclopedia Ukraine, Flag Bulletin, 1992]. At the same time, (light) blue and yellow was accepted as the national colours of the Ukrainians. For flags, both the golden crowned lion on a (light) blue field, and the yellow over (light) blue, were used [Ukraine: A Concise Encyclopedia]. The Ukrainian colours became popular throughout Ukrainian lands, including those under Russia, but the order of the colours was not stable.

Source: Arms depicted in Flag Bulletin, No 142, 1991 (Andrzej Wocial: 'Symbols of Carpatho-Ukraine').

Jan Oskar Engene, 7 September 1996