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Idel-Ural State (Russia, 1918)

Last modified: 2019-05-21 by zoltán horváth
Keywords: idel ural | volga | ural | tamga | golden horde |
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Idel Ural flag image by Ivan Sache, 03 Jun 2001

See also:

Historical background

(All this referring to the Kazan based Idel-Ural separatist government in c. 1918, and unrelated to the Idel-Ural panturkic flag.)
António Martins, 01 May 2000

January 1918
Congress of Muslims from Russia’s Interior and Siberia proclaimed Independent State in the territory of Kazan and Ufa Governorates (guberni). Selection of the Government of the State, Milli Idare. Creation of VMVS (All-Russia Muslim Military Council). Election of Idel-Ural delegates to Versailles Conference.
February 1918
Non-Muslim nations of Chuvashia (Bolgaria), Udmurtia, Mari and Moksho-erzia (Mordovia) joined Tatars and Bashkirs in the new state.
April 1918
Red Army, after the Brest Peace Treaty was concluded, liquidated the state.
July 1918
With the help of the Czech Legion, the Idel-Ural administration was restored.
End of 1918
Troops of VMVS were incorporated into Kolchak’s White Army as the 16th Tatar Regiment and suffered decisive defeat at the hands of Red Army.

It was the end of the dream of recreating, also partially only, the State of the Golden Horde (Altin Ordu). It was to be a free federation of Turkic and Ugro-Finnic peoples of Volga-Ural Region, still remembering the glory of the Golden Horde. In 1920, against the wishes of at least Tatars and Bashkirs, the Soviets split all those nations into separate administrative units — divide and conquer.
Chris Kretowicz, 02 Jun 2001

"Idel", by the way, means "Volga" in a number of Turkic languages: "Ӑтал | Ătal", in Chuvash; "İdil", in (Anatolian / Ottoman) Turkish;.
António Martins, 01 May 2000 and 22 Jan 2005


Description of the flag

The blue flag with the tamga (originally the Mongol branding mark, later heraldic device of Tatar and related nobility) was the unifying symbol of all those nations derived from the Golden Horde.
Chris Kretowicz, 02 Jun 2001

The flag is light blue with the tamga on the upper fly; the original image shows a pole with a typical Tatar finial clearly indicating where’s the hoist. But… considering that the upper fly is the least visibility corner of a flag (obviously it is so on every cultures — wind and cloth dynamics is the same everywhere), could this image be a spurious reconstruction from a cloth only design showing the upper right hand side intended as the hoist (because of Muslim tradition) and not as the fly?…
António Martins, 05 Jun 2001

Blue flag with golden tamga — the same description fits the Crimean Tatar flag, but the tamga is differently shaped and differently positioned.
António Martins, 22 Dec 2002

There are no records of the blue flag before the 1933 book "Idel-Ural" by Gayaz Iskhaki. To my mind, he simply took inspiration from Crimea Tatars. The real logo of Idel-Ural can be seen on top of the 1918 proclamation, but there is no information about the flag. I'm sorry. That proclamation is the only authentic source of symbols of Idel-Ural I could find. I found several photos dealing with 1918 events, but none of them show any flag. I would even speculate that Idel-Ural flag in 1918 could be red because Idel-Ural was then intended to be a Soviet Republic.
Currently, my suggestion is to have only red flag 8 Nov 1917-6 Aug 1918
Janis Lasmanis, 20 January 2019