National flag - Flag of Latvia

National flag  >  Flag of Latvia

Flag of Latvia

The national flag of Latvia (Latvijas karogs) was used by independent Latvia from 1918 until the country was occupied by the Soviet Union in 1940. Its use was suppressed during Soviet rule. Shortly before regaining its independence, Latvia re-adopted on 27 February 1990 the same red-white-red flag.

Though officially adopted in 1923, the Latvian flag was in use as early as the 13th century. The red colour is sometimes described as symbolizing the readiness of the Latvians to give the blood from their hearts for freedom and their willingness to defend their liberty. An alternative interpretation, according to one legend, is that a Latvian leader was wounded in battle, and the edges of the white sheet in which he was wrapped were stained by his blood. The white stripe may stand for the sheet that wrapped him. This story is similar to the legend of the origins of the flag of Austria.

The red-white-red Latvian flag (die Banier der Letten) is first mentioned in the medieval Rhymed Chronicle of Livonia (Livländische Reimchronik), which covers the period from 1180 to 1343, and is thus among the oldest flags in the world. The chronicle tells of a battle that took place around 1279, in which ancient Latvian tribes from Cēsis, a city in the northern part of modern-day Latvia, went to war, bearing a red flag with a white stripe.

Legend recounts the story of the mortally wounded chief of a Latvian tribe who was wrapped in a white sheet. The part of the sheet on which he was lying remained white, but the two edges were stained in his blood. During the next battle the bloodstained sheet was used as a flag. According to the legend this time the Latvian warriors were successful and drove the enemy away. Ever since then Latvian tribes have used these colours.

Based on the aforementioned historical record, the present day flag design was adapted by artist Ansis Cīrulis in May 1917. The Latvian national flag, together with the national coat of arms was affirmed in this format by a special parliamentary decree of the Republic of Latvia passed on 15 June 1921.

During the period of occupation by the Soviet Union (and briefly by Nazi Germany), the red-white-red Latvian flag was rendered useless from 1940-1941 and 1944-1991. Any production and public display of the nationalist Latvian flag was considered anti-state crime and punishable by law. The first flag of Soviet Latvia was a red flag with the gold hammer and sickle in the top-left corner, with the Latin characters LPSR (Latvijas Padomju Sociālistiskā Republika) above them in gold in a serif font. In 1953, the final version of the flag was adopted. It depicts the Soviet flag with six 1/3 blue wavy bands representing the sea on the bottom.

Under the influence of Mikhail Gorbachev's glasnost and perestroika initiatives, the flag of independent Latvia was restored on 15 February 1990, one and a half years before the formal recognition of Latvian independence.

Per Latvian law The Latvian national flag is carmine red with white horizontal stripe. (tumši sarkana (karmin)) The colour on the flag is sometimes referred to as Latvian red. The red colour of the Latvian flag is a particularly dark shade, which is composed of brown and purple. The flag's colour proportions are 2:1:2 (the upper and lower red bands each being twice as wide as the central white band), and the ratio of the height of the flag to its width is fixed at 1:2.

National flag 
Flag of Latvia

Country - Latvia

Latvia ( or ; Latvija ), officially the Republic of Latvia (Latvijas Republika), is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. Since its independence, Latvia has been referred to as one of the Baltic states. It is bordered by Estonia to the north, Lithuania to the south, Russia to the east, and Belarus to the southeast, and shares a maritime border with Sweden to the west. Latvia has 1,957,200 inhabitants and a territory of 64589 km2. The country has a temperate seasonal climate.

After centuries of Swedish, Polish and Russian rule, a rule mainly executed by the Baltic German aristocracy, the Republic of Latvia was established on 18 November 1918 when it broke away and declared independence in the aftermath of World War I. However, by the 1930s the country became increasingly autocratic after the coup in 1934 establishing an authoritarian regime under Kārlis Ulmanis. The country's de facto independence was interrupted at the outset of World War II, beginning with Latvia's forcible incorporation into the Soviet Union, followed by the invasion and occupation by Nazi Germany in 1941, and the re-occupation by the Soviets in 1944 (Courland Pocket in 1945) to form the Latvian SSR for the next 45 years.
Neighbourhood - Country  

  •  Belarus 
  •  Estonia 
  •  Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic 
  •  Russia 


Flag of Latvia (English)  Bandiera della Lettonia (Italiano)  Vlag van Letland (Nederlands)  Drapeau de la Lettonie (Français)  Flagge Lettlands (Deutsch)  Bandeira da Letónia (Português)  Флаг Латвии (Русский)  Bandera de Letonia (Español)  Flaga Łotwy (Polski)  拉脱维亚国旗 (中文)  Lettlands flagga (Svenska)  Drapelul Letoniei (Română)  ラトビアの国旗 (日本語)  Прапор Латвії (Українська)  Национално знаме на Латвия (Български)  라트비아의 국기 (한국어)  Latvian lippu (Suomi)  Bendera Latvia (Bahasa Indonesia)  Latvijos vėliava (Lietuvių)  Letlands flag (Dansk)  Lotyšská vlajka (Česky)  Letonya bayrağı (Türkçe)  Застава Летоније (Српски / Srpski)  Läti lipp (Eesti)  Vlajka Lotyšska (Slovenčina)  Lettország zászlaja (Magyar)  Zastava Latvije (Hrvatski)  ธงชาติลัตเวีย (ไทย)  Latvijas karogs (Latviešu)  Σημαία της Λετονίας (Ελληνικά)  Quốc kỳ Latvia (Tiếng Việt)