The Ukrainian flag consists of two horizontal bands of equal width, with blue on the top and yellow on the bottom. The combination is commonly decoded as the sky above and the endless fields of wheat beneath it.
At the same time, the picturesque landscape seen throughout Ukraine does not exhaust the flag’s meaning. Through centuries, the Ukrainian nation has seen a lot of struggle, a lot of the time under the same blue and yellow flag. Today, with Russia’s brutal war against Ukraine, it symbolizes unbreakable spirit and dignity, devotion to the native land, and love for freedom to each Ukrainian.
What does Ukrainian flag look like?
The history of blue and yellow flag
The combination of colors goes back to the 13th century. The golden lion on the blue background was depicted on the coat of arms of Lviv during the reign of Prince Danylo Romanovych.
The flag got its modern look in 1848: it was used by the Supreme Ruthenian Council. That was the first representative Ukrainian political organization founded in Lviv (at the time – part of the Austrian Empire), an important step in Ukrainian national revival.
In the following decades, the symbol spread among Ukrainians. And in 1918, when Ukraine gained independence, even if for a short period of time, the blue and yellow flag was established as a national symbol.
The Soviet era that followed was marked by harsh restrictions on the use of such symbols, including the blue and yellow flag. Despite the repressions, many Ukrainians continued to embrace the flag as part of their national identity and resistance to Soviet rule.
With Ukraine restoring independence in 1991, the blue and yellow flag quickly returned to public life and became an integral part of the modern state. In 1992, the Ukrainian parliament adopted it as the official flag of Ukraine.
Flag of Ukraine today
The Day of the National Flag is celebrated each year on August 23, just before Independence Day. But the flag itself is celebrated much more often. It has become a symbol of national pride and unity. The flag flows at public events and government buildings, and is a common sight at sporting events and cultural festivals.
The blue and yellow flag has also sustained its role at the political and social protests. In 2014, the flag could be seen everywhere as Ukrainians were defending their right to a democratic and European future in the Revolution of Dignity.
The same year, Russia invited Ukraine. In Crimea, the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, Ukrainian flags were taken down by forceful occupation. And in the rest of the country, they were spread and shared as rarely before – to signify the rise of national consciousness and unity.
In 2022, as Russia launched the full-scale invasion, the Ukrainian flag became an even more prominent symbol – not only in Ukraine, but all over the globe.
A symbol of hope, as it flutters over resilient Ukrainian cites and towns.
A symbol of support, as blue and yellow fill squares and news feeds around the globe.
A symbol of resistance, as people continue to make and protect Ukrainian flags even under the temporary occupation.
A symbol of sacrifice, as it covers the coffins of heroes who were killed defending the country.
A symbol of gratitude, bravery, unity, future. A symbol of independent Ukraine and free Ukrainians.