The flag of Russia is an official state symbol of the Russian Federation along with the Coat of Arms and Russian National Anthem.
Fighting banners and flags appeared in Russia a long time ago. The first national flag of the Russian state was the emblem of the Banner of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich in 1668. It was a huge white banner with blood-red border and a two-headed eagle. In the center, around the eagle were the coat of arms of the following regions: Moscow, Kiev, Novgorod, Vladimir, Astrakhan and Siberian. This was a personal flag of Alexei Mikhailovich, and in those days the concepts of tsar and the state were inseparable.
At the end of 1660, the first fleet was created in Russia - the Volga-Caspian fleet. In 1668, its flagship called Eagle was decorated with white-blue-red banner with an eagle sewn on it. Since ancient times, the Slavic peoples used mainly red, white, blue and green colors for their banners.
The colors of the first Russian flag were symbolic. Red meant courage, the battle for faith, mortal combat. The blue color of the Mother of God is fidelity, faith. White - Tsar, Fatherland, nobility.
The tricolor flag has become the flag of the merchant fleet since 1705. It is January 20, 1705 that is considered the official birthday of the Russian flag. Though, in the books of modern Russian history it states that the official birthday of the Russian flag is celebrated on August 22nd. The holliday which celebrates the flag of the Russian Federation is called the National Flag Day and it was established in 1994.
On June 11, 1858, Emperor Alexander II approved the first official state flag of the Russian Empire - a black-yellow-white flag.
Where did these colors come from?
The black and yellow stripes corresponded to the black two-headed Eagle and the yellow field of the state emblem, and the white to the cockade of Peter I and the white - horseman St. George, patron of the tsars of Moscow and the city of Moscow. But this flag did not last long. Emperor Alexander III on May 7, 1883 ordered in solemn occasions to hang out a white-blue-red flag.
On April 5, 1896, a special meeting decided the tricolor flag of the national and state flag of the Russian Empire. The colors were explained as follows: red corresponded to Great Russians, blue to Little Russians, white to Belarusians.
The tricolor flag survived the February and even the October Revolution. On April 8, 1991, a government commission approved the return of the triband flag. On August 21, 1991, the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR recognized white-blue-red flag as the official flag of the Russian Federation.
A lot of people still refer USSR flag as an Old Russian flag. On April 8, 1918, the new national flag of the RSFSR was declared as a red banner. In the new Socialist country, all the Soviet Union Republics received almost identical red flags. The only difference was the written full or abbreviated name of a republic.
On December 1923, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was created and in 1924 the USSR Constitution approved the official flag of the USSR with a red banner; it also had an emblem with a sickle and hammer and a five-pointed star.