In the July-August 1989 issue of NAVA News I began a Collector's Comer series beginning with 'A is for Afghanistan." The intent of this series was to outline the changes in national flags that have taken place over the last one hundred years or so. This information would be useful to vexillologists and vexillophilists alike who are trying to identify and date an old flag. The series ground to a halt in 1992 at the letter T, because the next installment, "U is for USSR", had to include all the changes in the flags of the former Soviet Union that had taken place since I began the series.

'The former Soviet republics have, by in large, resurrected flags that they used before being "invited" to join the USSR. A few of them had not yet adopted their own individual post-communist designs upon admission to the United Nations, as was evidenced in the Page 2 photo in the May/June 1992 issue of NAVA News. In this column I will cover all of the former soviet republics with the exception of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania which gained independence earlier and were already included in previous columns. Since it has been a while since the last appearance of this column, let me repeat the color code: R/red, Y/yellow, B/blue, N/black, V/green, W/white, O/orange.

Any member may receive a copy of all previous articles by sending me US$3.00 in stamps (a check is OK, too). I will also include a copy of my list of duplicate flags (mostly obsolete 4' x 6") and flag books (both U.S. and flags of the world) that I have available for sale or trade.


1965-date Horizontal stripes of N,Y,R,N,Y,R with W disc in center with crested crane.


Pre-1917-(See "Russia" below)

1918-Flag of Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic: R field with Y text spelling out the name in the Cyrillic alphabet.

1918-1920-RSFSR flag modified to permit use of initials instead of full name.

1920-1954-RSFSR flag modified by establishing design of initials RSFSR and placing them within a Y bordered R canton.

1923-RSFSR unites with other Soviet Socialist Republics under flag of USSR: R field with state arms.

1923-1955-R field with Y hammer, sickle, and R star fimbriated Y, all in upper hoist comer.

1955-1980-Minor artistic revisions made to hammer and sickle designs.

1980-1991-Specifications issued which required hammer, sickle, and star only on front of flag. Reverse was plain R. (It appears that this was, in effect, an option as official flags were produced with the emblem on one or both sides.,)


(Many nations adopted flags upon independence after WW I, but lost iindependent status when compelled to join the USSR.)

Armenia-1918-1921-Horizontal Stripes of R, B, 0.

1952-1991-R field with Y hammer, sickle, star emblem ("emblem' from this point on). B+ horizontal stripe through center of field. (90mm x 180mm made in USSR for this and all of the other 14 Soviet Socialist Republics)

1991-date-Retum to tricolor.

Azerbaidzhan-1918-1921-Horizontal stripes of B-, R, V+ with W star and crescent overlapping ffim stripes.

1953-1991-R field with Y emblem, B+ stripe along bottom of field.

1991-date-Pre soviet flag readopted, but star and crescent now smaller to fit within central stripe.

Byelarus -1918-?-Tribar of W - R - W

1936-1951-R field with Y emblem. Y initials in Cyrillic for BSSR under emblem.

1951-1991-R field with V stripe at bottom, W lace design at hoist. Y emblem in upper hoist comer.

1991-1994 Tribar of W - R - W

1994-date-R field with V stripe at bottom, R lace design on W at hoist, no emblem.

Georgia-1917--?-R++ field with canton of W over N.

1951-1991 R field with B disk in canton. R emblem on disk with R and B rays emanating from it. B horizontal stripe runs  from disk to fly of flag.

1991-date-Pre-Soviet flag readopted.

Kazalotan-1953-1992-R field with Y emblem, wide B horizontal stripe near bottom, with narrower R stripe below.

1992-date-B- field with Y sun and eagle emblem in center. Y decoration at hoist.

Kirghiz-1953-1992-R field with Y emblem, wide B++ horizontal stripe through center bisected with narrow W stripe.

1992-date-R field with Y sun emblem in center.

Moldova-1952-1991-R field with Y emblem, N horizontal stripe through center.

1991-date-Vertical tricolor of B-Y-R with eagle arms in center.

Russia-pre-1917-Horizontal tricolor of W-B-R

1917-1990 Flag of Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic used. See "USSR" above for history up to 1954.

1954-1991 R field with Y emblem, B vertical stripe along hoist.

1991-date W-B-R flag readopted.

Tadzhik-1953-1992-R field with Y emblem, lower half of field divided into horizontal stripes of W, V, R with W stripe twice the width of each of the other two stripes.

1992-date Horizontal R-W-V field (central W stripe somewhat wider) with Y crown and stars emblem in center.

Turkmenistan-1953-1992-R field with Y emblem, 2 B horizontal stripes through center separated by narrow R stripe.

1992-date-V field with vertical stripe near hoist containing 5 oriental carpet motifs. A W crescent and stars is in the upper hoist portion of the V field.

Ukraine-1930's-1949-R field with Y hammer and sickle (no star!) with Cyrillic initials "URSR". (3'x5')

1949-1991 R field with Y emblem. Broad B- horizontal stripe along bottom of field.

1991-date-Field horizontally divided Y over B-.

Uzbek-1952-1992-R field with Y emblem. B- horizontal stripe through center of field, fimbriated W.

1992-date-Horizontal tribar of B-W-V, with R fimbriation separating the W stripe from the colored stripes. In the hoist end of the B stripe is a W crescent with W stars.


1972-date-R vertical stripe at hoist, rest of field divided horizontally. V-W-N.


1801-date-B field with wide R "Cross of St. George" throughout and diagonal W "Cross of St. Andrew" from comer to comer. Within W diagonal cross are the counterchanged arms of a R 'St. Patrick's Cross."


1877-1890-38 W stars on B canton. Field divided into 13 horizontal stripes, alternating R and W.

1890-1891-43 stars.

1891-1895-44 stars.

1895-1908-45 stars.

1908-1912-46 stars.

1912-1959-48 stars.

1959-1960-49 stars.

1960-date-50 stars.


1830-date-Y sun in W canton. Field divided into 9 stripes alternating W and B.

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