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The Flags of Karelia
It was established as a flag of the White Sea Karelia on the 21st of June 1918 in Uhtua (a new name – Kalevala – the centre of national region). The flag was composed by Finnish artist Jonas Heiska.
Seven silver stars on a dark blue background are formed the Great Bear (Otava).
It was established with coat of arms on the 19th of March 1920 in Uhtua – the capital of the independent Republic of Uhtua. These national symbols of the Eastern Karelia were created by famous Finnish artist Akseli Gallen-Kallela. This flag was in use till 1922 when Republic of Uhtua was defeated. During a war 1941-1944 Finnish flag in the Eastern Karelia always used together the national Karelian flag.
This flag is in Scandinavian tradition. A green field – the woodlands of Karelia. A black and a red – a traditional national colours of Karelians.
From the 17th of June 1937 a red flag of Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR) with additional inscriptions on Russian, Karelian and Finnish languages had become an official symbol of Karelian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic.
In second half of 1937 in Karelian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic begin reprisals against finns. From 15 thousands of ethnic finns, living in Karelia on 1934, to 1939 there were about 8 thousands people. On the 29th of December 1937 the Finnish language was excluded from symbolics of Karelian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic.
At the end of the Winter War on the 31st of March 1940 Karelian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic was re-organized to Karelian-Finnish Soviet Socialist Republic. It had a flag of the USSR specified with inscriptions on Finnish and Russian languages.
A red colour of field means membership of the USSR. A dark blue colour are lakes and rivers of Karelia. A green colour are woodlands of Karelia.
On the 16th of July 1956 Karelian-Finnish Soviet Socialist Republic was re-organized to Karelian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic and its emblem became a national flag of RSFSR with additional inscription Finnish on Russian languages.
Note: the inscriptions on flags, widely practiced in Soviet period, were rough infringement of heraldic tradition.
On the 16th of February 1993 was established a national flag of Republic of Karelia based on later version of flag of Karelian-Finnish Soviet Socialist Republic.
A red colour means bloodshed. A dark blue colour are lakes and rivers of Karelia. A green colour are woodlands of Karelia.
Besides Karelians the Veps (also Finno-Ugric linguistic group) consist in population of Karelia too. They lived in the Southern Karelia on territory between Onego lake and Ladoga lake. In 1992 Veps had own national flag.