Russian Symbols

Every country has its symbols. Usually we distinguish between national, state, and cultural symbols. What are the symbols that Russians are proud of?

 State Russian symbols include the Russian flag (флаг), the Russian National Emblem (герб), and the Russian anthem (гимн). The Russian flag is tricolor. It consists of three horizontal stripes: white, blue, and red. Opinions are divided on what exactly these colors signify. This Russian symbol is thought by some people to indicate significant traits of Russian character: the white color denotes nobleness and sincerity, the blue — loyalty and honesty, and the red — courage and generosity. Others see in this Russian symbol the embodiment of the ideology of official nationality: “white” refers to Russian Orthodox church, “blue” — to tsar power, and “red” — to the Russian people. 

Other state Russian symbols are the National Emblem and the anthem. The former presents the red armorial escutcheon with the golden double-headed eagle holding a scepter and an orb. On the eagle’s chest in a red shield we see St. George defeating a black dragon. Another Russian symbol is the national anthem. Its music was written by A. Aleksandrov and the lyrics by S.V. Mikhalkov.

Among the most famous national cultural Russian symbols we can name the балалайка (ba-la-LAY-ka), a stringed musical instrument, матрёшка (ma-TRYOSH-ka), Russian nesting doll, and самовар (sa-ma-VAR).

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If you want to see how the Russian flag and flags of other countries look like and also learn how to talk about nationalities and languages in Russian—click here.