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Flag of Latvia

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Flag of Latvia
Flag of Latvia

Use: Civil and state flag, civil ensign
Proportion: 1:2
Adopted: 18 November 1918
Restored: on 27 February 1990
Design: A carmine field bisected by a narrow white stripe (one-fifth the width of the flag)

Variant flag of Latvia

Use: Naval ensign
Proportion: 2:3
Adopted: 1991
Design: White field with cross voided in the colors of the State Flag (the width of the arms of the cross is 1/5 of the flag width).


The national flag of Latvia (Latvian: Latvijas karogs) was used by independent Latvia from 1918 until the country was occupied by the Soviet Union in 1940. Its use was suppressed during Soviet rule. Shortly before regaining its independence, Latvia re-adopted on 27 February 1990 the same red-white-red flag.

Though officially adopted in 1923, the Latvian flag was in use as early as the 13th century. The red colour is sometimes described as symbolizing the readiness of the Latvians to give the blood from their hearts for freedom and their willingness to defend their liberty. An alternative interpretation, according to one legend, is that a Latvian leader was wounded in battle, and the edges of the white sheet in which he was wrapped were stained by his blood. The white stripe may stand for the sheet that wrapped him. This story is similar to the legend of the origins of the flag of Austria.

History
The red-white-red Latvian flag (German: die Banier der Letten) is first mentioned in the medieval Rhymed Chronicle of Livonia (Livländische Reimchronik), which covers the period from 1180 to 1343, and is thus among the oldest flags in the world. The chronicle tells of a battle that took place around 1279, in which ancient Latvian tribes from Cēsis, a city in the northern part of modern-day Latvia, went to war, bearing a red flag with a white stripe.

Legend recounts the story of the mortally wounded chief of a Latvian tribe who was wrapped in a white sheet. The part of the sheet on which he was lying remained white, but the two edges were stained in his blood. During the next battle the bloodstained sheet was used as a flag. According to the legend this time the Latvian warriors were successful and drove the enemy away. Ever since then Latvian tribes have used these colours.

Based on the aforementioned historical record, the present day flag design was adapted by artist Ansis Cīrulis in May 1917. The Latvian national flag, together with the national coat of arms was affirmed in this format by a special parliamentary decree of the Republic of Latvia passed on 15 June 1921.

Occupation
During the period of occupation by the Soviet Union (and briefly by Nazi Germany), the red-white-red Latvian flag was rendered useless from 1940-1941 and 1944-1991. Any production and public display of the nationalist Latvian flag was considered anti-state crime and punishable by law. The first flag of Soviet Latvia was a red flag with the gold hammer and sickle in the top-left corner, with the Latin characters LPSR (Latvijas Padomju Sociālistiskā Republika) above them in gold in a serif font. In 1953, the final version of the flag was adopted. It depicts the Soviet flag with six 1/3 blue wavy bands representing the sea on the bottom.

Restoration
Under the influence of Mikhail Gorbachev's glasnost and perestroika initiatives, the flag of independent Latvia was restored on 15 February 1990, one and a half years before the formal recognition of Latvian independence.

Republic of Latvia

Latvijas Republika (Latvian)
Flag of Latvia
Flag
{{{coat_alt}}}
Coat of arms
Anthem:
Dievs, svētī Latviju!
God Bless Latvia!
Location of Latvia (dark green) – in Europe (green & dark grey) – in the European Union (green)  –  [Legend]
Location of Latvia (dark green)

– in Europe (green & dark grey)
– in the European Union (green) – [Legend]

Capital
and largest city
Riga
56°57′N 24°6′E / 56.950°N 24.100°E / 56.950; 24.100
Official languages Latviana
Ethnic groups
(2018)
  • 62.2% Latvians
  • 25.2% Russians
  • 3.2% Belarusians
  • 2.2% Ukrainians
  • 2.1% Poles
  • 1.2% Lithuanians
  • 0.3% Roma
  • 3.6% Others /
    Unspecified
Demonym(s) Latvian
Government Unitary parliamentary constitutional republic
• President
Raimonds Vējonis
• Prime Minister
Krišjānis Kariņš
Legislature Saeima
Independence
• Declaredb
18 November 1918
• Recognised
26 January 1921
• Constitution adopted
7 November 1922
• Soviet and Nazi occupations
1940–1991
• Announced independence
4 May 1990
• Restored independence
21 August 1991
• Independence recognized by the Soviet Union
6 September 1991
• Admitted to the United Nations
17 September 1991
Joined the European Union
1 May 2004
Area
• Total
64,589 km2 (24,938 sq mi) (122nd)
• Water (%)
1.57% (1,014 km2)
Population
• 2018 estimate
1,925,800 (148th)
• 2011 census
2,070,371
• Density
34.3/km2 (88.8/sq mi) (166th)
GDP (PPP) 2019 estimate
• Total
$60.509 billion
• Per capita
$31,215
GDP (nominal) 2019 estimate
• Total
$35.780 billion
• Per capita
$18,458
Gini (2018) Negative increase 35.6
medium
HDI (2017) Increase 0.847
very high · 41st
Currency Euro (€) (EUR)
Time zone UTC+2 (EET)
• Summer (DST)
UTC+3 (EEST)
Driving side right
Calling code +371
ISO 3166 code LV
Internet TLD .lvc
  1. Latvian is the sole official language. Livonian is considered an indigenous language and has special legal status. Latgalian written language and Latvian Sign Language also have special legal status.
  2. Latvia is de jure continuous with its declaration of 18 November 1918.
  3. The .eu domain is also used, as it is shared with other European Union member states.

Flag of Latvia

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Flag History of Latvia? | How old is Latvia Flag Design formation? | How to call Latvia?

Categories: National symbols of Latvia,National flags,Red and white flags,Flags of Latvia,Flags introduced in 1918,Flags introduced in 1990, Latvia,Baltic states,Baltic countries and territories,Countries in Europe,Northern European countries,Eastern European countries,Member states of NATO,Member states of the Council of Europe,Member states of the European Union,Member states of the Union for the Mediterranean,Member states of the United Nations,Members of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization,Republics,Russian-speaking countries and territories,States and territories established in 1918,States and territories established in 1991

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