«We need to look into the past in order to understand the present and foresee the future»
N.A.Nazarbayev

History in Symbols

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History in Symbols
Every state has its own traditions. One of them is respect and reverence for state symbols, which include the national emblem, flag and anthem.

State Symbols

In the early XX century, the practice of approving own national emblem, flag and anthem has been finally formed in each state. The flag and emblem of the state allowed to designate the place of the country in the international arena. History and culture, past and present were reflected in the state symbols, and the patriotism of citizens was expressed in visual and musical images. It stands to reason that the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev spoke about national identity, because the national code is hidden in such symbols.

Respect for the emblem, flag and anthem is also respect for the state itself. Insulting the state symbols is like insulting the state, its people, its history and culture.

A citizen of any country honours and respects own national symbols. Every citizen knows what the national emblem and flag of the country look like since childhood. However, reverence should not be blind, but conscious, it is very important to understand the symbols represented on the flag and the emblem.

History of the Ukrainian Flag

 Every year on August 23, Ukraine celebrates National Flag Day. Ukrainian yellow and blue flag has an ancient history. For the first time the combination of blue and yellow colours appeared on the emblem of Lviv: Daniil Galitsky gave the city, founded in 1256, an emblem with the image of a yellow lion on a blue background.

Yellow and blue flag is mentioned in the history as the emblem of Lviv, under which the combined forces of the Slavs and Baltic nations defeated the German knights in the Battle of Grunwald in 1410. Polish historian Jan Dlugosz noted that the ensign of Lviv "had a yellow lion on the flag climbing a rock on the azure field".

The ensigns were widely used in the heroic Cossack period. In "History of Zaporozhian Cossacks" D. Yavornitsky writes that "a scarlet silk flag with a white eagle depicted in the center was called a banner or a flag, when the Zaporozhians were for the Polish king, or with a two-headed eagle when the Zaporozhians defected to the Moscow king.

Since the XVIII century, Cossack flags of Zaporozhian Sich often had a combination of blue-yellow colour. As a rule, a Cossack in the clothes of gold or red colours was depicted on the flag. Military, territorial and other flags disappear with the liquidation of Zaporozhian Sich. It was possible to use only the white-blue-red flags of the empire on the Ukrainian lands, which were part of the tsarist Russia.

The appearance of the Ukrainian (yellow and blue) flag is connected with the revolutionary events of 1848-1849. In October 1848, yellow and blue color combination of the flag was adopted in Lviv. These colors quickly spread to the Ukrainian lands, which were part of Austria-Hungary and Dnieper Ukraine at that time.

On March 22, 1918, the Central Rada in Kiev adopted the Law "On the State Flag of the Ukrainian People's Republic", which approved the yellow and blue colors of the flag. During the period of Pavel Skoropadsky's hetmanship, the colour order was changed to blue-yellow. It remained the same during the period of the Directory's power.

In the Soviet Ukraine, there was no question of the spread of yellow and blue colours. The first flag of the Ukrainian SSR, approved in March 1919, was red, with the golden initials of the Ukrainian SSR in the upper corner. With the formation of the Soviet Union in December 1922, a new flag was created: a red flag with a sickle and hammer, a red five-pointed star fringed with gold, and the abbreviation "Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic".

On November 21, 1949, the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Ukrainian SSR adopted a new flag: the red horizontal stripe, and the lower stripe is the blue one. There are crossed gold sickles and hammers on the upper strip, and a red five-pointed star fringed with gold above them.

With the declaration of independence of Ukraine, the Ukrainian people revived the historical tradition and on January 28, 1992 the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine approved the blue-yellow flag of Ukraine. In order to raise respect for the citizens, especially for the younger generation, for the state symbols of Ukraine, the Flag Day was established with the Decree of the President of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma "On the Day of the State Flag of Ukraine" of August 23, 2004.

The President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko established a flag-hoisting ceremony on August 23 throughout Ukraine. In honour of the holiday, a solemn ceremony of hoisting the State Flag of Ukraine in regional and district centers and other settlements of the country is held annually on August 23.

Flags and representatives of the Ukrainian diaspora in other countries raise their flags. The capital of Kazakhstan, Nur-Sultan, also hosted an official ceremony of hoisting the State Flag on the territory of the diplomatic mission of Ukraine. The diplomats were joined by family members and representatives of the Ukrainian diaspora in Kazakhstan. The State Flag-raising Ceremony was held to the sounds of the State Anthem of Ukraine:

Glorious spirit of Ukraine shines and lives forever.

Blessed by Fortune brotherhood will stand up together.

The State Flag is a symbol of freedom, unity and glory of Ukraine. It embodies all the aspirations and hopes of the Ukrainian people for a better future. 

Regaining Independence

The end of August is also significant for Ukraine by the celebration of Independence Day. On August 24, 1991, the Supreme Soviet of the Ukrainian SSR adopted the Act of proclamation of independence of Ukraine and the Regulation ‘On Declaration of Independence of Ukraine’.

In August 1991, an attempt at a coup d'état was made in Moscow. Having removed Gorbachev from power, the powers of Head of State were transferred to Vice-President G. Yanaev, and the State Committee on Emergency Situation (SCES) was established in the USSR. On August 21, 1991, the leaders of the mutiny were arrested. A few days later, on August 24, 1991, the Supreme Soviet of the Ukrainian SSR adopted the Act of proclamation of independence of Ukraine and the Regulation "On Declaration of Independence of Ukraine". Therefore, the Day of Declaration of Independence of Ukraine is celebrated as a state holiday - Independence Day.

On December 1, 1991, at the All-Ukrainian referendum, 90.32% of the country's population expressed support for Ukraine's independence. At this time with the All-Ukrainian referendum the elections of the President of Ukraine were held for the first time.

Leonid Kravchuk Was the First President of Independent Ukraine

On December 8, 1991, the President of Ukraine L. Kravchuk became one of the participants of the agreement signed in Belovezhskaya Pushcha on the establishment of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Together with him, the historic document that ended the Soviet empire was signed by B. Yeltsin, Russian President and S. Shushkevich, Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of Belarus

In order to form the basis of the market economy, Ukraine started privatization. In March 1992, the Verkhovna Rada approved the Fundamentals of National Economic Policy of Ukraine, the main principles of which were the development of market relations, the introduction of its own monetary system and withdrawal from the ruble space, privatization, demonopolization, liberalization of foreign economic activity. In order to get out of the ruble zone, the own currency ‘karbovanets’ was launched. However, the national currency prototype quickly depreciated. In 1992, their value fell by 21 times, and 103 times in 1993. Money emission began and inflation turned into hyperinflation. The conflict between the authorities and the society, aggravation of protest moods of citizens led to polarization of political forces.

The elections to the Verkhovna Rada in March 1994 showed that the deputies of the left-wing parties had great authority in the society; they made up the majority in the parliament, while the right-centrists lost their previous status. During the 1994 presidential elections L. Kuchma was elected president of Ukraine. After the 1994 elections, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine approved a new composition of the Constitutional Commission. On June 28, 1996, people's deputies voted for the Basic Law of Ukraine. The day of adoption of the Constitution, 28 June, became a public holiday.

The struggle for political clout continued in the country, and in May-November 1999, preparations for the new presidential elections began. In the first round of elections, none of the candidates received the necessary number of votes. In the second round, Kuchma surpassed Simonenko and was elected President of Ukraine for the second time.

An important achievement of the state's financial policy was ensuring financial stability. As a result, the rate of price growth decreased from 400% in 1992 to 40% in 1996. Lower inflation had a positive impact on the stabilization of the national currency against the dollar. Monetary reform was carried out in September 1996. The Decree of the President of Ukraine ‘On Monetary Reform’ introduced the national currency ‘hryvnia’ into circulation in Ukraine on September 2, 1996. After the decline of the global financial crisis of 1997-1998, there was a gradual increase in the basic economic indicators in Ukraine. 

The situation in the economy and society remained difficult. Problems in the economy, inconsistency and slowdown of reforms, inconsistency of the legal basis of economic realities, imperfect social policy continued to be relevant for Ukraine at the beginning of the XXI century. Leonid Kuchma continued his policy of strengthening presidential powers, in response to which the opposition expressed distrust in the institution of the presidency and personally in Leonid Kuchma, which led to the political crisis of 2004, known as the Orange Revolution. In October 2004, 26 candidates took part in the presidential election. V. Yushchenko and V. Yanukovych won the most votes. As a result of the second round on November 21, Viktor Yanukovych won 3% more votes. The opposition accused the government of falsifying the vote count, and protests in Kiev led to the victory of the Orange Revolution.

The Supreme Court of Ukraine declared the results of the second round invalid and on December 26, 2004, V. Yushchenko won the vote. He declared the country's course for integration into the EU and NATO. Ukraine has become an active participant in the integration processes. The priority direction of Ukraine's economic integration into the world economic system became the post-Soviet republics, Eastern European countries (primarily Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic). Ukraine has devoted considerable efforts to expanding its relations with the European Union. Inside the country, Yushchenko emphasized the revival of national traditions and the ukrainianization of the humanitarian sphere. The new political elite was interested in a more flexible decision-making process, did not want to depend on the president and demanded a reduction in the powers of the head of state. State building was accompanied by confrontation between the legislative and executive branches of power. The political crisis of 2007 showed that Ukraine was almost on the brink of internal conflict and even civil war. In September 2008, the political crisis gave way to the world crisis. The government reacted late to its signs and the economic typhoon quickly covered Ukraine. All the sources of growth that the Ukrainian economy was feeding on were destroyed. The protracted political crisis ended with a weakening of the president's authority. The Verkhovna Rada adopted a number of amendments to the Constitution, according to which Ukraine became a parliamentary-presidential republic.

Viktor Yanukovych was elected President of Ukraine on February 15, 2010. After the election, the amendments to the Constitution were abolished, the presidential power was strengthened and the presidential-parliamentary republic was restored. The signing of the association agreement with the EU was due to take place in November 2013. The agreement provided for deeper integration with the European Union in the areas of politics, trade, culture and security. But at the last minute, Yanukovych refused to sign the association agreement with the EU. President Yanukovych's actions caused sharp dissatisfaction of the population. On 21 November 2013, young people gathered in Maidan. Gradually, peaceful protests turned into active attacks of administrative buildings. The situation worsened in January-February 2014, when radicals from the Right Sector attacked the positions of the internal troops. Yanukovych's negotiations with opposition leaders did not yield results. On 18 February, pro-Maidan supporters launched an attack and the president left the country. The Verkhovna Rada, headed by Oleksandr Turchynov, took power into its own hands.

Against the background of mass protests in Sevastopol, Russia intervened in the internal affairs of Ukraine. Russian troops took control of key facilities on the Crimean Peninsula. On 16 March 2014, the new Crimean authorities held a referendum on Crimea's accession to Russia with gross violations of international law, the results of which were recognized as illegitimate by many countries of the world. In May 2014, ‘people's republics’ declared ‘sovereignty’ in the occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

Ukraine held presidential elections on 25 May, which were won by businessman Petro Poroshenko.  He faced difficult tasks: restoration of the borders of Ukraine, solution of economic and social problems. In Kiev, Poroshenko was demanded to be done with the separatists. After some hesitation, on July 1, the President ordered the end of the truce and the beginning of the offensive. After the first successes in the north of Donetsk and west of Luhansk regions, a series of defeats began. On 5 September, an agreement on a ceasefire and peaceful settlement of the situation in Donbas was signed in Minsk. In February 2015, the second Minsk agreements were signed.

It is worth noting that during his presidency from 2014 to 2019, Poroshenko managed to preserve Ukraine's independence. The EU-Ukraine Association Agreement was signed, and the agreement came into full force in September 2017. After years of negotiations between Ukraine and the EU, a visa-free regime for Ukrainian citizens came into force on 11 June 2017. Military actions and separatism pushed Ukraine towards military reforms, defense spending increased and the army became a combat-ready force. The Orthodox Church of Ukraine was established in Ukraine. The Verkhovna Rada adopted a law on language quotas on television and radio. Ukraine banned Russian social networks and the broadcasting of all Russian TV channels.
In spring 2019, Ukraine held its next presidential election. It should be noted that 44 candidates were registered for the elections, and later five of them refused to participate in the elections, thus the ballot papers contained the names of 39 candidates. This is an indicator of the high level of openness and maturity of civil society in Ukraine. At the end of the second round of the presidential election, actor Volodymyr Zelensky won. He continued to work on strengthening the statehood. For 100 days of work in the presidential chair he issued 740 decrees. Zelensky started a dialogue with Russian President V. Putin returned to Donbass and Crimea. The parties have made progress in the exchange of detained and convicted citizens of their countries.  

Independence Day celebrations were held in Kazakhstan. The Cultural and Information Centre of the Embassy of Ukraine in the Republic of Kazakhstan hosted a gala concert with representatives of artistic groups of the Ukrainian diaspora of Kazakhstan and pupils of school No. 47, where children learn the Ukrainian language. A photo exhibition dedicated to the independence of Ukraine was prepared for the guests as well.

Probably, it is not a coincidence that the flag of Ukraine with its flowers reminds the flag of Kazakhstan: clear blue sky above the head and fields covered with wheat. This combination is close for every Kazakhstani, confirming our common roots, common history and strong friendship of our people once again!

 

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