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Hayastan - Republic of Armenia, Hayastani Hanrapetutyun

Last modified: 2002-11-16 by ivan sache
Keywords: armenia | hayastan | caucasus | europe | commonwealth of independent states | law | constitution | coat of arms | ararat |
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[Armenia]by António Martins

Flag used between 1918 and 1921 and readopted 24 August 1990 (with modified proportion), coat of arms used between 1918 and 1921 and readopted 24 August 1990 .
Proportion: 1:2
Description: Horizontally divided red-blue-orange.
Use: on land, civil, state and war flag.

Colour approximate specifications (as given in Album des Pavillons [pay00]):

  • Red: Pantone 199 c / CMYK (%) C 0 - M100 - Y 65 - K 0
  • Blue: Pantone 285 c / CMYK (%) C 90 - M 45 - Y 0 - K 0
  • Orange: Pantone 021 c / CMYK (%) C 0 - M 50 - Y 90 - K 0

On this page:

See also:

A presentation of Armenia

Full name: Republic of Armenia.
Location: Caucasus.
Status: Internationally recognized independent state since 23 September 1991.
Notes: Historical Armenia was the first nation to declare Christianity its official religion.
The flag was originally hoisted during short-lived Armenia independence after First World War.

Stuart Notholt

Laws on the national symbols

The State flag was confirmed on 23 August by the Armenian Supreme Council decision. The Declaration about Independence of Armenia was adopted during the same session. The law About State flag of Republic of Armenia (No C-0076-1) was adopted by the the Supreme Council on 24 August .
The law says that the State flag is a rectangular panel with three equal horizontal stripes of red, blue and orange colours (from top to bottom), of ratio 2:1.
The text of the law is avialable on the Armenian Presidency website.

Evan & Victor Lomantsov, 2 March 2002

According to the law, the flag is said to be karmir, kappoyt,narndjagooyn (Eastern Armenian pronunciation), which translates exactly into "red, blue, orange". However, I cannot confirm the shade of blue that was on the soviet Armenian flag. All I can tell you is that the flag before the USSR and after the USSR (the one we learned about in school) was blue in the middle.

Alexandre Voscorian, 25 May 1998

The flag in the Constitution

The Constitution of Armenia says:

Article 13. The flag of the Republic of Armenia is tricolor made of three horizontal and equal stripes of red, blue, and orange.
The coat of arms of the Republic of Armenia depicts, in the center on a shield, Mount Ararat with Noah's ark and the coats of arms of the four kingdoms of historical Armenia. The shield is supported by a lion and an eagle while a sword, a branch, a sheaf, a chain and a ribbon are portrayed under the shield.
The national anthem of the Republic of Armenia is the "Our Fatherland."
The capital of the Republic of Armenia is Yerevan.

Source: Embassy of Armenia

Gvido Petersons, 11 August 2000

Proportions of the flag

The proportions of the flag are 1:2, though the 1918 Armenian flag was 2:3.

Luc Baronian, 25 May 1998

Interpretations of the colours of the flag

The flag represents the people of Armenia. The red stands for the split blood of all Armenian soldiers, present and past. The orange stands for the fertile land and the farmers that work on it. The blue stands for the sky.

Raffi Kazanjian, 27 June 1996

Here are different interpretations that I have found of the colors of the Armenian flag (pardon the missing sources) :
1) A rainbow over Mount Ararat.
2) Red is the blood shed and the whole is derived from the colours of the banners of the former kingdom of Cilicia. (I think this was in Crampton, 1990 [cra90]).
3) A simple description of the colours says : vermilion red, ultramarine blue and apricot orange.
4) A friend told me that he has heard : red : blood shed ; blue : eternal land of Armenia ; orange : courage.
5) Finally a source not to be neglected, the Embassy of the Republic of Armenia in Ottawa (although I find this one very awkward): red : the sun's energy; blue : the clear sky; orange : the wheat at harvest.
My opinion? I think they should just say : It's our national colors.

But note that 1) 2) 3) and 4) are not in contradiction :
1) gives the impression given by the flag as a whole.
2) explains the origins .
3) describes the colours precisely.
And 4) gives a meaning to each colour.
Now 5) is clearly in contradiction with 4), but also with 2).

Luc Baronian, 5 May 1997

Vermilion is a bright, light red with a slightly orangeish tinge, somewhere between the red of British red ensigns and the pale red of the Iranian flag. Ultramarine is "a blue that's stronger than the sea's blue". Of course, this depends on which sea you're talking about, but the colour is usually similar to the blue of the French flag.

James Dignan, 6 May 1997

Coat of arms

[Coat of arms]by Pascal Gross

Source: Website of the Presidency of Armenia, located by Pascal Gross, 11 August 2000

The coat of arms of the Third Republic of Armenia was reestablished with slight modifications in 1991 from the original coat of arms of the First Republic of Armenia that restored the Armenian State after nearly 600 years of foreign domination of Armenia in 1918.

A shield is held by a winged lion and an eagle, both symbols of historic Armenian royalty that goes back to the first Armenian Kingdom of Ararat (Urartu) in the latter half of the second millennium BC.
The center of the shield includes the Biblical establishment of Armenia after the Great Flood and Noah's Ark resting on top of Mt. Ararat, the sacred symbol of Armenia and the Armenian nation.
Subsequently, the center portion representing Noah's Ark and Mt. Ararat is joined by the insignias of the four Armenian Dynasties that followed the Aramian House of Ararat in the Sixth Century BC:

  • The bottom left portion represents the Artaxiad Royal House, the insignia is particularly famously represented in the Armenian silver and gold coins of the Armenian emperor Tigranes the Great of the Artaxiad Dynasty in the early half of the First century BC.
  • The upper right portion represents the Armenian Royal House of the Arsacids, among whose most famed representatives was Tiridates III who with the support of Catholicos St. Gregory the Illuminator made Armenia the first Christian nation in 301 AD.
  • The upper left portion represents the Royal House of the Bagratids, under whose gifted leadership in the Middle Ages, Armenian culture blossomed, represented with the grandeur of cities such as Ani - the City of 1001 Churches - as it was called by its contemporaries in praise of the city. The City of Ani was called "the Jewel of the East", and became one of the most important cultural, social and commercial centers of its time. The city was sacked and looted with the coming of the Turco-Mongol invasions from Central Asia led by the nomadic chieftain Alp-Arslan in the XIth century.
  • The bottom right portion represents the Rubenid Royal House of Cilician Armenia. Cilician Armenia or Little Armenia as it was known to Western historians was to the west of historic Greater Armenia on the beautiful shores of the Mediterranean Sea. Cilician Armenia under the gifted dynasties of the Rubenids and Hetumids, with prominent representatives such as Leon the Magnificent and Hetum I became a major commercial and cultural center with its beautiful cities such as the capital city of Sis and renowned city-ports such as Ayas. The bustling port-city of Ayas had in the XIIth and XIIIth Centuries Armenian, French, Greek, Jewish, Venetian, Genoan and Pisan quarters that were populated by merchants and craftsmen doing business with people from all over the world, from all walks of life. The city-port was obliterated and destroyed in the XVth century by the Ottoman Turks.

A vertically pointed sword breaks the chains of foreign oppression and the shield symbolically represents the guardianship of the Armenian State.
The symbol of wheat in the lower part of the coat of arms represents the sacredness of the soil and the olive branches represent the aspiration principles of the Armenian people to good will and peace.

Gevork Nazaryan, 22 March 2001

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