Last modified: 2003-03-01 by antonio martins
Keywords: north ossetia | alania | ossetia | vladikavkaz | ordzhonikidze | dzaudzhikau | error | coat of arms | cleanness | courage | whealth | happiness | error | mozdok | crocus | flower: crocus |
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Status: North Ossetia: A
constituent republic of
the Russian Federation.
Self-proclaimed independence from the Republic
of Georgia, which whom conflict continues.
A North Ossetian Autonomous Region
was created in 1924, two years after a
South Ossetian Autonomous Region.
To further complicate matters, North Ossetia was part of
Russia and South Ossetia
part of Georgia.
This ethnic time-bomb duly exploded when Georgia became a
separate state. Ossetians in South Ossetia, desiring union with
their kinsmen in the north, declared their republic a part of
Russia rather than Georgia in 1989. A year later (Georgia having
abolished the autonomous status of the region) South Ossetia
declared independence and armed conflict, which has still not
been resolved, erupted.
The Ossetians are said to be descendents of the Sarmatians,
a Central Asiatic people who migrated westwards into the region
in the 7th century BC.
Stuart Notholt, 05 Oct 1995
North Ossetia has changed its name to North Ossetia-Alaniya,
to reflect their heritage.
The flag of North Ossetia-Alania is: a horizontal
tricolour of white-red-yellow (not purple).
This version is not only used by pan-ossetian nationalists,
but it is the official flag of the republic. I’ve been in
North Ossetia in May/June 99, and you see this tricolour
everywhere there (boring enough), also on government
buildings, at official ceremonies etc. In an Ossetian
nationalist book (Osetiya i osetiny, Sost.: Kazbek
Chelechsaty, Vladikavkaz; Sankt-Peterburg 1994.) I bought
there, the meanings of these colours are explained as
following: White: moral cleanliness Red: martial courage
Yellow: wealth ans happiness. Another question is, how
much of these qualities you find in North Ossetia. But in
fact the Ossetian are charming hosts.
Klaas Bähre, 12 Sep 1999
Some people also put the coat of arms
on the flag but this is not the official norm.
V. Ivanov and S. Tabujev, 19 Mar 1999
According to the Law of the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania
relative to the coat of arms of the Rep. of NO-A of the 24 November 1994,
No.521, the coat of arms is a disk gules with a snow leopard passant or
with sable spots on a ground or with as background seven mountains
argent. [a red disk with a yellow leopard spotted in black on a
yellow ground and as background seven white mountains]. So there isn’t
here also any purple colour. The picture is clear: used here are some
vertical straight lines for the disk which in the
heraldic system are for gules [red].
Pascal Vagnat, 21 Nov 1997
Could it be that the colors of this coat
of arms origininated those of the flag?
António Martins, 23 Sep 1999
This flag is listed under number 110 at the chart Flags
of Aspirant Peoples [eba94] as:
«North Ossetia (Iristi) [Ossetes] - North Caucasus, Russia».
Ivan Sache, 15 Sep 1999
North Ossetia-Alania has flag with colours, "white,
red, yellow" not "white, purple (violet), yellow".
Nina Afletunova, 09 Feb 1999
The North Ossetian flag has also a red
stripe, and not a purple one.
Ralf Stelter, 27 Jun 1999
Most probably all regional government translators
used the english word "purple" to translate russian
"purpurnyi~" — which in fact means "dark red". (In
fact it was quite puzzling that South
Ossetia had a white, red and yellow flag and North
Ossetia a white, purple (violet) and yellow one.) This
translation error propagated spurious versions of some
russian regional flags (notably the
chuvash one) among western
vexillologists — not knowing russian (or not having access
to the original texts) and relying on fax instead of
António Martins, 10 Feb 1999
The problem of the flag of North Ossetia (Russia) is
probably more complicated. The middle stripe of its
flag is reported as "dark red" or "purple" by Russian
vexillologists so that it may be distinguished from the
flag of South Ossetia (Georgia)
with bright red middle stripe. Since the North Ossetian
political representation supports separatist movement
in South Ossetia and its attepmts to join Russia, I
believe that small differences between these two flags
are to be expected.
Jan Zrzavy, 18 Nov 1997
The flag of North Ossetia is quite the same
as of the South Ossetian:
white - red - yellow.
V. Ivanov and S. Tabujev, 19 Mar 1999
The flag is of ratio 2:3, the yellow stripe being 1/20 of the flag height
and the mauve stripe being 1/5 of the flag height. The flag has been adopted
on April 18, 2000. I would guess that the flower displayed on this flag is a
Pascal Gross, 06 Jul 2001
The city of Mozdok is in North Ossetia - Alania. The city and the
surrounding area, which are populated by [Terek]
Cossacks of Russian and Ukrainian origin, made
some moves in mid 1990s to separate from the Republic of North Ossetia -
Alania. That move didn’t find any support from the Russian government and was
Chrystian Kretowicz, 14 Sep 2002
Situated in the extreme north of the republic, Mozdok is connected to the rest of North Ossetia by a narrow isthmus. The land here is flat with rich soils and a well-developed irrigation system which guarantee Mozdok the highest agricultural yields of any part of the republic.
However, of a population numbering around 80 000, only 6000 are ethnic Ossetians. And the predominantly Russian population nurses ambitions to secede to the neighbouring Stavropolsky Kray.
In fact, Mozdok only became part of North Ossetia shortly after the Second World War when the Soviet leadership decided the region «did not have enough ploughed land to sustain its population». The move was part of a general trend in the North Caucasus during the 1950s. Each of the potentially mutinous republics was “awarded” a stretch of Russian- or Cossack-populated land in a bid to dilute its ethnic make-up.
A few Ossetian settlers had moved down to Mozdok in the late 18th century but they never made up more than 10 per cent of the population. And, after Mozdok was assimilated into North Ossetia, the proportion of ethnic Ossetians across the republic dropped to 50 per cent — a level that remained consistent until the 1980s.
Pascal Gross, 06 Jul 2001, quoting from http://racoon.riga.lv/minelres/archive//02192001-07:16:15-10827.html