Full Name: Republic of Belarus
Phone code: +375
The national flag of Belarus is a red and green flag with a white and red ornament pattern placed at the staff (hoist) end. The current design was introduced in 2012 by the State Committee for Standardization of the Republic of Belarus, and is adapted from a design approved in a referendum in May 1995. It is a modification of the 1951 flag used while the country was a republic of the Soviet Union. Changes made to the Soviet-era flag were the removal of symbols of communism (the hammer and sickle and the red star) and the reversal of the colors of the ornament pattern, from white on red to red on white. Since the 1995 referendum, several flags used by government officials and agencies were modeled from the national flag. This design replaced the historical white-red-white flag used by the Belarusian People’s Republic of 1918, before Belarus became a Soviet Republic, and again after it regained its independence in 1991. Opposition groups have continued to use this flag, though its display in Belarus has been restricted by the government of Belarus, which claims it was linked with Nazi collaboration during the Second World War.
Upon the independence of Belarus from the Soviet Union, the country resurrected national symbols that were used before the Soviet era. These included a flag of red and white stripes and a coat of arms consisting of a charging knight on horseback. These national symbols were replaced by Soviet-era symbols in a disputed 1995 vote. Those two symbols, along with the national anthem, are the constitutionally defined national symbols of Belarus.
The national flag has been in use since June 7, 1995, one of two symbols adopted in the 1995 referendum. The main elements of the flag is a red and green bicolor, then decorated with an ornament pattern at the hoist position. The current flag is a modification of the 1951 flag used while the country was a republic of the Soviet Union. In the Soviet version, a hammer and sickle was placed near the top-hoist corner and the ornament colors were inverted. Several flags used by government officials and agencies were based on the national flag.
Despite being replaced, the former flag of Belarus is used by those who oppose current Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. The former flag consisted of a white background with a red horizontal stripe in the middle. It was used by the Belarusian National Republic and immediately after independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.