Colors and the Meaning of the Latvia Flag
The Latvian Flag consists of three horizontal stripes, the chestnut-colored stripe on top, the white stripe in the middle, and the chestnut colored stripe at the bottom.
The white stripe on the flag represents peace, while it also means independence. For Latvia, which has left the Soviet Union, this color and meaning have an important place. In the flag, the chestnut color takes more space than white. Chestnut, as in the flag of many countries, represents the spilled blood in wars.
History of the Latvia Flag
The red-white-red Latvian flag was first mentioned in the medieval Rhymed Chronicle of Livonia, which spans the period from 1180 to 1343 and is therefore among the world’s oldest flags. The Chronicle describes a war that took place around 1279. In this war, the ancient Latvian tribes from Cēsis in the northern part of Latvia are fighting with a red flag carrying a white line.
The legend tells the story of the lethally wounded chief of the Latvian tribe wrapped in a white blanket. Some of the blanket on which the chief is laid remains white, but the two sides are stained with blood. In the next battle, this blanket was used as a flag. Legend has it that the Latvian warriors were successful in the battle and defeated the enemy. Since then the Latvian tribes have used these colors. Based on these historical records, today’s flag design was adopted in May 1917 by artist Ansis Cīrulis. The national flag of Latvia, together with the national rigging, was approved by a special parliamentary decision of the Republic of Latvia on 15 June 1921 with this design.
Flag of Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic
During the occupation period by the Soviet Union, the red-white-red Latvian flag could not be used between 1940-1941 and 1944-1991. The production and use of the Latvian flag was accepted as an anti-state crime and punished under the law. The first Soviet Latvian Flag appeared with the symbol of the hammer and sickle in the upper-left corner on the red background, and with the golden color it was written ‘Latvijas Padomju Sociālistiskā Republika’.
In 1953 the final version of the flag was accepted. Waves are added to the Soviet flag, representing the sea at the bottom and covering one third of the flag. The Independent Flag of Latvia began its re-use in 15 February 1990, 1.5 years before Latvia gained its independence with the influence of Mikhail Gorbachev’s Glasnost and Perestroika initiatives.
Neighboring Countries of Latvia
Latvia (a Baltic State) is located on the European continent. The number of countries in which Latvia has borders is four. It is bordered by Estonia in the north, Lithuania in the South, and Russia and Belarus in the East. It is surrounded by the Baltic Sea from the west.
Main Characteristics of Latvia
Latvia is one of the greenest countries in the world with its forests covering half of its territory. There are many castles and old palaces in the country. It has the longest beach in Europe. The capital is Riga, the most populous and largest city in the country. In addition to the official language of Latvian, Russian and Lithuanian are also spoken. The currency is Euro.
The climate is temperate. In general, the air is humid. Summer months are generally cool and rainy.
Bread varieties, vegetables and meat dishes, dairy products, ice cream, and desserts are the basis of the country cuisine. Pork is one of the most consumed foods. You can also find many types of brown bread in the country.
|Highest Point||Gaizinkalns (312 m)|
|Total Area||64,600 km2|