Significance of Colors and Symbols in Ukraine

Significanceof Colors and Symbols in Ukraine

Significanceof Colors and Symbols in Ukraine

Sincethe beginning of the society, man has been identified to communicatethrough symbols and other elements that are common to him. In thesociety, the behavior of man has been attributed to be a result ofthe present symbols and languages present. A symbol is regarded as aninstrument that bears meaning to a particular group of people. Havingsimilar norms, values, and beliefs, the society of Ukraine derivesits pride from the unique colors and symbols that have a specialmeaning to the citizens. Colors and Symbols in Ukraine are believedto have special significance to the people. Since the birth of thesociety, Ukraine has been identified as a nation with a unique regardfor colors and symbols in celebrating important factors in thecommunity (Manko, 2009). Research has shown that different colors andsymbols are used to signify official and non-official representationof the nation of Ukraine. These colors and symbols are said toreflect various aspects of the cultural life and history of theUkrainian society.

Byfocusing on individual unique colors and symbols, this paper willdescribe the significance of colors as well as symbols in theUkrainian community. The research paper will concentrate on analysingsymbols such as the Tryzub, the Ukrainian flag, Ribbon of St George,and the Flag of Novorossia. Apart from providing the special meaninggiven by these colors and symbols, the paper will explore the historyand significance of colors and symbols to the Ukrainian culture.


TheUkrainian culture is believed to date back to the 9th century. Overthe centuries, the culture of Ukraine has evolved to share certaincustoms with the other neighboring nations. It is important to notethat the Eastern Orthodox Church has profoundly influenced Ukrainianculture. The Orthodox Church is one of the oldest religiousinstitutions around the globe. The church practices originalChristian faith by maintaining sacred tradition passed down from theapostles (Anatoly Korolev, 2009, p. 17). This would illustrate thereason behind Ukrainian rigid culture that has remained unperturbedand unaffected till the current age. Colors and symbols are used tounite a society. Apart from this, they also express the culture ofthe community for example, the Tryzub.


TheTryzub is the state coat of arms of Ukraine. It is regarded as theUkrainian national coat of arms. The Tryzub features similar culturesas those of the Flag of Ukraine. It is composed of a blue shield witha gold trident. The Tryzub dates back to the Rurik dynasty of the10th century. During the early times, the symbol was embedded notonly in Ukrainian silver and gold coins but also in religious tools.During the year 1918, the Tryzub was adopted as the Ukrainian coat ofarms by the Ukrainian government. However, the year 1921 saw thesymbol lose its significance to the Ukrainian society following theSoviet Russia exercising power over the Ukrainian people (Jordan,2011).

TheTryzub adopts a blue shield with a gold trident. Same as theUkrainian Flag, the Tryzub bears the national colors with a nationalappeal to the society of Ukraine. The blue color represents the clearsky, while the yellow one represents the Ukrainian rich fertilegrounds in regards to agriculture. Many scholars have attempted todescribe the origin of the Tryzub. Some theories suggest that thesymbol signifies a bird that symbolizes freedom and courage. On theother hand, other scholars argue that the Tryzub symbolizes Trinityof the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is imperative toremember that regardless of the origin of the symbol the Tryzub hasa special meaning to the Ukrainian nation. Apart from being anational symbol of the Presidential standard, it gives hopes andunites the society of Ukraine.

TheUkrainian Flag

TheUkrainian State flag has two fesses marked by the blue color and theyellow one. It is believed that the Ukrainian land is very fertile,and thus a yellow color represents fields of wheat. The blue color issaid to represent the open sky. The flag was first officially usedduring 1848 in the Spring of Nations. Due to the emergence of theSoviet Union, the flag was outlawed only to be fully restored afterUkrainian independence in the year 1992. Among the fantastic factorsthat make the flag of Ukraine interesting include the appearance oftwo colors. The two colors, blue and yellow, make up the Ukrainianflag, which acts as a national symbol demonstrating stability andgrowth.

Giventhat the blue color is taken to represent the open sky, one wouldargue that the meaning of the open sky is freedom and bravery. Byshowing a clear and calm sky, the color is, therefore, a nationalheritage that gives the people of Ukraine hope and courage in theireveryday endeavour. The colors and symbols will only provide specialmeaning to society if the people within that surrounding have passedinformation from the one generation to the next. In Ukraine, thecombination of the two colors gives a profound meaning of unity andprosperity. On the other hand, one cannot overlook the feeling oftriumph that the outlawed flag provides to the independentnationalists of the country.

Theribbon of Saint George

Theribbon of Saint George is an ordinary military symbol in Russia. Theribbon that consists of a black and orange color pattern is said tohave originated from Russia Imperial coat of arms. It has beenidentified to symbolize fire and gunpowder. However, it did not haveany meaning during the Soviet era but was rather revived during theyear 2005 pro-democratic Orange Revolution in Ukraine. In modern dayRussia, the ribbon of Saint George is used as a patriotic symbol.Nationalists in Russia use the symbol as an expression of publicsupport towards the Russian Government. Research shows that theribbon is used to serve as a symbol of the military honor. During theawards to different military personnel, getting to receive the ribbonis a great honor to the nationalists of Ukraine. The ribbon adoptsblack and yellow color patterns (Anatoly Korolev, 2009). Thesignificance of the color to the Ukrainian people is well shown bythe ribbon of Saint George.

TheFlag of Novorossiya

Studiesalso suggest that symbols give individuals belonging to a particularcommunity the sense of belonging and pride (James, 2008). A symbolmay not have any meaning to one individual, but the same symbol mayhold much significance to another person. The society is responsiblefor the behavior of man. Sociologists have stated that through socialinteractions man is able to learn behavior from others as well asgenerate a different interpretation of symbols and colors of thesociety. The language in a society is critical, as it facilitates thetransfer of cultural values from one generation to the other. TheFlag of Novorossiya is a variant battle flag that symbolizes the newself-proclaimed confederation of Novorossiya (New Russia). The flagwas adopted during the 24th of May 2014 and exhibits resemblance tothe flag of the Russian Empire of 1858-1883. Research suggests thatthe flag has not gained popularity among the people of Ukraine. Theflag of Novorossiya is red with a blue Saint Andrew’s crossinscribed on it (Anatoly Korolev, 2009). It is among the proposedflags that would represent the suggested state of Novorossiya. As perthe 11th of July 2014, the larger public was invited for an onlinevoting to decide on a better flag for Novorossiya, having the flag ofNovorossiya as the first option.


Inconclusion, society is connected by its language, symbols, andculture. These three elements are said to depend on one another andform the culture of the society altogether. It is important to notethat certain symbols and colors have special meanings to the cultureof a community. For instance, this research outlined the colors blueand yellow as significant to the people of Ukraine. Historicalresearch has further shown that these colors have remained in theUkrainian society for centuries. The people of Ukraine retain theparticular meanings of the colors and symbols given that they areembedded in their culture.


Anatoly Korolev, D. K. (2009). National Symbolism in Russia. New York: McGraw Hill International.

James S.R, M. R. (2008). National Symbols in Ukraine . Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Jordan, A. (2011). Popular Symbols and Customs in Ukraine. London: The Free Press.

Manko, V. J. (2009). The Ukranaian Folk Pysanka. New York: Routledge .