- September 18, 2012
Why Lithuania is not using white -red Flag?
Traditional symbol of Lithuania is a pursuit. A knight riding on a horse on the red background. Present flag does not look like that symbol at all and it more reminds colors of rastafar. Everything happened because of poles and Bolsheviks. Historical flag can have its comeback, the discussion has its place in a Lithuanian Seym.
The symbols of polish-Lithuania commonwealth were pursuit as well as white eagle. Later, when Commonwealth was not present anymore and it was important to rebuilt it. Part of rebuilding the country had Russians and that’s why symbols of Michael archangel were added to the symbolic.
On the terrain of old polish-Lithuanian commonwealth two countries came to existence in 1918. There was need to share the symbols: poles took the eagle and Lithuanians who became independent country took the pursuit. Flags were harder to share with. White and red are the colors of polish herb and it became its herb of 2nd Republic of Poland. Lithuanians whose also had the same color of herb could not take the same herb. Lithuanians wanted to cut off from Poles as much as they could.
For some time there was an idea of having a symbol of white knight on the red background but it might have seen as Bolsheviks’ symbol. Also, at the time of building Lithuanian nationalism a lot of intellectuals wanted to cut off from traditions made Grand Duchy of Lithuania as multinational country. To the tradition of GDL also related Belarus till today Belarus opposition is using it.
Color green and red have its presence in Lithuanian clothes of folklore. Yellow was added to them to symbolize sunrise which was related to the constitution of 1922. since that moment those colors became national colors despite the controversies that those colors were not historical, were against heraldy and the most important they were the colors of Ethiopia, which was the beginning for the colors of africanist movement
Today the colors of red, green, yellow have Ethiopia, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameron, Central African Republic, Mali, Guinea, Guinea – Bissau, Ghana, Senegal, Republic of Zambia, South Africa, Togo, Zimbabwe, Mozambique etc.
Those colors were also used by Rastafarian and since that moment national banner of Lithuania was colligated with berets of reggae, joints, dreads, and Haile Selassie.
Green, yellow, red were the colors symbolized Lithuanian polity during Soviet occupation, that’s why after the independence in 1990 color became national gain.
Today, when there is no need to prove individuality from Belarusians and Lithuanians, and tradition of Grand Duchy of Lithuania is seen more debate about historical flag is back.
In Lithuanian Seym – Sejmas, Had its place a discussion about usage the flag with pursuit. It was used in some historical events till today. But now it was proposed to use it the way self-governments want to use it. It is possible for Lithuanians to use both national banners in some
Tłumaczenie Karolina Przybyło w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Karolina Przybyło within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.