Central and Eastern Europe, International Journalism and PR

Lithuanian Flag Day

January 1 is a Lithuanian Flag day. To mark this day a ceremony is held annually to replace the Lithuanian flag on the tower on the hill of Gediminas in central Vilnius. The older flag is handed over for the protection to a chosen Lithuanian school.

The modern Lithuanian flag-tricolor, the symbol of the independent Republic of Lithuania, was first raised on the tower on January 1, 1919. It was created in 1918 and replaced the red flag featuring the Vytis-a white (silver) armoured knight on a white (silver) horse holding in his right hand a white (silver) sword above his head. A blue shield hangs on the left shoulder of the knight with a double yellow (gold) cross on it. The horse saddle, horsecloth, bridle, and belts are blue. The hilt of the sword, the curb bits of the bridle, the stirrup and the spur, the metal fastenings of the sheath and the trapping, as well as the horseshoes are yellow (gold). The ratio of the width of the flag to the length of the said flag must be 3:5 (The Law on the National Flag and Other Flags).
 
This is one of the oldest symbols of a state and its origins date back to the early 15th century  one of the oldest European coats of arms.

The present national flag of the Republic of Lithuania consists of three equal horizontal coloured stripes arranged with the yellow above, the green in the middle, and the red below. Width and length ratio of the national flag is 3:5. The yellow in the flag is meant to symbolise the sun and prosperity, the green is for the forests, the countryside, liberty, and hope, and the red represents the blood and bravery of those who have died for Lithuania.

It is important to mention that during the Soviet Occupation (1940–1941, 1944–1990) and Nazi occupation (1941–1944) the use of the national flag was prohibited and prosecuted. Two other flags were used by the Soviet occupant in which Lithuania was presented as the republic of the Soviet Union.

Soviet symbols were banned in Lithuania  in 2008, and raising or otherwise using the Lithuanian SSR flag in public is illegal.

Source: https://www.lrs.lt/

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