Flag of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic
RSFSR 1954.svg
Adopted May 2, 1954 [1]
Designed by (unknown)
Proportions 1:2

The longest in use flag (1954-1991) of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR), a constituent republic of the Soviet Union, was a red rectangular sheet with a sky-blue stripe at the pole, width of the stripe was 1/8 the length of the flag, charged with golden star and hammer-and-sickle in the upper hoist area of the red field.

Flag proportions were 1:2, like in most Soviet Flags.


The flag was based on the flag of the Soviet Union, and followed the common pattern of the flags of the Soviet republics. Among them it was the only flag with a vertical stripe.[2] The color red represented Communism, the state ideology of the Soviet Union. the symbol in the top left corner is the symbol of the Communist Party, the hammer and the sickle represent the union of of the proletariat (the industrial workers) and the peasants. The star represents the party's guidance of both. The blue stripe represents the loyalty of Russia.


The Soviet power was proclaimed on October 26, 1917, (Old Style calendar), and in the first months plain red sheet was used as the flag of the new state. It was not fixed in any formal document, and legally the country's name remained the Russian Republic, and its flag still was a white-blue-red tricolour.

On April 13, 1918, a special decree was passed, which described the flag of the new Republic: The flag of the Russian Republic is red banner with Old Russian inscription: Россійская Соціалистическая Федеративная Совѣтская Республика (The Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic). The decree said nothing about the flag proportions; colour, size, and position of the inscription; and historians still are not sure how it was supposed to look like. On the photographs different variants are shown:


On June 17, 1918, the All-Russian Central Executive Committee adopted a new flag for the RSFSR, designed by Sergey Vasilyevich Chekhonin. It was a red rectangular sheet with golden inscription РСФСР in canton, written in stylized Slavic-like font face, separated from the rest of the flag with a thin golden stripes. On September 29, 1920, an amendment to the constitution was passed which re-affirmed this design as the state flag of the RSFSR.

July 1918

On July 10, 1918, the constitution of the RSFSR was passed. The Article 90 stated: Merchant, maritime, and army flag of RSFSR consists of red (scarlet) sheet, in the upper left corner of which, at the pole, there are golden letters: Р.С.Ф.С.Р. (RSFSR) or an inscription: Россiйская Соцiалистическая Федеративная Республика (Russian Socialist Federative Republic). The picture of the flag was shown on an illustration. According to it, the flag proportions were 5:8, and the letters were arranged in cross-like pattern.


In 1922 RSFSR was incorporated into the Soviet Union, and its constitution had to be changed. According to the version of 1925, the state flag of the RSFSR was described as a red (scarlet) sheet, with golden letters "Р.С.Ф.С.Р." in the upper hoist corner.


A new constitution was passed on January 21, 1937. According to it, the official name of the republic was changed to "Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic" (the words for "Soviet" and "Socialist" traded places), and in the new description of the flag the dots disappeared from the abbreviation "РСФСР". The new flag was designed by A.N. Milkin, and was officially adopted on April 1, 1937.


In 1947, Presidium of the Supreme Council of the Soviet Union recommended the Soviet republics to design and adopt new flags. The RSFSR was the last of the republics to do so, and on May 2, 1954, the text of the constitution was changed: The state flag of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic consists of a red sheet with a light-blue stripe at the pole. The light-blue stripe has width 1/8 of the flag length. In the upper left corner of the red sheet a golden hammer-and-sickle and a red five-pointed star frimbriated with gold are pictured. Flag proportions are 1:2. In 1981 by a decree it was specified, that the star and the hammer-and-sickle are not shown on the reverse side of the flag.

Since August 1991

On June 12, 1990, the Congress of the People's Representatives adopted the Declaration of the State Sovereignty of the RSFSR, and the Council of Ministers asked its Archives Committee to design new state symbols. On August 22, 1991, the People's Representatives adopted the Resolution of Official Recognition and Use of the National Flag of the RSFSR, consisting of just one statement: Till a special law about new state symbolics of the Russian Federation will be passed, the historical flag of Russia, a sheet of equal horizontal stripes of white, azure, and scarlet stripes, shall be considered official National Flag of the Russian Federation. A law about the flag was passed on November 1. On December 12, representatives of Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus declared of dissolution of the Soviet Union, and on December 25, 1991, the official name of the republic was changed to Russian Federation (Russia).[3]


Soviet Union.svg Republics of the Soviet Union
Principal Republics
Armenian SSRAzerbaijan SSRByelorussian SSREstonian SSRGeorgian SSR

Kazakh SSRKirghiz SSR ● Latvian SSR ('40-'53, '53-'91) ● Lithuanian SSR ('40-'53, '53-'89)

Moldavian SSRRussian SFSRTajik SSRTurkmen SSRUkrainian SSRUzbek SSR
Short-Lived Republics: Karelo-Finnish SSRTranscaucasian SFSR