Armenia is a very ancient country, with a difficult,it can be said, a heroic story. This nation is friendly and hospitable, but merciless to its enemies and persistent in its ability to achieve its goal. The flag of Armenia fully reflects both the basic qualities of its inhabitants and the history of the entire state.
Ancient national flags
Armenia as a state existed as early as 12century BC. e. The country in those days was called Armé-Šumbria, and in this name the roots of the modern name are already visible. It is difficult to say whether there already existed in those times the flag of Armenia, and exactly how it looked then. Known now is the very first banner, the images of which are found on church frescoes and in the ancient work "The History of Armenia" written by Favstos Buzenda in the fifth century of our era. Accurate information is the time of its creation - the fourth century, and the main background of the cloth - red. In addition, there is no doubt that the most ancient flag of Armenia was also the image of a two-headed eagle. Details of the appearance of this heraldic bird can not be established; some scientists have come to the conclusion that he holds the bow with his paw, but others believe that the eagle squeezes some beast. Third researchers in general think that this image is just an adornment, although they acknowledge that the flag in those days had only what kind of Armenia - the question is open.
One thing is certain: no other country on the Earth has such an ancient flag.
The following mention of how the flag lookedArmenia, are already in the 10-14th century of our era. In these centuries the kingdom of Cilicia flourished under the control of the Rubenid dynasty. The contraction to this historical date has changed. First of all, it became visually divided into three horizontal parts. The colors of the Armenian flag (red, blue, yellow: from top to bottom) in those days meant King Levon in alliance with two siblings. We can say that the Cilician banner served as a prototype for the present.
However, it is worth mentioning that at this stagehistory Cilicia cloth was not the only one. In parallel, there were other types of it. "Alternative" Armenian flag remained, as it was centuries before, red, however the figure of the eagle was replaced by the image of the cross. Most likely, it was a sign of the faithfulness of the nation of the Christian religion and a symbol of its spread.
Further transformations of the Armenian flag
The fourteenth century brought a new shape to the banner. What flag did Armenia have at that time? To the former three colors the fourth one was added - an equal strip of pure white color. According to different opinions, it reflected either the resilience of the people, whether spiritual purity, or devotion to Christianity. Most likely, the combination of all these semantic values will be closer to the truth.
Two centuries later the Armenian flag againhas undergone a change. The white band went into oblivion, but at the very top of the panel appeared a pattern of crossed swords framed in a semicircle of white stars with eight rays. Just at this time, Armenia fought with the Persians and Turks for their freedom - this struggle and symbolized the blades. The stars depicted the Armenian princes, who created an alliance to oppose the invaders.
Almost modern history
For a long time, a significant part of the Armenian peoplewas forced to live far from her homeland. In exile, exiles organized strong diasporas and sacredly preserved the customs, history and traditions of their homeland. It is one of these diasporas - the French one - that the flag of Armenia owes its one more intermediate form. In this version, the banner still had three bands, but they became vertical. The colors also changed: now it was red - green - white. The steepness of the bands symbolized the rainbow that was revealed to Noah, who descended from the ark (recall that most historians and religious scholars are inclined to think that the ark landed in the mountains of Armenia).
The colors of the new banner are also closely related to theChristianity. White - as the color basis of all rainbow colors, and at the same time the purity and spirituality of the teachings of Christ. Red means Easter, green - Sunday, which goes after it (it is these colors in the Armenian church calendar called Easter Sunday and what follows it).
The first republican banner
For the first time Armenia became the Republic in 18twentieth century. It is interesting how the Armenian flag of that time looks: in fact, its appearance returned to the Cilician era. That is, the bands are again arranged horizontally, and the colors almost correspond to those of Rubenid. The only thing - yellow color gave way to orange. The main explanation for the replacement is a more harmonious color combination.
This time Armenia is a separate republicwas not for long. Two years later it became part of the Soviet Union - and its flag was again changed. The cloth became red again, but instead of all the images on the top left an abbreviation appeared. Until 1937, it looked like the SSRA, then it was replaced by the ASSR, and the ever-memorable sickle and hammer was added. It is worthwhile to clarify that the letters in the abbreviation were Armenian for the first and second time.
1952 brought new innovations to the shape of the flagArmenia. Firstly, a blue band was added from below as a designation for Lake Sevan. Secondly, a five-ray star was added to the hammer and sickle. In this form, the Armenian flag existed before the collapse of the Union.
The modern flag of Armenia
The current banner is a return to the firstrepublican. It has been in the usual form since August of the last century. The flag of Armenia, the photo of which is located next to it, is a rectangle in three bands. True, now the symbolism of the banner has changed. The red part combines in itself several interpretations. First of all, it is the Armenian blood shed in the long liberation wars. The second meaning of color is Christianity, which for centuries has been defended by Armenians. And the third is the free Armenian mountains.
The blue strip embodies the peaceful Armenian sky andclean rivers. The orange color reflects the main qualities of the people: creative creation, diligence of the nation, openness to everything new and progressive.
Disputes and doubts of Armenians
Not all citizens of the country approve of the choicetricolor cloth. Many believe that it would be more historically true to give preference to the flag of Alma, who accompanied Armenians for many centuries. Some tend to believe that the appearance of the modern banner is an artificial idea that does not reflect the history and inclinations of the Armenian people. At the same time, some radical citizens assert that taking as a basis the Cilician red background, we must remove the Christian cross from it. They explain this in two ways: first, the church and the state are separated now. Some part of the population professes other religions, so that it is incorrect to depict the religious sign of only one church on the state symbol. And secondly, the eternal, eternal Armenian symbol is the sign of eternity. It is him, in the opinion of such Armenians, and must be portrayed on the flag.
It is difficult to say how fair suchrequirements. Only the scientist-historian, who deals with Armenia, can assess the correctness of such statements. So far, the flag of this country remains intact, and the whole world is known precisely in the tricolor version.
Another state symbol
Any country has not only a banner as aits symbol. A coat of arms is also imperative, in which all the aspirations of the people, their history and basic principles will be expressed. Armenia is not an exception. The coat of arms and its flag have developed historically.
Like the Armenian banner, the emblem received as its basis the image that was the state symbol in the first republic.
This symbol consists of a shield with an imageArarat and Noah's Ark on it. The four fields on which the shield is divided are marked by the greatest dynasties of Armenian rulers. Eagle with a lion, holding a shield, are symbols of pride, wisdom and nobility, and besides are kings of birds and beasts.
The torn chain under the shield indicates the newfound freedom, the sword - the willingness to defend it, the wheat - to diligence and the desire for peace. Well, the tricolor ribbon unites the coat of arms and the flag of the country.
The leading color of the symbol is golden; fields onwhich are shared by the shield, are historically justified - they were used in the banners of those sovereigns, whose kingdoms are conditionally designated sections. Incidentally, the use of these flowers by the ancient rulers was another reason to choose them when developing the flag of this country.
It can be safely said that the Armenian coat of arms very clearly outlines the whole history of the state - both the confrontation of the Turks, and the battles for religious freedom, and the people's propensity for peaceful coexistence.</ p>