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National Bolshevik Party (Russia)

Национал-больше&

Last modified: 2013-10-19 by zoltán horváth
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Introduction

The National Bolshevik Party (NBP) has been led by Eduard Limonov since it was first founded in 1992 as "National Bolshevik Front" by fusion of six smaller far-right groups; the later name was adopted in 1993. Their platform called for a revolution and transforming Russia, enlarged with the parts of neighboring ex-USSR states which have significant Russian population, into a unitary state with the political and economic system similar to that of the former USSR, but with the highest state offices being reserved for ethnic Russians. Such a transformed state would spread its domination over most of the Eurasia, not unlike the Soviet domination in the Warsaw Pact and the Comecon. Since 2005, the party was barred from election registration and was completely outlawed in 2007. In 2010, Eduard Limonov founded another party, named "Other Russia", which replaced the earlier National Bolshevik flags with a black-yellow-white horizontal tricolor, charged with the party name inscribed in black on the yellow field, although some of the old flags were kept in unofficial use (as will be indicated below). It seems that not all the members of National Bolshevik Party have followed their leader into his new party and that some of them have formed a number of new organizations, which might have kept some or all of the old flags in use.
(modified text from "Historical Flags of Our Ancestors" website)
Pete Loeser, 22 July 2012


Flags with hammer and sickle - red background version

Red flag with hammer and sickle, ratio 2:3
Image by Tomislav Todorović and António Martins-Tuválkin, 04 Aug 2008, derived from image by (anon.)

The flag is based on the nazi scheme (red, a centered white disk with a black symbol); instead of the swastika there is the sickle-and-hammer device. This flag impressed me because of the merging of two well known and opposite symbols; it is a vexillological oxymoron.
Giuseppe Bottasini, 1997

Red flag with hammer and sickle, ratio 1:2         Red flag with hammer and sickle, ratio 1:1
Images by Tomislav Todorović and António Martins-Tuválkin, 02 May 2012, derived from image by (anon.)

National Bolshevik red flag with black hammer and sickle on a white disc was used since the party was founded in 1993, until it was officially banned in 2007, when the use of this flag was also prohibited, although it still appeared several times later. It usually had the ratio 2:3 or 1:2, but it seems that many other ratios were used, not only those between these two (3:5 seems to have also appeared), but also longer than 1:2 and shorter than 2:3. There was at least one occasion on which flags with ratio 1:1 were used as well. It is often very difficult to precisely determine the flag ratio from the photos of fluttering flags. Moreover, the disc often appears to be shifted towards the hoist, as if the flag was shortened by making of the sleeve, or even more than that; this lack of symmetry makes the decision even more difficult. The shapes of hammer and sickle also vary a lot and so does the disc size. All these variations clearly suggest that the flags were home-made, with no prescribed ratio. Another fact to support this is that the flags with different ratios were frequently used together. Nevertheless, the most frequent variants do seem to be those with the ratio 2:3 and 1:2.
The following photo galleries, all from the different party websites, show the use of these variants of red flags:

  1. Moscow, 2002-09-15 - red flags 2:3 and 1:2
  2. Moscow, 2003-04-05 - red flags 2:3 and 1:2
  3. Moscow, 2003-11-07 - red flags 2:3
  4. Moscow, 2004-02-23 - red flags 2:3 and 1:2
  5. Moscow, 2004-03-03 - red flags 2:3
  6. St Petersburg, 2004-05-01 - red flags 2:3 and 1:2
  7. Moscow, 2004-05-01 - red flags 2:3 and 1:2
  8. Rostov-na-Donu, 2004-11-07 - red flags 2:3
  9. St Petersburg, 2004-11-07 - red flags 2:3 and 1:2
  10. Moscow, 2004-11-07 - red flags 2:3 and few 1:2
  11. St Petersburg, 2005-01-18 - red flags 1:2 and few 2:3
  12. Moscow, 2005-01-22 - red flags 1:2 and few 2:3
  13. Moscow, 2005-01-29 - red flags 1:2
  14. Moscow, 2005-02-23 - red flags 1:2
  15. Krasnodar, 2005-04-05 - red flags 2:3
  16. Moscow, 2005-04-05 - red flags 1:2
  17. Voronezh, 2005-05-01 - red flags 2:3
  18. Krasnodar, 2005-05-01 - red flags 2:3 and 1:2
  19. Moscow, 2005-05-01 - red flags 2:3 and 1:2
  20. Moscow, 2005-09-17 - red flags 1:2 and few 2:3
  21. Moscow, 2005-11-07 - red flags 1:2 and few 2:3
  22. Krasnoyarsk, 2006-03-24 - red flags 2:3
  23. Yaroslavl, 2006-03-26 - red flags 2:3 and 1:1
  24. Moscow, 2006-04-05 - red flags 2:3 and 1:2
  25. Moscow, 2006-11-07 - red flags 2:3 and 1:2 (link broken)
  26. Moscow, 2008-01-25 - red flags 1:2 (link broken)

Tomislav Todorović, 02 May 2012


Flags with hammer and sickle - black background version

Black flag with hammer and sickle, ratio 1:2    Black flag with hammer and sickle, ratio 2:3
Images by Tomislav Todorović and António Martins-Tuválkin, 04 Aug 2008 (left) and 02 May 2012 (right),
derived from image by (anon.)

Flags with black field replaced those with red field by early 2008. However, there are also examples of their earlier use together with the red flags. Everything that was said above about the ratio, position and size of the disc and shapes of hammer and sickle, applies here as well, except that the ratio 1:1 was not detected here so far. These variants are shown in the following photo galleries:

  1. Moscow, 2006-03-16 - black flags 1:2
  2. Moscow, 2006-05-09 - black flags 1:2 among the red flags
  3. Moscow, 2006-09-09 - red and black flags 1:2
  4. Pskov, 2007-06-26 - black flag, ratio 2:3 or close
  5. Ekaterinburg, 2008-03-28 - black flags 2:3 (link broken)
  6. Moscow, 2008-05-01 - black flags 2:3 and few 1:2 (link broken)
  7. Krasnoyarsk, 2008-06-06 - a black flag 2:3 (image)
  8. Moscow, 2008-06-10 - black flags 1:2 (link broken)
  9. Moscow, 2008-10-04 - black flags 1:2 and few 2:3 (link broken)
  10. Moscow, 2008-11-07 - black flags 2:3 (link broken)
  11. Moscow, 2009-05-01 - black flags 1:2 and 2:3 (link broken)
  12. Irkutsk, 2009-09-01 - black flag 1:2
  13. Moscow, 2009-11-07 - black flags 1:2 (link broken)
  14. Moscow, 2010-04-05 - black flags 1:2 (link broken)
  15. Moscow, 2010-05-01 - black flags 1:2 and 2:3 (link broken)
On 2010-07-11, Eduard Limonov, founder and leader of National Bolshevik Party, has founded another party, named Other Russia (Russian: Drugaya Rossiya), which generally quit using these flags. However, many National Bolsheviks did not follow him into the new party, these breakaway groups still using black and/or red flags with hammer and sickle, and there were examples of the black flags' use by the Other Russia as well.
Tomislav Todorović, 02 May 2012

The red and black flags, used in Moscow on 2006-05-09, as shown here and here, show a big variety of shapes of hammer and sickle at one place.
Tomislav Todorović, 04 May 2012


Flags with hammer and sickle - red-black background version

Black flag with hammer and sickle, ratio 2:3     Black flag with hammer and sickle, ratio 1:2
Images by Tomislav Todorović and António Martins-Tuválkin, 02 May 2008 (left) and 04 May 2012 (right),
derived from image by (anon.)

The red flag with a wide black stripe in the bottom can be seen at the Vexillographia website. The photo of this flag reveals that the ratio was about 2:3.
Tomislav Todorović, 02 May 2012

All sources which currently show this flag contain the photos taken in Pskov, what suggests that the flag was created and used only there. Like with other flags with hammer and sickle, its ratio may vary, the most frequent being 2:3, followed with 1:2. These variants are shown in the following photo galleries:

  1. Pskov, 2008-10-04
  2. Pskov, 2008-11-22
  3. Pskov, 2009-05-16

The National Bolsheviks from Pskov have joined the Other Russia and seem to still use the existing copies of this flag, as could be seen on 2012-02-05.
Tomislav Todorović, 04 May 2012


Red flag with "Black Sun" and hammer and sickle

Red flag with "Black Sun" and hammer and sickle Image by Tomislav Todorović, 06 May 2012

Although red flag with black hammer and sickle on a white disc was banned in 2007, still there is a flag whose design contains all of these elements and combines them with the "Black Sun", an occult symbol which is occasionally used by the neo-Nazis, thus producing another flag in the series of vexillological oxymora which are so characheristic for the National Bolsheviks. This flag has a large white disc, edged with the outer ring of the "Black Sun", and a smaller disc, edged with the inner ring of the "Black Sun" and charged with black hammer and sickle, all on red field. The flag is shown in the following photo galleries:

  1. Volgograd, 2011-02-25
  2. Volgograd, 2011-03-13
  3. Volgograd, 2011-04-02
  4. Volgograd, 2011-04-02 (other gallery)

All these galleries date from the time when the National Bolshevik Party was already replaced with the Other Russia, but the flag must have been introduced before that.
Although the "Black Sun" symbol is depicted here in black color, as is usually the case, its name does not necessarily imply the color - it is actually a more complex form of the "sun wheel", its simplest form being a variant of the Celtic Cross. More about the symbol and its name at Wikipedia.
Tomislav Todorović, 06 May 2012


Red flags with inscriptions

Red flag with inscription, ratio 1:1 1:1    Red flag with inscription, ratio 2:3 2:3

Red flag with inscription, ratio 1:2 1:3 Images by Tomislav Todorović, 02 May 2012

After the red flags with hammer and sickle were banned, they were replaced with similar flags bearing black inscription CENZURA (ЦЕНЗУРА) in place of hammer and sickle. The word literally means "censorship" or, in this context, "censored". Everything that was said above about the ratio of red flags with hammer and sickle applies on the flags with the inscription as well. The size of disc also varies, but the relative size of disc and inscription does not and the disc is almost always centered. The typeface is invariably Arial or very similar. The earliest photo galleries showing this flag's use date from early 2008, although it was probably introduced earlier; the latest ones are from the first half of 2010, shortly before the Other Russia was founded. The new party did not continue to use this flag.
The variants of this flag are shown in the following photo galleries:

  1. St Petersburg, 2008-03-05 - CENZURA flags 2:3 among the black flags with hammer and sickle (link broken)
  2. St Petersburg, 2008-05-01 - CENZURA flags 2:3 among the black flags with hammer and sickle (link broken)
  3. St Petersburg, 2008-12-09 - CENZURA flags together with the black flags with hammer and sickle (link broken)
  4. Moscow, 2009-10-04 - CENZURA flags together with the black flags with hammer and sickle, all 1:2 (link broken)
  5. St Petersburg, 2009-11-07 - CENZURA flags, 2:3 nad few 1:1, together with the red flags with the hand grenade (link broken)
  6. St Petersburg, 2010-05-01 - CENZURA flags, 2:3 nad few 1:1, together with the black flags 2:3 with hammer and sickle and red flags with the hand grenade (link broken)
  7. Nizhniy Novgorod, 2010-08-15 - CENZURA flag 1:2 along the other flags used by the National Bolshevik Party and the Other Russia (photo)
Tomislav Todorović, 02 May 2012

In Irkutsk, on 2007-05-01, party members have brought to the demonstrations a large demonstration poster which resembled the usual red flags with the black inscription on a white disc, but the inscription here was ZAPRESHCHENO (ЗАПРЕЩЕНО) within a black rectangular frame. The meaning of the word is "forbidden". The photo can be seen here. There are currently no photos which could confirm such a flag, but the design is clearly flag-like.
Tomislav Todorović, 04 May 2012


Red flags with hand grenade

Red flag hand grenade, ratio 1:1 1:1   Red flag with hand grenade, ratio 2:3 2:3

Red flag hand grenade, ratio 1:2 1:2
Images by Tomislav Todorović, 03 May 2012 (left, center) and 04 May 2012 (right)

The earliest recorded appearance of the red flag which is charged with the hand grenade instead of hammer and sickle was in Moscow, on 2002-09-15. The symbol is used due to its Russian name - limonka (лимонка) - which makes it an allusion to the name of Eduard Limonov. The flags may have the ratio 2:3 (most frequently) or 1:2, rarely 1:1, but just like with the other flags, it is possible that their ratio is not fixed at all. The size of both the disc and the grenade may vary as well. The flags are shown in the following photo galleries:

  1. Kaliningrad, 2004-10-18 (photo, photo)
  2. St Petersburg, 2009-11-07, also showing flags with inscription CENZURA (link broken)
  3. St Petersburg, 2010-03-20
  4. St Petersburg, 2010-05-01, also showing flags with inscription CENZURA (link broken)
  5. St Petersburg, 2010-05-01 (other gallery), also showing flags with inscription CENZURA
After the Other Russia party was founded by former National Bolsheviks, it kept these flags in use.
Tomislav Todorović, 03 May 2012

This flag (with ratio 1:1) was announced, along with the black flag with the hammer and sickle, as the new party flag (replacing the prohibited one), by the Pskov branch on 2007-04-23 and was used in Pskov on 2008-05-03 and on 2008-08-11.
Tomislav Todorović, 04 May 2012


Black flags with hand grenade

Black flag hand grenade, ratio 1:2 Image by Tomislav Todorović, 17 Jun 2012

The National Bolshevik flag with the hand grenade has also had a variant with the black field. Such flags, with the ratio 1:2, were used in the city of Nizhniy Novgorod, at a rally on 2010-05-22 (the slideshow is beneath the text). The National Bolsheviks of the Nizhniy Novgorod have joined the Other Russia party in 2010 and kept this flag in use. It was seen in the city during the demonstrations on 2012-03-12 (photo). The use of the flag at other places was not recorded so far, although it might have been used. The same applies to the variants with the other ratios.
Tomislav Todorović, 17 Jun 2012


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