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Mariy-El flag history (Russia)

Last modified: 2014-06-01 by zoltán horváth
Keywords: tisten | purity | clothes: cerimonial | peace | clay | sun | yolk | ethnic | bulygin (g. n.) | kazakov (v. g.) | national ornament | sky | ocean |
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About Maryan flags

According to Tenora [jtn99], the ancestors of the Mari used a banner, but nothing is known about it except its name, Tisten. Therefore, the creation of national symbols for Mariy-El had to start from scratch. Initial proposals should have used reddish brown, yellow and white, according to the ethnographists W. A. Akzorin and I. W. Jefimow.

  • White symbolizes the purity of the aims of the Mari people, the clothes for ceremonial days, and peace.
  • Reddish brown colour refers to a very ancient legend of the Mari people. Life on earth is said to have stemmed from brown clay.
  • Yellow is associated to the sun, according to a belief common in several finno-ugrian peoples: the sun initially constituted the yolk of the universe. The egg had been laid by the sky goddess Ilmatayurt (as a duck). The planets were later formed from her other eggs.
Ivan Sache, 30 Apr 2000

Maryan ethnic flag

ethnic flag
image by Marco Pribilla, 02 Feb 2002

In the number 2/2001 of Alkukoti I found an interesting map chart [alk01] with the living areas and flags of the different Finno-Ugric peoples. It shows a white-black-red flag for the Mari.
Marco Pribilla, 02 Feb 2002

Pre-1992 flag proposal

1st flag proposal
image by Ivan Sache, 30 Apr 2000

Bulygin and Kazakov designed first version: light-blue, white, green.
Victor Lomantsov, 01 May 2000

Tenora [jtn99] also shows an early proposal by G. N. Buligin and W. G. Kasakow. This flag never existed but was published as proposal by local media. It is a 1:2 flag, horizontally divided light blue - white - green (2:3:2). A simplified version of the national ornament is placed in the white stripe near the hoist. Blue symbolizes the sky but also the waters of the primordial ocean of the legend. White symbolizes the purity of the aims of the Mari people, the clothes for ceremonial days, and peace. Green symbolizes the places of worship and the ceremonies of the ancestors.
Ivan Sache, 30 Apr 2000

New symbols expected since 2001

Projects for new symbols of the republic are currently under preparation, because the current symbols do not abide some hrealdry rules (information sent by cheif heraldist Izmail Efimov, creator of the new symbols).
Dmitriĭ Ivanov (webmaster, Mariy-El gov site), 15 Aug 2001

On November, 28th 2006 adopted law about new flag and new coat of arms, [replacing the 1992-2006 ones].
Mikhail Revnivtsev, 04 Dec 2006

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