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Karelia in the Soviet Union

Last modified: 2014-04-05 by zoltán horváth
Keywords: proposal | fir | tree | hammer and sickle (yellow) |
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Karelian flag of 1978
image by Jaume Ollé, 18 Nov 1996
See also:

Karelian A.S.S.R., 1956

Karelian flag of 1938
image by António Martins, 17 Nov 1996

Form 10 Oct 1956: Russian and Finnish (based on RSFSR flag):

  • КАССР
    (Российская Социалистическая Федеративная Советская Республика)
  • KASNT
    (Karjalan Autonominen Sosialistinen Neuvostotasavalta)
(Inscriptions according to the constitutions; explanations for abbreviations and other remarks in brackets. Accuracy is not guaranteed, especially when it comes to exact dates, the spelling of the Karelian language or the dots in abbreviations.)
Marco Pribilla, 07 Dec 2002

On 16 july 1956 Karelia became the Karelian ASSR again within the Russian SFSR. All ASSRs used a flag like their SSR (for Karelia the RSFSR, Soviet flag with a blue hoist [1:7]) and the name or initial in their own language(s).
Mark Sensen, 18 Mar 1996

On 16 July 1956 the KFSSR was downgraded to the Karelian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. As a result the flag changed. The new flag of the Karelian ASSR was based on the flag of the Russian SSR, that is, it had a blue stripe along the hoist, the rest of the field being red and with the outlined star, hammer and sickle and the abbreviation of the autonomous republic’s name in Russian (cyrillic characters) and Finnish (Latin characters) underneath all in golden yellow.
Jan Oskar Engene, 29 May 1997

On 20 August 1956 adopt new flag. After 1956 is also legal to use the flag with only the capital letters.
Jaume Ollé, 17 Nov 1996

The new flag had a blue stripe along the hoist, the rest of the field being red with the red star outlined in yellow over the hammer and sickle and under that "KASSR" written in Russian and Finnish/Karelian.
Jan Oskar Engene, 02 Jun 1997

Coat of arms

Inscriptions on the Coat-of-Arms of Soviet Karelia according to the constitution of 20.8.1956 — Russian and partly Finnish (Based on emblem of RSFSR):

  • Р.С.Ф.С.Р. (dots removed 1972?)
  • Карельская АССР
  • Пролетарии всех стран, соединяйтесь!
  • Kaikkien maiden proletaarit, liittykää yhteen!
Marco Pribilla, 07 Dec 2002


Karelian A.S.S.R., 1963

The typeface used in the inscription was changed in 1963.
Marco Pribilla, 07 Dec 2002


Karelian A.S.S.R., 1978.05.30

Karelian flag of 1978
image by Jaume Ollé, 18 Nov 1996

Constitution adopted on 1978.05.30 (since 1981 reverse without emblems and inscriptions)

  • Карельская АССР
  • Karjalan ASNT
(Inscriptions according to the constitutions; explanations for abbreviations and other remarks in brackets. Accuracy is not guaranteed, especially when it comes to exact dates, the spelling of the Karelian language or the dots in abbreviations.)
Marco Pribilla, 07 Dec 2002

The flag of the Karelian ASSR changed in 1978, but only slightly, so that "KASSR" was replaced by "Karelian ASSR"again written in both Finnish/Karelian and Russian.
Jan Oskar Engene, 02 Jun 1997

Coat of arms

Inscriptions on the Coat-of-Arms of Soviet Karelia according to the constitution of 30.5.1978 — Russian and partly Finnish (red star and Finnish name of the republic added):

  • РСФСР
  • Карельская АССР
  • Karjalan ASNT
  • Пролетарии всех стран, соединяйтесь!
  • Kaikkien maiden proletaarit, liittykää yhteen!
Marco Pribilla, 07 Dec 2002


Karelian A.S.S.R., 1976 (proposal)

Karelian proposal of 1976
image by Jan Oskar Engene, 29 May 1997

Paskov [pas94] shows a second proposal [see first], this time a project by Finnish heraldist Kari K. Laurla dated 1976. Laurla’s design for a KASSR flag kept the blue stripe along the hoist, the red upper field and the gold star, hammer and sickle. To this was to bands of white and green along the bottom. The dividing line between the red and white was in the shape of a fir-twig section, while that between the white and green was wavy. Note that the image is my interpretation of the design (may differ somewhat in details from Laurla’s original proposal).
Jan Oskar Engene, 29 May 1997

The artwork in [pas94] shows a solid gold star in both proposals. But checking Laurla’s own Itä-Karjalan tunnuksia [lau97], I found images with red stars fimbriated in gold — as the author of this book was the one who submitted the 1976 proposal, I rather trust this source!
Jan Oskar Engene, 26 Jun 2001

Laurla’s proposal was never adopted (probably much too Finnish looking). I don’t know the deatils, though these are probably in the Finnish and Russian text in Paskov’s book [pas94].
Jan Oskar Engene, 02 Jun 1997

What were the adoption possibilities of this 1976 proposal? By that time, it was quite clear that ASSR flags were always copies of the respective SSR’s flag with added lettering. Did Laurla seriously wanted to change this or was it just a vexillographic musing?…
António Martins, 20 Jun 2001


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