Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Kyrgyz Flag - Homage to Nomadic Traditions

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Kyrgyzstan's flag, adopted 3 March 1992
Flags are potent symbols of nationhood, and Kyrgyzstan's flag is no exception.  Kyrgyzstan became an independent nation on 31 August 1991 and its new flag was adopted on 3 March 1992.

Bravery and valour, qualities of the national hero, Manas, are represented by the blood-red background. The 40 rays of the sun represent the 40 Kyrgyz tribes. In its centre is a red ring crossed by two sets of three lines, a stylised representation of the tunduk, the chimney-like opening of the traditional Kyrgyz yurt.

In Bishkek's main square, Ala Too, there is a special flagpole. Two sentries stand as guards of honour every day there from 7:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. in all weathers. The guard is changed every hour, on the hour.

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Kyrgyz SSR flag, adopted 1952
It is interesting to compare the new flag with the former Kyrgyz SSR flag, adopted in 1952. Like the other Central Asian Soviet Republics, the background was red, the hammer and sickle represent the peasants' and workers' union, and the red star was the symbol of the proletariat.

The new, vibrant flag pays homage to, and reflects the traditional values of, this small, young nation.

Materials source: Ian Claytor's Postcard from Bishkek blog

Related posts: Turkmenistan's Carpeted Flag
Uzbek Flag: Colours and Symbols
5 Reasons to Visit Kyrgyzstan
Manaschi - Bards of Kyrgyzstan
6 Quirky Things About Kyrgyzstan  
100 Experiences of Kyrgyzstan