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Latvia

 

Contents

today's Flags

historical Flags / Flag History

Meaning/Origin of the Flag

Coat of Arms

Historical Coats of Arms

Meaning/Origin of the Coat of Arms

Aircraft Roundel

Maps

Numbers and Facts

History

Maps about the History of the Balticum

Origin of the Country's Name



today's Flags

Flagge Fahne flag Latvia Latvia Latvija
national flag,
ratio = 1:2,
Quelle/Source: Wikipedia (D)





Flagge Fahne flag Latvia Latvia Latvija
naval flag,
ratio = 2:3,
Quelle/Source: Wikipedia (D)





Flagge Fahne flag Latvia Latvia Latvija
naval jack,
ratio = 2:3,
Quelle/Source: Wikipedia (D)





Flagge Fahne flag Latvia Latvia Latvija
pilot flag,
ratio = 2:3,
Quelle/Source: Flaggenbuch 1939





Flagge Fahne flag Latvia Latvia Latvija
flag of the president,
ratio = 2:3,
Quelle/Source: Wikipedia (D)




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historical Flags / Flag History

Flagge Fahne flag Schwertbrüderorden Order of the Sword Brothers
1230–1237,
flag of the Order of the Sword Brothers




Flagge Fahne flag Deutscher Orden Teutonic Order Teutonic Knights
1237–1561,
flag of the Teutonic Order (Teutonic Knights)




Flagge Fahne flag Polen Poland
1595–1621,
flag of the Kingdom of Poland




Flagge Fahne flag Schweden Sweden
1621–1721,
flag of Sweden




Flagge Fahne flag Polen-Litauen Poland-Lithuania
1721–1795,
flag of the Kingdom of Poland-Lithuania




Flagge Fahne flag Russland Russia
1795–1858,
national flag of Russia




Flagge Fahne flag Russland Russia
1858–1915,
national flag of Russia




Flagge Fahne flag Latvia Latvia Latvija
ca.1870-1916,
unofficial national flag,
Quelle/Source: nach/by Flaggen und Wappen der Welt




Flagge Fahne flag Latvia Latvia Latvija
1916,
unofficial national flag,
Quelle/Source: nach/by Wikipedia (D)




Flagge Fahne flag Latvia Latvia Latvija
1916–1917,
unofficial national flag,
Quelle/Source: nach/by Flaggen und Wappen der Welt




Flagge Fahne flag Latvia Latvia Latvija
1918–1940,
national flag,
Quelle/Source: nach/by Flaggenbuch 1939




Flagge Fahne flag Latvia Latvia Latvija
1918–1940,
naval flag,
Quelle/Source: nach/by Flaggenbuch 1939




Flagge Fahne flag Latvia Latvia Latvija
1918–1940,
naval jack,
Quelle/Source: nach/by Flaggenbuch 1939




Flagge Fahne flag Latvia Latvia Latvija
1940–1953,
national and state flag,
ratio = 1:2,
Quelle/Source: nach/by World Statesmen




Flagge Fahne flag Latvia Latvia Latvija
1953–07.10.1988, national and state flag,
07.10.1988–20.02.1990, state flag,
ratio = 1:2,
Quelle/Source: nach/by Wikipedia (D)



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Meaning/Origin of the Flag

The flag of Latvia shows a slender white stripe in the middle of a carmine bunting. In this way arise three horizontal stripes in ratio 2:1:2. The red stands for the blood which was given for the achieve of the independence in the past. The white stands for the law, the justice, the truth and the honor of the nation.

A red flag with a white stripe has a long tradition in Latvia. Such a flag was mentioned for the first time already in the 13th century. The Rhymed Chronicle of Livonia from the 14th century reports about a battle in the year 1279, in which Latvian tribes from Wenden (Cesis) beared such a flag. A legend tells about to a mortally wounded Latvian chief who was laid on a white sheet. There where he was lying the sheet remained white, but to the left and to the right the sheat was stained with his blood. From the next battle on, which was victorious like all the following, this sheet was used as a flag, and got accepted by all Latvian tribes as flag.

As flag of the people it arises in the course of the centuries again and again, finally in 1915 during the First World War. In context with the signs of the coming independence of the country this flag should be the national flag, but there were qualms that this flag could be confounded with the flag of Austria. Because of that the Latvian artist Ansis Cirulis proposed in May of the year 1917 to use crimson instead of normal red. This flag was officially adoped on 18th of November in 1918 for Latvia. Resolutions of the Parliament confirmed that on 15th of June in 1921 and apparently again on 20th of January in 1923. This flag became re-introduced on 7th of October in 1988 as national flag and on 20th of February in 1990 also as state flag. The deep red colour should ostensibly go back to characteristic, locally typical dye-substances.

Between 1940 and 1941, as well as 1944 and 1953 used Latvia as Latvian Socialistic Soviet Republic and a part of the Soviet Union a soviet unity-model. On 17th of January in 1953 was adoped a new Soviet flag for Latvia. It was a design by the painter Arturs Lapinsch. Of course that flag showed again star, hammer and sickle in gold on red ground, but there was on the lower end of the flag a dark blue stripe, separated from the red field by a wave line. Since the 7th of October in 1988 it was still valid as state flag, and was abolished ultimately on 20th of February in 1990.

Quelle/Source: Jürgen Kaltschmitt, Volker Preuß, Wikipedia (EN), Wikipedia (D), FOTW

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Coat of Arms


Wappen coat of arms Latvia Latvia Latvija
Coat of Arms of Latvia,
Quelle/Source: Corel Draw 4

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Historical Coats of Arms


Wappen coat of arms Schwertbrüderorden Order of the Sword Brothers
1230–1237,
blazon of the Order of the Sword Brothers


Wappen coat of arms Deutscher Orden Teutonic Order Teutonic Knights
1237–1561,
blazon of the Teutonic Order (Teutonic Knights)


Wappen coat of arms Kurland
coat of arms of Kurland


Wappen coat of arms Livland Livonia
coat of arms of Livonia


Wappen coat of arms Lettgallen Latgale
coat of arms of Latgale

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Meaning/Origin of the Coat of Arms

The Latvian coat of arms was created by Rihards Zarins and introduced in the year 1921. It was valid until the takeover by the Bolshevists in the year 1940 and was substituted under their rule by a soviet model. In context with the achieve of the independence from the Soviet Union the coat of arms of the year 1921 was intoduced again on 27th of February in 1990.

It shows a divided and half clefted shield. In the upper half a golden rising sun with seventeen beams on blue ground. This is a symbol for whole Latvia and its seventeen districts. In the field left below a red lion on silver. It stands for the countrysides Kurland and Semigallia. In the field right below a silvery fable beast (griffin) with a sword on red. It stands for the countrysides Livonia and Latgale.

Above the shield are positioned three golden stars. The stars stand for the historical countrysides and landscapes of Latvia: the Duchy of Kurland, Livonia and the countryside of Latgale. Shield holders are the red lion and the silvery griffin from the shield. They stand on oak twigs. Below a banner in the colours of the country.

During the Second World War – in the time of the German occupation between 1941 and 1944 – Latvia had officially no own national emblems. It belonged to the Empire's Commissionership of Ostland, in which have been summarized the countries of the Balticum and parts of the today's northwest of White Russia (Belarus). The Latvian Legion, which voluntary fought on the side of the German Empire against the Soviet Union in the Second World War used as sleeve-insignia a red shield with a slender white diagonal stripe.

Quelle/Source: Wikipedia (D), Flaggen und Wappen der Welt, Nationalflaggen der Welt, Avantgarde für Europa

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Aircraft Roundel


Flugzeugkokarde Kokarde aircraft roundel Latvia Latvia Latvija
Aircraft Roundel,
Quelle/Source: nach/by Wikipedia (EN)


Flugzeugkokarde Kokarde aircraft roundel Latvia Latvia Latvija
1918–1940,
Aircraft Roundel,
Quelle/Source: nach/by Wikipedia (EN)


Flugzeugkokarde Kokarde aircraft roundel Latvia Latvia Latvija
1993–2000,
Aircraft Roundel of the National Guard,
Quelle/Source: nach/by Wikipedia (EN)

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Maps


Quelle/Source: CIA World Factbook


Quelle/Source: CIA World Factbook


Quelle/Source: Volker Preuß

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Numbers and Facts

Area: 24.938 square miles

Inhabitants: 1.935.000 (2019), thereof 62% Latvians, 26% Russians, 3% White Russians, 2% Ukrainians, 2% Poles, 1,2 % Lithuanians, 0,1% Germans

Density of Population: 78 inh./sq.mi.

Capital: Riga 700.000 inh. (2018)

official Language: Latvian

other Languages: Russian, Latgalian

Currency: 1 Euro ( € ) = 100 Cent (to 31st of December 2013: 1 Lat = 100 Santims)

Time Zone: GMT + 2 h

Quelle/Source: Wikipedia (D)

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History

9th cent. · settlement by the East Baltic tribes of the Lettgalles, Selones, Semgalles, Kures and Lives

1202 · establishment of the "Order of the Sword Brothers" in Duenamuende

1230 · conquest of Kurland, Livonia, Latgale and Semigallia by the Order of the Sword Brothers

1236 · defeat of the Order of the Sword Brothers against the Lithuanians

1237 · unification of the Order of the Sword Brothers with the Teutonic Order, Kurland, Livonia, Latgale and Semigallia come as Livonian Federation with an own Master to the State of the Teutonic Order

1346 · Estland gets purchased by the Teutonic Order from Denmark and incorporated to the Livonian Federation of the Teutonic Order

1558–1595 · Livonian War, the Livonian Master of the Teutonic Order transforms Kurland and Semigallia in a duchy as a Polish enfeoffment, Estland was to cede to Sweden and partially to Denmark, Livonia and Latgale came directly to Poland

1621 · Sweden conquers Livonia

1629 · Livonia comes officially to Sweden

1710 · Nordic War, Russia conquers Livonia

1721 · Peace of Nystad, Livonia and Estland come to Russia, Kurland, Semigallia and Latgale remain at Poland

1795 · division of Poland → Kurland, Semigallia and Latgale come to Russia

19th cent. · nascence of the Latvian national movement

1914–1918 · First World War: 1915 the German Empire conquers Kurland and Semigallia, 1918 the German Empire conquers Latgale and Livonia

7th of November 1917 · bolshevistic revolution in Russia, seizure of power by the Soviets

3rd of March 1918 · Soviet Russia capitulates towards the German Empire, Peace Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, development of an Latvian state (including Kurland, Semigallia, Latgale and the south of Livonia)

18th of November 1918 · Latvia declares its independence from Soviet Russia, proclamation of the Republic of Latvia

18th of March 1921 · Peace of Riga, Soviet Russia recognizes the independence of Latvia

1934 · establishment of the presidial dictatorship by K. Ulmanis

23rd of August 1939 · German-Soviet non aggression pact, Latvia becomes a soviet sphere of interest and gets occupied by the Soviet Union

12th of July 1940 · proclamation of the Latvian Socialistic Soviet Republic (LSSR)

5th of August 1940 · inclusion of the LSSR into the Soviet Union, deportation of thousands of inhabitants to Sibiria

1939–1945 · Second World War: June/July 1941 conquest of Latvia by German troops, Latvia comes to the empire`s commissionership of Ostland, 36.000 Latvians fight voluntary in a Latvian Legion on the side of the German Empire against the Soviet Union, December 1944 conquest of Latvia (except Kurland) by soviet troops, 9th of May 1945 the German troops in Kurland surrender, Latvia becomes once more LSSR and incorporated into the Soviet Union again, forcible russification, deportation of thousands of Latvians to Sibiria

1988 · foundation of the "Latvian People's Front“

29th of July 1989 · declaration of independence

4th of May 1990 · proclamation of the Republic of Latvia

6th of September 1991 · the Soviet Union recognizes the independence of Latvia

1993 · first free elections

1994 · withdrawal of the Russian troops

2004 · Latvia becomes a member in the European Union

Quelle/Source: Atlas zur Geschichte, Wikipedia (D), Discovery '97

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Maps about the History of the Balticum

ca. 1410
1410–1561

ca. 1410
1561–1621

ca. 1410
1621–1721

ca. 1410
1721–1772

ca. 1410
1815–1918

ca. 1410
since 1991

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Origin of the Country's Name

The designation "Latvia" was usual not until the nascence of the Latvian national movement and the detachment from the Russian control. The country consists of four historical countrysides, which were the home of four historical peoples: Kurland (Latvian: Kurzeme), Semigallia (Latvian: Zemgale) Latgale (Lettgallen) and Livonia (Latvian: Vidzeme). The people of the "Latvians", which names itself "Latvieshi", came into beeing by the fusion of the tribes of the Lettgalles and the Semgalles. The Kures are dissolved into the Latvians, and the Lives are nearly extincted. In this way it came, that the four countrysides were mostly inhabited by Latvians and became united to one Latvia.

Quelle/Source: Volker Preuß

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