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22 Aug, 2008 07:37

Russia celebrates Flag Day

Russia is celebrating National Flag Day. Almost 1,000 people gathered in the centre of Moscow at noon to sing the Russian anthem. Organisers handed out a large number of flags and white, blue and red balloons to be relea

Flag Day has been an annual celebration since 1994.

“Russia's flag will always symbolise stability, reliability and security,” said State Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov. “Respect to national symbols is the most important element of civic consciousness. It incorporates the knowledge of your history, love of your people and your country and the intention to make your own contribution to the country's development.”

The white-blue-red tricolour was initially introduced in Russia in the 17th century by Tsar Aleksey Mikhailovich.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union it was officially re-established on August 22, 1991.

In 2000 Russia passed a law which allows its display only for official purposes and on national holidays.