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Photo: kremlin.ru

Russias national flag is a white, blue, and red tricolor that is almost 300 years old. Peter the Great introduced it in 1705 as the flag of the Russian merchant fleet. It finally became the national flag in 1883 on the decree of Alexander III.

In the civil war of 1918-1920, the Bolsheviks adopted the revolutionary red flag and were known as the Reds, whereas their opponents the Whites fought and lost under the imperial white, blue, and red tricolor.

The tricolor was resurrected as the national flag of Russia following the failed August 1991 coup, mainly as a symbol of the victory of the democratic forces of Russia over the conservatives in the Soviet leadership who had launched the coup as the final, and unsuccessful, attempt to reinstate centralist controls.

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