Embassy of the Russian Federation in New Zealand
Tel.: (04) 476 6113; Consular section: (04) 476 6742, (04) 476 9548 (Visa section, from 10:00 - 12:00)
Fax: (04) 476 3843
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State Symbols

National Anthem

The National Anthem is one of the official state symbols of the Russian Federation.

Music by Alexander Alexandrov

Lyrics by Sergei Mikhalkov

The lyrics and music of the national anthem create a ceremonial composition intended as a symbol of state unity. The Anthem’s words reflect feelings of patriotism and respect for the country’s history and its system of government.

The National Anthem can be performed by an orchestra or choir, separately or jointly, or using other vocal and instrumental media. Audio and video recordings can also be made and used in performing the Anthem, as can television and radio broadcasts.

The National Anthem must be performed in strict accordance with the approved music and text.

When the National Anthem is performed at official occasions, the audience is expected to stand and men must remove their hats.

If the National Anthem is played while the State Flag is being raised, the audience faces the flag.

The new National Anthem of the Russian Federation was first officially performed on December 30, 2000, at a state reception in the Great Kremlin Palace.

The Russian Federation national anthem must be performed in strict accordance with the approved musical arrangement and lyrics.

During official performances of the national anthem everyone present listens to it standing, and men remove their hats.

The Flag

The Russian Federation state flag is rectangular in form and comprises three equal horizontal stripes: the upper one white, the middle one blue, and the lower one red. The flag is two-by-three in terms of length to width.


The law does not stipulate the precise shades of blue and red that may be used.

The Russian flag was created when Russia built its first naval vessels, and was used mostly as a naval ensign until the nineteenth century.

Geographical exploration and discoveries by Russian navigators laid the start of the white, blue and red flag’s use on dry land.

Before the nineteenth century, Russian sailors would raise a cross to mark land they were claiming for the country. But in 1806, a new tradition began when a Russian expedition exploring the coast of southern Sakhalin landed and raised two flags on the island – the St Andrew flag, which symbolized the navy’s valour, and the white, blue and red state flag which declared Russia’s new territorial acquisition.

Peter the Great’s boat bore white, blue and red stripes. In 1693, also under Peter the Great, a detachment of small vessels sailed for the Solovetsky Islands flying a flag of equal horizontal white, blue and red stripes.

The white, blue and red tricolour’s increasing use came to a halt in 1858, when the state emblems office at the Government Senate’s Heraldry Department proposed making changes to the national flag.

Over the next 150 years Russia’s flag changed numerous times. In November 1990, a government commission on new state symbols settled the flag question quickly and almost unanimously: Russia had had the white, blue and red tricolour with its more than 300 years of history, and should return it to use.

On December 25, 2000, with a new century and a new millennium about to begin, the Federal Constitutional Law On the Russian Federation State Flag was adopted, setting out the legal provisions and rules for the flag’s use.

The law states, for example, the state flag can be raised during events organised by companies, entities and organisations, and also during family celebrations. People may hang the Russian national flag at home on their balconies or at their dachas if they wish.

People may hang the Russian national flag at home on their balconies or at their dachas if they wish.

A depiction of the national flag can be used as an element or as the heraldic base for Russian Federation state decorations, and also for the heraldic symbols, emblems and flags of the federal executive power bodies.

Gold Star Medal

Gold Star

Pension Fund of the Russian Federation

Pension Fund of the
Russian Federation

The Russian state flag may not be used as an element or as the background for commercial organisations’ logos:

Illustration - flag as logo

Illustration - flag as background

National Coat of Arms

In accordance with the Federal Constitutional Law On the State Coat of Arms of the Russian Federation, the Russian coat of arms is described as follows: «… a gold two-headed eagle with raised extended wings set against a four-cornered red heraldic shield with rounded lower corners. Two small crowns top the eagle’s heads, with one large crown above them. The three crowns are linked by a ribbon. The eagle holds a sceptre in its right claw and an orb in its left claw. The eagle bears a red shield on its breast depicting a silver horseman in a blue cape, mounted upon a silver horse and slaying a black dragon with a silver spear.»

National coat of arms

The image created by Yevgeny Ukhnalyov has become widely used. Although it is appended to the law it is not a compulsory standard image. Artists are free to create their own versions in accordance with the official description.