Sunday, July 12, 2020

Ingush State Flag Highly Symbolic of Nationhood and Territory

Paul Goble

            Staunton, July 11 -- Today is the Day of the State Flag of Ingushetia, an important symbol of its statehood and nationhood that is all the more striking because it contains symbolism that few beyond Ingushetia entirely understand and that Ingush demonstrators invariably carry when protesting Moscow-imposed officials there.

            On the occasion of this holiday, Lors Bersayev, a journalist of the Ingushetia internet newspaper, tells something of its history and meaning (

            Unlike most non-Russian republics, Ingushetia did not have heraldic symbols like a flag in Soviet times because it was part of a Chechen-Ingush ASSR. It did not become a subject of the Russian Federation until June 1992 and did not adopt any until 1994 when a flag design proposed by Ingush professor Ibragim Dakhkilgov was finally adopted.

            A republic flag had appeared earlier, but the 1994 republic act changed both its shape, from 2:3 to 1:2 and its appearance, increasing the radius of the internal circle of the sun sign and of the incomplete circle at the end of its rays. Also changed, Bersayev says, were the width of the rays themselves.

            As approved, the flag shows a circle with three rays in the center; and its basic colors, white and green, are symbolically important to the Ingush. The first signals purity, the second Islam and the awakening of nature. And both are illuminated by the sun sign in the center. That sun sign rotates counter-clockwise because that reflects the way the earth moves around the sun.

            The sun sign, perhaps the most dramatic part of the flag, stands for “unending development leading to the flourishing of the people,” the Ingush journalist says. And its red color stands for “the centuries-long struggle of the Ingush people for the right to live on its native land in peace and concord.”

            Since its adoption, there have been various proposals to modify it; but now, some 26 years after it was introduced, the Ingush national flag is accepted by almost everyone in Ingushetia as a symbol of the nation and its territory.  It is frequently displayed far from the republic. And it is registered as item number 152 in Russia’s heraldry office.

            Meanwhile, an important detail surfaced in the case of Yakub Belkhoroyev, the deputy of the Popular Assembly who has been charged with massive corruption. It turns out that he is known to be close to Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, something that makes the handling of his case especially sensitive (

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