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the symbol of the revolutionary liberation struggle.
Popular uprisings occurred under red banners as early as the eighth century (the Red Banner rebellion in Iran) and in the 16th (the Great Peasant War in Germany) and 17th centuries. The people of France fought under red banners against the king’s rule in July 1792. With the revolt of June 5–6, 1832, in Paris, the red banner became a symbol of the blood spilled by the people and thus the banner of revolution, and after the Paris Commune of 1871 it became the banner of proletarian revolution and the world revolutionary workers’ movement.
In Russia the red banner was first raised in 1861 by rebellious peasants in Penza Province. During the first political demonstration in Russia, on Kazan Cathedral Square in St. Petersburg on Dec. 6, 1876, the worker la. Potapov raised a red banner as a symbol of the struggle against autocracy. The first May Day meetings and rallies of striking workers occurred under the red banner, and it flew at the barricades of the Revolution of 1905–07 and during the February Revolution of 1917. After the triumph of the October Revolution of 1917 it became the state flag of the Soviet state (Decree of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee of Apr. 14, 1918) and the combat banner of its armed forces. The Order of the Red Banner, an award for combat excellence, was instituted in 1918 and the Order of the Red Banner of Labor in 1920. During the Civil War of 1918–20 units and large units of the Red Army and the Red Navy were awarded the Honorary Revolutionary Red Banner for combat excellence (order of Aug. 3, 1918, of the People’s Commissariat on Military Affairs). Collectives of enterprises and kolkhozes are awarded challenge red banners for victories in socialist emulation competitions. The resolution of the Central Committee of the CPSU of Jan. 4, 1967, entitled On Preparation for the 50th Anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution established memorial banners of the Central Committee of the CPSU, the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, the Council of Ministers of the USSR, and the All-Union Central Council of Trade Unions. These banners were instituted as symbols of labor valor and in honor of the jubilee of the October Revolution. Thousands of collectives of enterprises, organizations, sovkhozes, and kolkhozes that won socialist emulation competitions in honor of the 50th anniversary of the October Revolution were awarded these banners, which were given to them for eternal safekeeping.
REFERENCESMamaev, K. K. Flagi rasskazyvaiut. Leningrad, 1972.
Ivanov, K. A. Flagi gosudarstv mira, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1971.
Maksiashev, P. F. “Kogda vpervye ν Rossii bylo podniato krasnoe znamia.” Voprosy istorii, 1965, no. 3.
Signev, A. “Kak sozdavalsia flag nashei rodiny.” Voprosy istorii, 1964, no. 11.