Hammer and Sickle

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hammer and sickle

a symbolic representation of the former Soviet Union or of Communism in general
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Hammer and Sickle


in the USSR, the emblem of the Soviet state. The hammer and sickle symbolizes the peaceful labor of Soviet people and the indestructible fraternal alliance of workers and peasants. It shows that all power in the land of the soviets belongs to the working people.

Because of the special importance of the hammer and sickle in Soviet symbolism, its depiction is regulated by various laws, for example, by the Statute on the State Flag of the USSR, confirmed by a decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of Aug. 19, 1955. The hammer and sickle is one of the principal elements of Soviet state seals and flags. It is depicted on stamps, official documents, the buildings of soviets of people’s deputies and of some state enterprises, institutions, and organizations, and on transportation vehicles. It is also found on treasury notes, the dais of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, the daises of the supreme soviets of the Union republics and autonomous republics, major publications, and a number of orders, medals, and decorations of the USSR.

Hammer and Sickle


in the USSR, a gold medal that is presented to persons honored with the title Hero of Socialist Labor. It is awarded simultaneously with the Order of Lenin and a certificate of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. The medal was instituted by a decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of May 22, 1940. It consists of a five-pointed star with smooth dihedral rays on the front. A hammer and sickle is depicted in relief in the center of the medal. The medal is fastened to clothing with a rectangular red moiré ribbon. It is worn on the left side of the chest, above orders and medals.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.