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Latvia in the Soviet Union (early flags)

Last modified: 2015-05-22 by zoltán horváth
Keywords: hammer and sickle (yellow) | star: 5 points (red) | ssrl | lpsr | hammer and sickle: no star | lspr | l.s.p.r. | l.z.p.r. | lzpr | mostees! | cogwheel (yellow) |
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Flag of 1917

Flag of 1917
image by Mark Sensen, 30 Apr 1996

Flag of 1919

Flag of 1919
image by Mark Sensen, 05 May 1996

Chronology:

  • 1918, December 23: Bolsheviks under disguise of Latvian Soviet troops invaded Latvia
  • 1919, January 3: the Latvian capital city Riga fell into bolshevik hands till may 22
  • 1920 January: Polish army joined Latvian army in war against Bolsheviks and liberated the east of Latvia
Guy Babonneau, 17 Jul 2001

Excerpt of Constitution of the Socialist Soviet Republic of Latvia (Adopted 15 January 1919):

"S’’ezdy sovetov", Vol 2, p. 187

VII. On the Flag and Arms of the Socialist Soviet Republic of Latvia

30. The Socialist Soviet Republic of Latvia shall have a red flag with the letters "SSRL," or with the inscription "Socsialisticheskaia Sovetskaia Respublika Latvii."
Dave Martucci, 05 Sep 1996, quoting from “Soviet State Symbolism”, a special issue of [tfb] The Flag Bulletin XI:1 (Winter 1972): 138-145

National emblem

Emblem of 1919
image by António Martins, 12 Oct 2006

Coat of arms of the Latvian Socialist Soviet Republic (1919-1920).
Guy Babonneau, 15 Feb 2006

Soviet latvian military flags (1918-1919)

Originally the Latvian soviet army was formed by two latvian red riflemen divisions, in May 1919 there were 45000 men (two divisions), 600 machine-guns, 98 field-guns and 3 armoured trains; the chief of Latvian soviet army was Jukums Vacietis who was killed by the NKVD in 1938.
Guy Babonneau, 17 Jul 2001

Fight artillery division

military banner
image by Guy Babonneau, 17 Jul 2001

Flag of the first light artillery division of the Latvian soviet army (1919).
Guy Babonneau, 17 Jul 2001

Millitary banner?

military banner
image by Guy Babonneau, 17 Jul 2001

It shows the contemporary national emblem.
António Martins, 12 Oct 2006

Latvian Socialist Soviet Republic (1919) the inscription in latvian means «Wake up! people thrown down into damnation!».
Guy Babonneau, 17 Jul 2001

This inscription surely sounds like the first line of the song International.
Željko Heimer, 31 Jul 2001

Considering the constitution, this should not be the SSR flag. I’d say it is some kind of unofficial banner perhaps a military one.
António Martins, 28 Nov 2002


Independence: 1918-1940

From 1918 to 1940, Lithuania was independent again. German occupation in 1941-1944. In 1944 a lithuanian RSS was created within the Soviet Union.
António Martins, 21 Mar 2000


Flag of 1940’s

Flag of 1942
image by Victor Lomantsov, 17 May 2015

Excerpt of the Constitution (Fundamental Law) of the Latvian SSR (Adopted 25 August 1940):

Konstitutsii (1951) p. 295

Chapter 10. Arms, Flag, Capital

Article 116. The State Flag of the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic shall consist of a red cloth, depicting in its upper left corner near the staff a gold sickle and hammer and, above them, the gold letters "LPSR". The proportion of width to length shall be 1:2.

This flag was replaced by a new one in 17 January 1953.
Dave Martucci, 05 Sep 1996, quoting from “Soviet State Symbolism”, a special issue of [tfb] The Flag Bulletin XI:1 (Winter 1972): 138-145


Flag of 1942
(detail of the flag)
image by Victor Lomantsov, 17 May 2015

In 1940 Latvian gazettes published fragments of the new Constitution and images of the coat of arms and (!!!) flag-emblem (see photo of the gazette).
Now we know exact detailed image of Latvian flag 1940.
Victor Lomantsov, 17 May 2015


Lettish flag in the cold war

While latvians, chafing under Russian rule were thinking about a maroon-white-maroon flag, the latvians in USA hoisted a sky blue, gren and gold flag (horizontal stripes). In central stripe, in white, the name LETTONIA. Lettish was then the name of the latvian language, and letts the name of the people. Lettonia was in use berfore WWI (now still in french Lettonie, in catalan LetÚnia, in spanish, Letonia)
This is according Flagscan 93 automne 2009, unsigned article.
Jaume Ollé, 30 May 2010