Latvian flag


The Republic of Latvia is one of the Baltic states, which first appeared on the world map, according to some historical data, before the 13th century. However, the country did not achieve independence until 1918. After a while was adopted and the first national symbol, which, although it was changed for some time, later still returned to its former place.

This is what the modern Latvian flag looks like:

Флаг Латвийской Республики
Flag of the Republic of Latvia

History of the flag

Officially approved in 1921. It is considered a symbol of gratitude to all the heroes of the country and the national pride of the locals.

The first surviving flag was created in 1916 by journalist Janis Lapinysh during the German occupation.

After Latvia joined the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The first flag of the Latvian Soviet Union was a red cloth with a golden sickle and hammer in the upper left corner, at the staff, and the abbreviated name of the republic (LPSR) above it. It existed for thirteen years.

Флаг Латвии
Flag of the Latvian SSR (1940)

Latvia became part of the USSR in 1940, after the Red Army entered and a new government was formed.

After the Constitution of Latvia was changed in 1953, the symbol underwent significant changes. The basic color was still red, which took up two thirds of the flag’s area, the hammer and sickle did not disappear, but now a five-pointed star with a gold outline appeared above them. In addition, the lower part was now occupied by a peculiar sea created from wavy lines of white and blue in different widths.

Флаг Латвии
Flag of the Latvian SSR (1953-1990)

In 1988 it was decided to recognize the historical combination of colors of the flag as the national flag and to allow the return of the original Latvian symbol.


Represents three horizontal stripes, the two located at the edges, have the same color and one size – twice the size of the central.

The cloth has a classic rectangular shape, with an aspect ratio of two to one.

Could have a completely different color ratio, as there were ideas to use the more traditional 1:1:1. Red could also have a different, lighter shade. The final approved look appeared in 1923.

Flag colors

Dark red (“Latvian Red”) and white.

There is a legend that the occasion for the appearance of these colors was when an army commander was mortally wounded and was carried off the battlefield on a white cloth. From the blood that oozed from their wounds, the cloth changed color, becoming red. But Latvia was victorious in that battle, and the happy warriors raised that piece of cloth up like a banner.

Meaning of colors and flag symbol

  • White – honor and dignity, as well as justice and the rule of law in Latvia.
  • Dark red – the color of the blood spilled by soldiers, their valor and bravery.

Its name Sarkanbaltsarkanais karogs fully reflects reality, as it can be translated as “red-white-red flag.

Interesting facts about the flag

  • Mentioned in the German Rhyme Chronicle as “red divided by white. The mention dates back to the second half of the thirteenth century.
  • Very similar to the national flag of Austria. It differs in the smaller width of the middle stripe, the more elongated shape and the more noble shade of red. By the way, the national flag of Austria has a slightly different look – it shows a black eagle. There is a funny case connected with this: several years ago in Macedonia, the Austrian chancellor was greeted by raising the Latvian symbol.
  • The largest cloth was raised in Riga in 2018 and had a total area of 4020 meters. The reason for creating such a giant was the anniversary of the Republic.

Latvia cherishes its national flag and over the years has done everything to protect it and officially recognize it as belonging to the state.

General information about Latvia

Official language Latvian
Capital Riga
Territory 64 589 km²
Population 1 906 800 people
Currency Euro (EUR, code 978)
Phone Code +371

Map of Latvia

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