The official state symbols
Russian State Flag
The existing three-color Russian national flag was adopted by the Order of President Boris Yeltsin of December 11, 1993, replacing it's Soviet-time red predecessor. According to the Constitution, "The national flag of the Russian Federation consists of three equal horizontal stripes - white, blue and red."
This is the third time this three-color flag becomes the national symbol. The first to use it was Peter the Great, who on January 20, 1705 ordered to hoist this flag as a trade one on all Russian ships on Moscow, Volga and Dvina rivers. In those times the lower red stripe symbolized the Earth, the blue stripe - the sky, and the upper white stripe meant the world of God. At the same time, according to the Russian tradition, white color meant nobility, blue - honesty, red - courage and love.
But it still had to come through a tough competition with a black-yellow-white Emperor's banner, which was proclaimed the Russian national flag by the order of Alexander II, issued on June 11, 1858. For 25 years the red-blue-white flag was used, as in the XVIII-th century, only as a trade streamer. But after Alexander II was killed, the new Emperor, Alexander III, reconsidered the matter. Before the Coronation ceremony the Interior Minister, Count Tolstoy, produced to the Emperor both flags, and Alexander chose the red-blue-white one. So, this banner regained the status of the national flag and preserved it till the October Revolution of 1917.
After the Revolution it was replaced by the Soviet Red Banner. Russian Federation, as the part of the USSR, got it's own flag, which was, however, very much alike - red with a thin blue vertical stripe, and gold star, hammer and sickle in the upper left corner. Only 76 years later the old three color flag became again the national flag of the Russian Federation.
Later, in the XIX-th century, the three stripes on the flag were thought to embody the commonwealth of three Slavonic nations - Russian, Ukranian and Belorussian. Beginning from the middle of the century the three-color flag gradually acquire functions of the national symbol. In 1856 during the Paris Congress, while the peace treaty about the end of the Crimea war was being negotiated, the red-blue-white banner was used as the national flag of the Russian Empire.
Russian State Seal
As a state symbol two-headed eagle first appeared in Russia, those times Moscovia, in the XV-th century. It came from Visantium with Sophia Paleolog, member of the last Visantium Emperor dynasty, who became the wife of Ivan III, the Great Duke of Moscow.
Two-headed eagle remained the symbol of Russian Monarchy and Russian State for more than four hundred years, till the October Revolution of 1917, and regained it's status in 1993 according to the order of President Boris Yeltsin of November 30, 1993.
There are different interpretations of this symbol. The most common version says that two heads of the eagle symbolize that Russia consists of two part - European and Asian, and they are of equal importance for the country.
The State insignia survived some changes during the pre-revolutionary history of Russia, though these changes were not too much significant. When the old Rurick dynasty ended in the XVII-th century and Romanovs came to power, the two-headed eagle remained as the symbol of Russia, though three crowns were added above the eagle. They were to embody the unity of three nations - Russian, Ukrainian and Belorussian.
National Anthem of Russia
The National Anthem is one of the official state symbols of the Russian Federation.
The lyrics and music of the national anthem create a ceremonial composition intended as a symbol of state unity. The Anthem’s words reflect feelings of patriotism and respect for the country’s history and its system of government.
The National Anthem can be performed by an orchestra or choir, separately or jointly, or using other vocal and instrumental media. Audio and video recordings can also be made and used in performing the Anthem, as can television and radio broadcasts.
The National Anthem must be performed in strict accordance with the approved music and text.
When the National Anthem is performed at official occasions, the audience is expected to stand and men must remove their hats.
If the National Anthem is played while the State Flag is being raised, the audience faces the flag.
The new National Anthem of the Russian Federation was first officially performed on December 30, 2000, at a state reception in the Great Kremlin Palace.
Russia – our sacred homeland,
Russia – our beloved country.
A mighty will, great glory –
These are your heritage for all time!
Be glorious, our free Motherland,
Age-old union of fraternal peoples,
Ancestor-given wisdom of the people!
Be glorious, our country! We are proud of you!
From the southern seas to the polar lands
Spread are our forests and fields.
You are unique in the world, one of a kind –
This native land protected by God!
Wide spaces for dreams and for living
Are opened for us by the coming years
Our loyalty to the Motherland gives us strength.
Thus it was, thus it is and thus it always will be!