Flag of the Socialist Republic of Romania
|Use||National flag and ensign|
|Adopted||8 January 1948|
|Design||A vertical tricolor of blue, yellow, and red with the emblem on the center.|
Flag of the Romanian Communist Party
|Design||A red flag with the emblem of the PCR that consisted of the wheat and the hammer and sickle.|
|Part of a series on the|
|Socialist Republic of|
The historical flag of the Socialist Republic of Romania (Romanian: Drapelul Republicii Socialiste România), nicknamed "The Tricolour" (Romanian: Tricolorul) was the official flag of Romania under its communist regime from 1948 to 1989. It was a tricolor with vertical stripes, beginning from the flagpole: blue, yellow and red with the emblem on the center. It had a width-length ratio of 2:3. The flag remained in use until 1989 when the flag used from 1918-1947 was restored.
On 30 December 1947, Romania was proclaimed a people's republic and all the kingdom's symbols were outlawed, including the coats of arms and the tricolor flags that showed them. On 8 January 1948, Decree nr. 3 was issued, regarding specifications for the powers of the Presidium of the Romanian People's Republic. At article 7, this provided that the republic's new coat of arms should be “composed of: a tractor, a group of three chimneys against the field of a rising sun, surrounded by bound ears of wheat, tied by a ribbon with the inscription Republica Populară Română and the initials R. P. R. at the end of the ears”. Article 8 dealt with the national flag: “the colors of the Romanian People’s Republic are: blue, yellow and red, arranged vertically, and having in the center of the yellow field the Coat of Arms of the Republic”.
According to article 101 of the 1948 Constitution, “The flag of the Romanian People’s Republic is composed of the colors: blue, yellow and red, arranged vertically. In the middle is placed the national coat of arms”. The 1952 Constitution, at article 103, added a little detail: “The flag of the Romanian People’s Republic has the colors red, yellow and blue, arranged vertically with blue near the lance. In the middle is placed the coat of arms of the Romanian People’s Republic”. Neither the colors’ shades nor the flag's proportions were specified. According to provisions of the 1952 Constitution, a five-pointed red star appeared at the upper edge of the coat of arms (itself altered in March 1948), something that was also reflected on flags and official Romanian standards.
Flag of Romania (January-March 1948).svg RPR flag from January to March 1948.
Flag of Romania (1948-1952).svg RPR flag from 1948 to 1952.
Flag of Romania (1952-1965).svg RPR flag from 1952 to 1965.
The Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Romania, adopted in 1965, provided the following in article 118: “The flag of the Socialist Republic of Romania has the colors red, yellow and blue, arranged vertically, with blue near the flagpole. The coat of arms of the Socialist Republic of Romania is affixed to the middle”.
Decree nr. 972 of 5 November 1968 regarding the insignia of the Socialist Republic of Romania (RSR) described in detail the coat of arms, seal, flag and state anthem of the republic. The attached commentary noted that, in the absence of corresponding regulations, “there have appeared mistaken interpretations of these [constitutional specifications], incorrect or diverging usages of the state insignia”. Chapter IV of the decree is entirely devoted to describing the flag and the protocol for its use. Thus, the flag is defined as having a ratio of 2:3, with the colored stripes of equal dimensions. The regular colors were printed in the annex and not expressly named. The coat of arms was placed in the center; its height was 2⁄5 the flag's width. As before, it was provided that the flag's proportions could differ for ornamental purposes, but the coat of arms must always be in the center, vertical. Articles 13-21 specifically and exhaustively covered flag protocol, describing where it was to be raised permanently and temporarily (art. 13), the protocol for raising it outside the country's borders (art. 14) and during demonstrations by socialist organizations (art. 15), the conditions for lowering it to half-staff (art. 16, 17 and 18, with art. 20 describing exceptions to the rule), the conditions and manner for draping caskets with the flag (art. 19), as well as the place of the Romanian flag in case it flew besides one or more foreign flags (art. 21).
During the revolution at Timișoara beginning on 17 December 1989, the coat of arms of the Romanian Socialist Republic began to be removed from flags, being viewed as a symbol of Nicolae Ceauşescu's dictatorial regime. Most often, this was accomplished by cutting or ripping out the middle of the yellow stripe, giving rise to the term "the flag with the hole".
Decree-Law nr. 2 of 27 December 1989 regarding the membership, organization and functioning of the Council of the National Salvation Front and of the territorial councils of the National Salvation Front provided at article 1, among other matters, that “the national flag is the traditional tricolor of Romania, with the colors laid out vertically, in the following order, starting from the flagpole: blue, yellow, red”.
Romania flag 1989 revolution.svg Revolutionary flag with the hole.
RomanianFlag-withHole.jpg Photograph of such a flag.
Empty Romanian Flags.jpg Flags with holes at the Military Museum in Bucharest.
Flags of the President, Prime Minister and Minister of the Armed Forces
The President of the RSR (until 1974 the President of the Council of State) and the prime minister had their own standard, a square Romanian tricolor with a white edge and a red border beyond that; the RSR's coat of arms was in the center, 2⁄3 the height of the tricolor's width. The standard was decorated with fringes of golden thread and tassels of the same material. The flag of the Minister of the Armed Forces of the RSR consisted of a white pennant in a 1:2 ratio. The flag of the RSR was placed in the canton, while two red five-pointed stars occupied the fly.
Standard of the Minister of Defense of Romania (1965-1989).svg Flag of the Minister of Defense
Standard of a Minister of Romania (1965-1989).svg Flag of the other ministers
On 28 July 1950 the Great National Assembly issued Decree nr. 189 for the establishment of the military colors of the Romanian People's Army, as well as standards for the Military Air Force and the Naval Forces. Article 2 defined the units’ military colors as follows: “three silk stripes colored red, yellow and blue, arranged vertically with blue situated near the flagpole. On the edges the flag has yellow metal fringes of wire, while the fly corners each have a tassel of the same wire. On the side oriented from the flagpole to the right, in the middle, is placed the coat of arms of the R. P. R. in natural colors. Above the coat of arms, on the same side, in an arched line, is written with letters of golden wire: ‘Pentru Patria noastră’ (‘For our Fatherland’). On the other side and in the middle of the flag, the emblem worn on the uniforms of officers of the Armed Forces of the R. P. R. is applied. Under the emblem is written straight, with letters of golden wire, the unit's name. The flagpole ends in an ogive-shaped tip, within which is found a five-pointed star, in the center of which are written the initials RPR”. The law's annex also specified the dimensions of the flag (100 centimeter long by 60 centimeter wide), the coat of arms and the emblem (20 centimeter high), the fringes (5 centimeter long), the flagpole (250 centimeter long) and of the ogive (15 centimeter long by 7 centimeter wide).
Battle flag of Romania (1950-1952, obverse).svg 1950 military colors (front)
Battle flag of Romania (1952-1965, obverse).svg 1952 military colors (front)
Article 3 described the Air Force ensign: “it is made of sky-blue silk. The ensign is rectangular, with each face having applied to it 18 red silk strips in the form of sunrays. On the edges, the ensign has fringes and tassels the same as on the military colors. In the middle of the face oriented from the flagpole to the right is affixed the coat of arms of the R. P. R., while in the middle of the other face is affixed the emblem worn on the uniforms of officers belonging to the Armed Forces of the R. P. R. The coat of arms of the R. P. R., the emblem and the inscriptions are identical to those of the military colors”. The annex specified the dimensions of the ensign and the decorative elements, which were identical to those of the military colors. In the center of the flag, a ray had an angle of 10˚. Also specified was the shade of blue to be used on the flag: “iron blue”.
Flag of Air Force of Romania (1950-1952, obverse).svg 1950 Air Force flag (front)
Flag of Air Force of Romania (1952-1965, obverse).svg 1952 Air Force flag (front)
Military colors and standards adopted during the Romanian People's Republic were modified or completely changed by Decree nr. 106 of 24 December 1966 regarding regulations for granting the military colors of units and large units from all military branches, modifying the display protocol for ensigns and pennants of navy and Coast Guard ships, establishing a distinctive emblem and commanders’ emblems for navy and Coast Guard vessels, a jack for navy ships and a distinctive ensign for Coast Guard ships.
Article 4 described the Romanian Navy's ensign thus: “made of two pieces of white and blue silk, rectangular, laid horizontally, the blue one, beneath, having a width of 20 centimeter, while the white one, above, having a width of 40 centimeter. The coat of arms of the R. P. R. is applied to the middle of the white surface on the face oriented from the flagpole to the right, while on the other face, also in the middle of the while surface, the emblem worn on the uniforms of officers belonging to the Armed Forces of the R. P. R. is applied. The coat of arms, the emblem, the inscriptions, the fringes and the tassels are the same as those of the military colors”. The annex specified the flag's dimensions (also 100 × 60 centimeter) and those of the coat of arms (also 20 centimeter high), as well as its distance to the edges of the white strip (11 centimeter above and 9 centimeter below). The words “Pentru Patria noastră” (“For our Fatherland”) were found on the white strip above the coat of arms, while “Republica Populară Română” and the unit's name were placed in the middle of the blue strip.
Flag of Naval Force of Romania (1950-1951, obverse).svg 1950 Navy ensign (front)
Flag of terrestrial units of the Naval Force of Romania (1952-1965, obverse).svg 1952 flag of Navy land units (front)
Decree nr. 190 of 1950, published in the same issue of Buletinul Oficial, established the design of Army soldiers’, officers’ and generals’ emblems. The officers’ emblem was a five-pointed, red-enamelled star 34 centimeter in diameter. In the center were two circles: the first, with a radius of 15 centimeter, was enamelled yellow and touched the star's interior angles, while the second, which had a radius of 11 centimeter, was enamelled blue and in the center had the golden initials “R. P. R.”
The following year, Decree nr. 124 of 20 July 1951 for the modification of art. 4 of Decree nr. 189 altered the Navy's ensign. The new regulation provided for three separate insignia: the flag of Navy land units, the flag of Navy ships and the flag of Coast Guard ships.
The Navy's land units had as their flag “two pieces of silk, colored white and blue, rectangular in shape, laid horizontally, the blue piece below, and the white one above. In the middle of the white area facing from the flagpole to the right is affixed the coat of arms of the Romanian People’s Republic, in natural colors, while on the other side, also in the middle of the white area, is affixed the symbol worn on the uniforms of officers belonging to the Armed Forces of the Romanian People’s Republic. The coat of arms, emblem, inscriptions, fringes and tassels are the same as those of the military colors described in article 2 [of Decree nr. 189 of 1950]”. According to this decree's annex, the flag's dimensions were 100 × 60 centimeter, the blue strip being 20 centimeter wide and the white 40 centimeter, the coat of arms was 20 centimeter high and it was 11 centimeter away from the top edge of the white strip and 9 centimeter away from the bottom.
Flag of ships of the Naval Force of Romania (1952-1965).svg Navy battle ships' flag
Flag of Coast Guard of Romania (1952-1965).svg Coast guard ships' standard
Flag of auxiliary ships of the Naval Force of Romania (1954-1965).svg Auxiliary Navy ships' standard
Navy ships had an ensign consisting of a “piece of ordinary rectangular canvas, with the colors white and blue printed on either side, in two stripes laid horizontally, the blue one below. The coat of arms of the Romanian People’s Republic, in natural colors, is affixed to the middle of the white area on both sides. The ensign does not have fringes or tassels [and] is supplied with cords and a mechanism for raising it on the stern beam or the mast”. The ensign for Coast Guard ships was different from that of Navy ships only in the color of the lower stripe—Coast Guard green. The law's annex described proportions for the ensign's various elements; the actual dimensions were to be fixed by the Armed Forces Ministry and the Interior Ministry depending on the ship's size and the place where the ensign was raised. Thus, the flag was 0.6 times as wide as it was long, being divided thus: 1⁄3 colored stripe and 2⁄3 white stripe. The coat of arms was to be 1⁄3 the height of the flag's width, being placed 1⁄6 of this width away from the edges of the white stripe.
Between 1953 and 1964, due to a spelling reform, the country's name was written on flags as Romînia and not România.
Decree nr. 93 of 17 April 1954 for the modification of art. 4 of Decree nr. 189 established new vexillological devices: the ensign of auxiliary Navy ships (the previous ensign continuing in use only for battleships) and pennants for Navy battleships, auxiliary Navy ships and Coast Guard vessels.
The ensign of auxiliary Navy ships was made of an “ordinary canvas, rectangular and blue. In the upper corner on the side where it attaches to the cord, it has imprinted on both sides the colors white and light blue, in two horizontal stripes, the white one above. To the middle of the white area, on both sides, is affixed the coat of arms of the Romanian People’s Republic, in natural colors”. This ensign's proportions were indicated in the annex. It was 0.6 times as wide as it was long: the upper left part of the standard was similar in proportion to the basic elements of the battleship standard, while its dimensions were 0.5 of the flag's length and 0.3 of its width.
Navy and Coast Guard vessels had a masthead pennant made of an “ordinary rectangular canvas, red for Navy battleships, blue for auxiliary Navy ships and green for Coast Guard ships [the width is 0.6 of the length]. At the edge near the cord, the colors white and light blue are imprinted on both sides, in two horizontal stripes, for Navy ships and white and light green on Coast Guard ships [in proportions of 2⁄3 and 1⁄3 respectively; this area’s length is 0.075 that of the pennant’s length]. In both cases white shall be above. The coat of arms of the Romanian People’s Republic, in natural colors is affixed to the middle of the white area on both sides [with a height 1⁄3 of the pennant’s width and located 1⁄4 and 1⁄6 of this width away from the edges of the white area]. At the other end, the pennant is cut in the form of a sharp angle pointing inward [the cut was 1.2 times as deep as the length of the white and colored area near the cord]. The ships’ pennany is provided with a cord and a mechanism for being raised on a tall mast”. The proportions of the pennant's component elements were indicated in the annex, with the actual dimensions remaining to be decided by the Armed Forces Ministry and the Interior Ministry.
Masthead pennant of battle ships of Romania (1954-1965).svg Pennant of Navy battle ships
Masthead pennant of Coast Guard of Romania (1954-1965).svg Pennant of Coast Guard ships
Masthead pennant of auxiliary ships of Romania (1954-1965).svg Pennant of auxiliary Navy ships
Military colours, 1968 pattern
All the flags of the former 1950 pattern were replaced altogether in 1967 with a new national colours pattern for the Armed Forces and other uniformed services, wherein the emblem of the Socialist Republic was used. In the attached commentary, it was mentioned that the previous regulations were no longer valid, primarily because:
- military colors of naval land units no longer featured the national flag colors, but only white and blue;
- ensigns and pennants of the Navy and Coast Guard ships no longer featured the national flag colors and thus—even at close distances—Romanian ships could be confused with those of other nations;
- the air force flag was no longer necessary, as it did not correspond to the new organization of the air force within the armed forces.
Battle flag of Romania (1966-1989, obverse).svg Military colors of the RSR (front)
Steag de Luptã RSR.jpg Photograph showing the pole and ogive on top
The new design was a return to the Naval Forces and Air Force of the national flag design as the basis for unit colors, which were retained by the Land Forces.
Article 2 of the decree provided that “the military colors are granted by the Council of State of the Romanian Socialist Republic to units and large units from all military branches from the Armed Forces Ministry, as well as to units from the Internal Affairs Ministry, at their founding. The flag is granted, depending on the case, at the initiative of the armed forces minister or the internal affairs minister. The granting of the flag is done in the name of the Council of State of the Romanian Socialist Republic by a representative of the armed forces, respectively of the internal affairs minister”. The first clause of this article was modified thus by Decree nr. 150 of 19 June 1974 regarding the modification of certain laws and decrees: “the flag is granted by presidential decree to units and large units of all military branches from the Armed Forces Ministry, as well as to units from the Internal Affairs Ministry, at their founding”.
Ensigns of navy and Coast Guard vessels consisted of the military colors of the respective units.
The pennant was the device that indicated a ship was armed and commanded by a navy officer. It consisted of an “ordinary canvas, in the shape of an isosceles triangle, with the base toward the attaching mechanism and with the flag colors and coat of arms of the Romanian Socialist Republic printed on both sides”.
The jack was “an ordinary square canvas, having printed on both sides the flag colors and coat of arms of the Romanian Socialist Republic. Two crossed white anchors of the same size as the coat of arms are affixed to the blue area”.
The distinctive ensign of Coast Guard vessels consisted of “an ordinary white rectangular canvas, with the half near the attaching mechanism green, upon which is affixed a white anchor”.
Masthead pennant of Romania (1966-1989).svg Ships' pennant
Naval jack of Romania (1966-1989).svg Navy jack
Flag of Coast Guard of Romania (1966-1989).svg Ensign of Coast Guard ships
The dimensions of these insignia, as well as their manner of use, were left to the Armed Forces Ministry to decide by regulation.
Decree nr. 1016 of 1966 created a legal framework for the establishment of distinctive rank flags and commanders’ rank flags, which were raised on Navy and Coast Guard ships, in accordance with the services’ sailing regulations.
A distinctive rank flag was raised when “the general secretary of the Central Committee of the Romanian Communist Party, the president of the Council of State of the Romanian Socialist Republic or the president of the Council of Ministers of the Romanian Socialist Republic [was] on an official visit” aboard ship.
The commanders’ rank flag was flown in similar situations for: “the minister of the armed forces of the Romanian Socialist Republic, the commander of the navy, the commander of a large unit of ships of the commander of a group of ships temporarily constituted”.
The form, colors and dimensions of the flags remained to be fixed by regulation.
Decree nr. 90 of 27 April 1977 regarding the establishment of military colors for the patriotic guards and the regulation of its bestowment created a special symbol for units of the Patriotic Guards. This was similar to military colors of military units, with the exception of the inscription on the flag's reverse side — “Gărzile patriotice” — in an arched line above the coat of arms, and the administrative unit in which the formation was located (the municipality or county), in a straight line beneath the coat of arms. Its dimensions were indicated in the annex: the canvas was 100 centimeter long and 66 centimeter wide, the text was 6 centimeter high, the fringes 5 centimeter long, the flagpole 240 centimeter long and 4 centimeter wide, while the ogive at the end of the flagpole was 15 centimeter high. According to the Decree, the flag was granted to a unit by commanders of county-level or Bucharest-level Patriotic Guards, or by representatives of the General Staff of the Patriotic Guards from the Central Committee of the Romanian Communist Party, following a presidential decree for this purpose. Patriotic Guards that distinguished themselves in training exercises for national defense and that comprised at least 2000 fighters were eligible to receive their unit flags.
Flag of Patriotic Guards of Romania (1977-1989, obverse).svg Flag of the Patriotic Guards (front)
- Flag of Romania
- History of the flags of Romania
- List of flags of Romania
- Emblem of the Socialist Republic of Romania
- Flag of the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic
- Decree published in Monitorul Oficial, nr. 7 of 9 January 1948, p. 154
- Constitutia Republicii Populare Române din 1948, published în Monitorul Oficial, part I, nr. 87 bis of 13 April 1948
- Constitutia Republicii Populare Române din 1952, published in Buletinul Oficial al Marii Adunări Naţionale a Republicii Populare Române, nr. 1 of 27 September 1952
- Constitutia Republicii Socialiste România, published in Buletinul Oficial al R.S.R., nr. 1 of 21 August 1965
- Decree published in Buletinul Oficial al R.S.R., nr. 141 of 5 November 1968
- Harrington, Joseph F. (2004). American-Romanian Relations, 1989-2004: From Pariah to Partner. East European Monographs. p. 133. ISBN 0-88033-544-0. Retrieved 11 December 2008.
- Decree-Law published in Monitorul Oficial nr. 4 of 27 December 1989
- Decree published in Buletinul Oficial, year II, nr. 66 of 2 August 1950, p. 763-767
- Decree published in Buletinul Oficial, nr. 82 of 24 December 1966
- Buletinul Oficial, year II, nr. 66 of 2 August 1950, p. 768-769
- Decree published in Buletinul Oficial, year III, nr. 82 of 28 July 1951
- Decree published in Buletinul Oficial, nr. 18 of 17 April 1954
- Decree published in Buletinul Oficial nr. 83 of 19 June 1974
- Decree published in Buletinul Oficial nr. 36 of 27 April 1977