Flag of Pakštuva

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The flag of Pakštuva.

The Flag of Pakštuva was adopted in March 18th as a part of the Pakštuvan-Russian peace treaty agreement under which Pakštuva had to become an independent country with its own symbolics.

Contents

Meaning

The flag is dominated by Vytis, a symbol of Lithuania. However here the Vytis is coloured in differnet colours than in the flag of interwar Lithuania as Russia had protested the possibility of including the usual Vytis on the flag (due to the fact that it would denote the bond of the new country and the Russian-occupied Lithuania too strongly). The Vytis on the flag, similarly to the flag of interwar Lithuania, has Columns of Gediminas instead of the Cross of Jogaila as the symbol on the knight's shield. The colours of Vytis are gray, dark blue, brown and red. They have no designated meaning, although it is generally assumed that the red Columns of Gediminas and the handle of the sword means the will to spill blood for the homeland. Other colors of Vytis are also more grim than in original, unofficially meaning the grief for the lost homeland.

The colours of the flag itself are (from top to the bottom) yellow, green and blue. The green stripe (on which Vytis is shown) is thrice larger than the blue and yellow stripes. Yellow colour means the shining sun, the blue colour - the waters of Indian ocean (known locally as the Lithuanian ocean at the time) and Lake Smetona and the green colour - the beautiful nature of Pakštuva and the importance of agriculture. On the left of the flag there is a vertical black stripe, which is usually explained as a symbol for longing of the lost country of origin (Lithuania) and as a protest of its occupation. Due to possible Russian protests however, the vertical black stripe was not explained anyhow officially. These colours, with the exception of the black stripe, were modelled on the flag of the Naujojo Vilniaus apskritis, a subnational division of Lithuania that turned into independent state of Pakštuva in 1940.

History

According to the Pakštuvan-Russian peace treaty, Pakštuva had to adopt a new flag, anthem and coat of arms and all these symbolics had to be approved by Russia. The first proposals were denounced by Russia as being too similar to the Lithuanian symbolics. Finally, a compromise had been reached, and this flag was adopted. After the occupation of Pakštuva in 1942, the flag was banned together with other symbols of that state.

Usage

The flag of Pakštuva had been used as the state flag and the naval ensign of Pakštuva. It had lack of popularity among people in the first year of the existance of Pakštuva as people had prefered to use flags according to their origin (the flag of Lithuania was used by Lithuanians, various SNORist, Russian and pan-Slavic flags by the Slavs and Panafricanist flags or indigenous designs by the people of African race). The Lithuanian flag, however, was officially banned as such was one of the requirements of Russia for the peace treaty. This ban was enforced more or less strictly at the start, however later the Pakštuvan government started to care less about it despite of Russian protests. The Pakštuvan flag itself, however, gained some more popularity as well in late 1941 and 1942, especially during the Borderland war.

After the destruction of Pakštuva, the flag of Pakštuva is generally seen as and used as a symbol of the African Lithuanian community in Maasai and the surrounding countries. It is banned in Maasai.

Alternative designs

Unity flag

The "Unity flag".

There were additional designs suggested for the flag of Pakštuva.

One that gained the most popularity was the so called "Unity flag" sometimes regarded to be one of the strangest national flags ever. It was used by the people that saw the policies of both the government and the anti-government groups to be destructive and called for establishment of the single Pakštuvan nation. They criticised the flag of Pakštuva for being based too much on the symbols of Lithuania. The "Unity flag" flag was proposed before independence but it was not adopted. It was officially adopted however after the Chinese ultimatum in 1942 in attempt to find a peaceful solution but with the Chinese and the Ethiopians invading anyways the next day this flag saw little official use with most regiments fighting the war under the old flag.

The blue on the hoist and the fly symbolizes the Lake Smetona and Indian Ocean which surrounded the country on the west and the east repsectively. The brown borders on top and bottom symbolize the mountains that bordered Pakštuva on north and south. The white semi-circles and red concentrical semi-circles inside them on top and bottom symbolizes Vytautakalnis (Mount Kenya) and Perkūnkalnis (Mount Kilimanjaro), two snowy volcanoes in the north and south of the country. The brown vertical stripe symolizes central highlands, yellow symbolizes savana and the African sun, green - coastal swamps, forests and agriculture. Perhaps the most important symbols are the Wildebeest, coming from the depths of Africa and symbolizing locals of African race, and a horse, coming from the Indian ocean and representing locals of European race. They both are walking towards each other. The red circle symbolizes the unity of varous peoples in the country, red being the color of Maasais, also one of the heraldic colors of Lithuanians and Belarussians.

Plain white flag

The plain white flag.

One politician who was against peace treaty with Russia submitted this proposal for flag of newly independent state and commented that "No other flag could represent our country better than this one would" then, after a meaningful pause, added "The white color means peace, pureness and the snow that is covering the summit of Perkūnkalnis" (perhaps in order not to be tried for insulting the state). The proposal was rejected and never considered again, but the questions like "Which country did almost adopt a plain white flag as a national flag?" are sometimes used in various quizes.

This page was created by Abdul-aziz.
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