National symbols and national holiday

 

THE COAT OF ARMS

On the right half of the coat of arms there is a bear of red colour, standing, looking at the left, heraldic side. According to the interpretation a bear is an ancient Slavic symbol that connects Ruthenians with their homeland in the Carpathians. The other half of the coat of arms is divided into seven horizontal fields on which dark blue and gold-yellow bands change.

The described coat of arms reflects historical tradition of the Ruthenians. It became official coat of arms of the autonomous district named Subcarpathian Rus` with its seat in Uzhhorod on the 30th of March 1920 within Czechoslovakia (1919-1938). The blue bands of the coat of arms represent four counties: Ung, Bereg, Ugocha, Maramorosh, which joined the mentioned region, and the three gold-yellow bands – three gold-bearing rivers from the area: Uzh, Latoritsa and Tisza. The combination of blue and yellow colours is present in the designations of several counties of the Transcarpathian (Subcarpathian) region, and the blue-golden combination is also a designation of the Rjurikovičs, the ruling home of Kievan Rus`, the first medieval state of the East Slavs i.e. of Rusyns.

Nowadays the coat of arms represents general designation accepted by most of Rusyn organizations in the world: Slovakia, Czechia, Poland, Ukraine, Hungary, Rumania, Croatia, Serbia, Germany, United States of America, Canada and others. It is a recognizable sign and a part of identity of all Rusyns, regardless of their regional belonging and national orientation.

 

 

THE FLAG

 

The flag of the Ruthenians in Serbia is the tricoloured base of the flag of the Republic of Serbia on which the coat of arms of the Vojvodinian Ruthenians has been placed. A unique symbolism has been made in that way – geographical and emotional belonging of the Ruthenians to the state of Serbia and tradition of living together with the state people, as well as indisputable connection to historical homeland of their origin.

 

THE NATIONAL HOLIDAY

 

The 17th of January has been accepted as the national holiday of the Ruthenians in the Republic of Serbia. On the same date, on the 17th of January 1751, Franz Joseph de Redl, counsellor of empress Maria Theresa and administrator of the Bačka Royal-State District in Sombor signed the first official document – Contract concerning the settlement of 200 Ruthenian Greek-Catholic families on the heath named Big Krstur. The day has been accepted as the day of official settlement of the Ruthenians on this territory for several decades.