on Friday, January 6, 2006 |

The Ukrainian Flag consists of two horizontal fields: blue and yellow. They seem to remind that there are two very important things for people: the peaceful blue sky and stands of yellow ripened wheat, as the symbol of welfare of our nation. The combination of the blue and yellow colours dates back to pre-Christian times.

They predominated on the flags of the Kyivan Rus and were prominent during the Cossack age.

The national emblem of Ukraine is a gold trident on an azure background. In ancient times it was the dynastic coat of arms of the Kyivan princes. It is derived from three spears of the sea god, Poseidon, put since Christianity it has symbolized the Holy Trinity.
With the blue-and-yellow flag for many years the trident symbolized the aspirations of the Ukrainian people for freedom and independence.

In 1992 after the restoration of Ukrainian independence, the Supreme Council of Ukraine accepted the trident as the main element of the official emblem of our state. It was proved once more by the Constitution of Ukraine, adopted in 1996. So nowadays the trident is the essential part of the Little State Emblem (the Sign of Volodymyr State), which is the main element of the Big State Emblem.

The plant-symbol. The symbol of "Kalyna" is associated with rebirth, the Universe, the fiery trinity of the Sun, Moon and stars. It takes its name from the old name for the Sun-Kolo. The berries of the kalyna are red and they symbolize blood and immortality.

Other signs of national identity

The following are also associated by Ukrainian people with their nation. Characteristics. Ukrainian mentality was formed influenced by many factors: geographical location at crossroads of West and East, specific climate conditions and complex historical destiny. There is a certain stereotype of the Ukrainians which is well known both in their native land and in other countries. For instance, the Ukrainians are supposed to be great eaters and to eat large amounts of their traditional food: borsch, lard and varenyky. People all over the world usually play jokes on their appetite.

At the same time Ukrainians are well-known for their hospitality. It became a tradition in Ukraine to meet guests with bread and salt and to offer them Ukrainian traditional meals.

Ukrainian people are also renowned for their dancing and singing ability. They really enjoy music and many of them like to perform in choruses and folk dance groups. These characteristics are, of course, not reliable descriptions of individual people. Nevertheless, they indicate some common features in the value attached to certain-kinds of behaviour-in this country.

Clothes. White blouses and shirts with embroidery, chaplets for young girls and ornamented headscarves for women are the elements of Ukrainian national folk costume. Footwear includes red high boots for women and black high boots for men. These costumes are hardly ever worn in every day life but they are well-known signs of Ukrainian identity.

Musical instrument. A stringed instrument called the bandura is regarded as distinctively Ukrainian.