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Tuesday, 26 November, 2002, 14:53 GMT
Red star set for Russian comeback
Soviet war veterans embrace in Moscow on Victory Day
The red star conjures up the sacrifices of the war
Russia is set to restore the star symbol to the flag of its armed forces after President Vladimir Putin backed the idea on Tuesday.

He agreed to the proposal at a meeting with Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov in Moscow who argued that the symbol was associated with Russian military prowess.


Servicemen hold the star as something sacred

Sergey Ivanov
defence minister
It has still to be put to a vote in parliament but Mr Putin said he was optimistic that the amendment to the Law on the Flag would be passed.

The return to the star would be the latest step in the revival of Soviet-era symbols such as the music of the national anthem.

"Servicemen hold the star as something sacred," said Mr Ivanov at his meeting with Mr Putin and Russia's top brass.

"Our fathers and grandfathers fought under the star and we carry stars on our epaulettes now."

Soviet flag symbols
The red star was synonymous with the hammer and sickle
He said that the initiative to restore the star had come from servicemen themselves.

The defence minister did not specify whether the revived symbol should be the original Communist red star with yellow border, referring only to the "five-pointed star".

In 2001, President Putin officially revived the Soviet national anthem, albeit with updated lyrics for the post-Soviet Russian state.

The red star dates back to the first years of the Russian Revolution and, according to a description in the Central Museum of the Soviet Army:

"It means that the Red Army fights so that the star of justice should shine for the reaper-peasant and smith-worker... The five-pointed star is the emblem of unity of the proletariat of the five continents of the Earth."

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09 May 02 | Europe
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