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5 symbols of Ukrainian independence
By Michael Laff | Maureen Gregory
August 17, 2023

5 symbols of Ukrainian independence

© Andreas Wolochow/Shutterstock.com, © Free_styler/Shutterstock.com and © Oleksandrum/Shutterstock.com


Many of Ukraine’s most powerful symbols were born during the nation’s fight for independence throughout its history, and many are known worldwide. Ukraine celebrates its national Independence Day August 24. On that day in 1991, Ukraine officially declared its independence from the Soviet Union and became a sovereign country. The U.S. established diplomatic relations with Ukraine shortly after and has been a firm supporter of its independence and sovereignty ever since. Here’s a look at five symbols that represent Ukraine’s pride, sacrifice and unity.

The Ukrainian flag

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Blue represents the sky while yellow represents wheat fields. Following the collapse of czarist Russia in 1917, Ukraine used the flag during the 1917-1921 Ukrainian War of Independence. Ukraine’s parliament designated the current flag as the national flag in 1992, six months after the independence vote. Today Ukraine’s blue and yellow flag flies worldwide in solidarity with the nation’s fight to defend its sovereignty.

The trident


The trident, or “tryzub,” remains one of Ukraine’s most iconic symbols. Shaped like a spear with three prongs, its history goes back centuries. Volodymyr the Great, one of Ukraine’s most revered figures, included the symbol on coins when he ruled Kyiv from 980 to 1015.

During the 1917-1921 Ukrainian War of Independence, Ukraine used the trident as the nation’s coat of arms.

When Ukraine voted for independence in 1991, the country made the trident the coat of arms.

Earlier this month, Ukraine added the symbol to the Motherland monument in Kyiv, replacing a Soviet hammer and sickle. The government also plans to rename the statue “Mother Ukraine.”