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Altay (Russia)


Last modified: 2020-02-26 by rob raeside
Keywords: altay | oirot |
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Flag of Altay image by Tomislav Šipek, 16 December 2019
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Presentation of Altay Republic

(Note: You need an Unicode-aware software and font to correctly view the Cyrillic text on this page. See here transliteration details).

  • Name (English): Altay Republic • (Russian, short form): Алтай | Altaĭ • (Russian, long form): Республика Алтай | Respublika Altaĭ
  • Local official language: Altayan (a.k.a.Oyrot)
  • Capital (Russian): Горно-Алтайск | Gorno-Altaĭsk • (English): Gorno-Altaysk • (former name): Ulala | Улала (< 1932), Oĭrot-Tura | Ойрот-Тура (1932-1948)
  • Area: 92 600 km2 (~35 700 sq. mi.) • Population: 205 600 inhabitants in 2000
  • Status: Republic (Республика | Respublika) within the Russian Federation
  • Federal District: Siberia • Economic region: West Siberia
  • License plate code: 04 • Ham radio code: GA • ISO 3166-2 code: AL
  • Flag adopted on 1992.05.03 • Coat of arms adopted on 1992.05.03

This region was in Soviet times a part of Altay Territory, named Gorno-Altaĭskaâ avtononomnaâ oblasth, later (after 1991) upgraded to republic status. (I don't think it was ever an autonomous republic, Soviet socialist or other.)
António Martins, 05 Feb 2000

There are two Altay in Russian Federation: Altai Republic and Altai Territory. A few years ago Altai Republic was the part of the Altai Krai, but now it is a constituent republic of the Russian Federation.
Evgeny Ivanov, 22 Apr 1998

Peopled by the Oirot, whose territory was first settled by the Russians in the 18th Century. An Oirot Autonomous Region was established in 1922.
Stuart Notholt

In 1991 Germans got special national rights in the Altai area (German Rajon) at the city Halbstadt.
J. Patrick Fischer, 28 Feb 2002

Altay has 1 independent city and 10 municipal rayons.
Valentin Poposki, 31 December 2019

Description of the flag

The width of the stripes is 67+4+4+25 (the law gives this as «1/25, 1/25 and 1/4»).
António Martins, 21 Jan 2000

A new Law About the flag of the Republic of Altai, dated 24 April 2003, No. 11-6, changed again the proportions to 1:2.
Antonio Gutiérrez, 25 Jun 2006

The flag of the Republic of Altay was adopted with Law #5-3 of July, 2, 1992. It consists of 4 horizontal stripes white and light-blue. Widths of the stripes - 67:4:4:25. Length:height = 2:1 On March, 3, 1993 the Regulations on Flag were adopted (with Decision of Supreme Soviet #6-6). In this act the meanings of colours were adopted: Blue — cleanliness, heaven, mountains, rivers and lakes; White — eternity, tendency to revival, love and consent of peoples in the republic. On June, 29, 1994 proportions were changed to 3:2 (with Decision of State Meeting — El Kurultay #4-10) Author of flag is artist V.P.Chukuev from Gorno-Altaysk (capital of republic). White colour means — Russians; Blue — Altayans (Turkish people)
Viktor Lomancov, 24 Jan 2000

Is any particular reason or reasons why those flag design pattern are that similar to each other?

Nozomi Kariyasu, 27 Jan 2000

Variation with emblem

Flag of Altay w/ embl. image by Tomislav Šipek, 16 December 2019

A curious flag-related icon is used as a typographic bullet in the news pages of the official Altay Republic government website; it shows the emblem superimposed on the flag, the former in a much darker shade than the later, unlike the official images on the same site, which show an identical light shade.
António Martins, 25 Jul 2005


Emblem of Altay image by António Martins, 25 July 2005

Variation with dark blue stripes

dak blue flag of Altay image by António Martins and J. Patrick Fischer, 03 Nov 2005

Fischer Weltalmanach [fwa04] shows a little variant of the flag of Altay Republic. There is a dark blue instead of light blue.
J. Patrick Fischer, 03 Nov 2005

Previous versions

1992.05.03-1994.06.29 (ratio 1:2)

Flag of Altay image by António Martins, 21 Jan 2000

In January 1995, Jos Poels received from the Altay government a photocopy of the law adopted 3 March 1993. Using correction fluid the proportions are overtyped with "2:3". The image accompanying the law was not corrected.
Mark Sensen, 16 Jan 2000

For what is worth, the book Winds of change (publ. 1996) [r4f96] shows only the 1993.03.03 law with 2:3 ratio; and no correcting law from 1994.06.29. This book was co-compiled by Jos Poels and hence it is a misquote from the fact reported by Mark. Even so, this is forging of a legal document, made by the official instance who approved the law!! According to Yury Rocich’s website, between 1993.03.03 and 1994.06.29, the flag of Altay Republic was indeed 1:2, at least legally. The law of 1994, actually, is a one-paragraph text wich simply gives the new ratio of 2:3 and leaves all the previous dispositions unchanged, but even so sending to a vexillologist a legal text faked with correction fluid to cope with the current specs instead of sending both laws is, to say the least, way reckless. It should now be determined why was this change introduced and whether any 1:2 flags were produced and/or remain in use.
António Martins, 17 Jan 2000

The ratio was changed maybe because the flag of the Russian Federation was changed from 1:2 to 2:3 late 1993…
Mark Sensen, 18 Jan 2000

A very good guess, I’d say. It makes even more sense when reading the law and learning that the flag was devised with the national flag on mind, or so they say: The colors are said to be those of the Russian flag — the facts that red is altogether missing and the shade of blue is completely different (Russian flag, siniĭ; Altai flag, goluboĭ — two conceptually different colors in Russian) being apparently irrelevant for this claim (!).
António Martins, 20 Jan 2000

This flag (in medium blue) is listed under number 126 at the chart Flags of Aspirant Peoples [eba94] as: "Altay Republic (Oirot Mongols and Kirghiz) - South Siberia".
Ivan Sache, 15 Sep 1999 and 28 Apr 2000

1994.06.29-2003.04.24 (ratio 2:3)

Flag of Altay image by Tomislav Šipek, 16 December 2019

The dimensions of Altay flag have changed from 1:2 to 2:3 (Addition to the Law on State flag of Altay, 29/06/1994).
Michael Simakov, 13 Jan 2000

As other republics and the Russian Federation itself, the proportions of the flag of the Republic of Altai were changed from the original 1:2 to 2:3. A new Law About the flag of the Republic of Altai, dated 24 April 2003, No. 11-6, changed again the proportions to 1:2.
Antonio Gutiérrez, 25 Jun 2006

Former flag?

Old Altai flag? image by Dirk Schönenberg and António Martins, Jul 1999

This flag is shown on Info Bulletin 85 [inf], and it was a flag of Gorno Altai (autonomous republic). Further data is: 17.10.1992 (adoption date?), 2:1 (ratio) and description:

Former Gorno Altai is having a yellow flag with a green stripe below, A red abstract sign near the hoist.
Dirk Schönberger, 04 Feb 2000

The referred adoption date, 17.10.1992, clashes with the white and light blue stripped flag, adopted in 1993. Could this have been a previous flag, official for some months only? The word "former" makes think that this is really an antecessor of the current flag.
António Martins, 05 Feb 2000

Russian Altay in Kazakhstan

A attempt of separatist revolt in Kazakhstan was defeated by the security forces some days ago. The separatist (ethnic Russians) claim for an independent republic of Russian Altai, separated from Kazakhstan. Possible flag for the new republic was not reported, but we can expect the Russian colors in some arrangement.
Jaume Ollé, 28 Nov 1999

For the record let me remind that this would-be “Russian Altai” in (northern?) Kazakhstan has not much to do with the Altay Republic, which is one of the units of the Russian Federation (and ironically a supposedly non-Russian ethnical area).
António Martins, 06 Dec 1999