Topic: Imperial Russia
April 7th marked the 20th anniversary of the signing of an order by Russian President Boris Yeltsin on the transfer of the Black Sea Fleet to the jurisdiction of the Russian Federation. According to the document, the Black Sea Fleet of the former USSR came under the jurisdiction of the Russia. The decree also ordered that the St. Andrew’s flag be raised above the ships and vessels of the Black Sea Fleet.
St. Andrew’s flag has a white background with two blue diagonal bands, forming a slanted cross, called St. Andrew’s cross. When Peter I became a tsar, he started to design a flag of the Russian Navy. From 1692 to 1712, Peter I personally drew eight flags projects that have consistently been taken into the Navy. Description of the flag's final version by Peter I: “The flag is white, across it there is a blue St. Andrew’s cross, which was used to baptize Russia.”
The Black Sea Fleet is considered to have been founded by Prince Potemkin on May 13, 1783, together with its principal base, the city of Sevastopol. Formerly commanded by such legendary admirals as Dmitry Senyavin, Fyodor Ushakov and Pavel Nakhimov, it is a fleet of enormous historical and political importance for Russia.
After the revolution the Russian Navy Ensign was changed, but the St. Andrew’s flag was used by the White Army up to 1924. Pre-revolutionary flag was reintroduced to in 1992 and it still used today.
© Russkiy Mir Foundation. 09 April, 2012