The Russian flag is made up of three colors - white (top), blue (middle), and red (bottom).
This design was originally used in the times of Peter the Great as the trade or commercial flag of Russia. All Russian trade ships used this flag, and it was also taken by Peter’s ambassadors during their journeys around Europe. One of the earliest flags, given by Peter the Great to a monastery in Arkhangelsk, can now be seen in the Military Museum in St Petersburg.
In 1896, the flag was adopted officially during the crowning ceremony of Tsar Nikolay II. It was replaced by the red flag with hammer and sickle, during the Soviet reign, but has again returned as the official flag of Russia.
The colours symbolise freedom and independence (white), the color of the Mother of Christ (blue), and power of the State (red).
In recent times, the colours have more commonly been associated with the union of three Slavonic peoples - Byelorussian (white), Ukrainian (blue), and Russian (red).