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Lawmaker Wants to Put State Emblem on School Uniforms

A lawmaker from the Liberal Democratic Party, or LDPR, has proposed putting the two-headed eagle of the Russian state emblem on school uniforms to instill a sense of "patriotism" in children, a news report said.

Mikhail Degtyaryov — an LDPR member and deputy head of the State Duma's Science Committee — said that the Constitutional law on the state emblem will need to be amended for that to happen, but that he will wait until the bill on school uniforms that is working its way through the Duma is passed before going ahead with his plans, Izvestia reported Thursday.

Degtyaryov also wants to make changes to the current school uniforms bill to include a ban on the use of any religious and ethnic elements or the colors of regional flags on school uniforms.

Furthermore, he said that only two colors — dark blue or dark burgundy — should be allowed. He didn't explain his color choices.

The current version of the bill, passed by the Duma in its first reading in December, would introduce uniforms in Russian schools, but would leave design details to the discretion of local authorities.

Degtyaryov vowed to put forward his proposed changes to the school uniforms bill on the first day of the Duma's spring session, but will hold back on his plans for amending the Constitutional law until the end of January or the start of February, by which time he expects the uniforms bill to have been signed into law.

"The Russian state emblem must be on every school child's shoulder," he said. "Patriotic education starts with one's parents, with the state emblem, flag and anthem."

Deputy head of the Duma's Education Committee, Mikhail Berulava of the Communist Party, said that a lack of national uniform standards would mean that "the Muslim regions would certainly introduce their own uniforms with religious symbols."

"The uniform must be universal and simple, like it was in the Soviet Union," he said. "One for boys and one for girls."

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