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Russia Celebrates National Flag Day

More than 40 events will be held in Moscow Thursday as Russia marks its national Flag Day.

The main event is a concert on Teatralnaya Ploshchad in Moscow, said Sergei Kapkov, acting head of the city's culture department.

This year the tradition of decorating the city with huge Russian flags will be revived. Large flags will be put up on the Gagarin Ploshchad, Prospekt Mira, and Komsomolsky Prospekt among other places, Interfax reported.

Flag Day has been celebrated every year on Aug. 22 since it was introduced in 1994 by then-President Boris Yeltsin, but it is not a day off.

The white, blue and red tricolor first appeared on a Russian frigate, the Oryol, in the 17th century during the reign of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich, who was Peter I's father.

The white stripe stands for freedom, blue for the Virgin Mary and red for the power statehood, Itar-Tass reported.

Almost every Russian ruler made changes to the design of the flag but in 1896 under Nicholas II a special meeting at the Justice Ministry approved the current color scheme.

During the Soviet period the country's national symbol was a red flag. After its collapse the tricolor was restored on Aug. 22, 1991.

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