Last modified: 2022-12-31 by valentin poposki
Keywords: birobidjan |
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(Note: You need an Unicode-aware software and font to correctly view the Cyrillic text on this page. See here transliteration details).
J.A.R. was established according to the USSR
Presidency Committee (a.k.a Stalin) decision of
28.3.1928 and was declared as the J.A.R. in 1934.
The name J.A.R. is a little misleading since the
Jewish population never raised more than 25% of
the region population (in the early 50’s) and now
the Jews are about 5000-7000 people which is less
than 5% of the region population.
Dov Gutterman, 17 November 1998
One of the more bizarre Soviet attempts at national engineering, the
Jewish Autonomous Region was established in 1934 as the national homeland
of all Jews. World Jewry, very sensibly, declined to emigrate to their
“homeland”, which today has a Jewish population of under 6%.
The Jews represent there only 5.3% of the
Pascal Vagnat, 29 June 1997
The Soviet Regime decided to establish JAR as an alternative for the Zionist
Movement . There were few natives but the majority of the Jews in JAR
arrived from the European part of Russia. The idea didn’t catch the Jews and
only about 35,000 of them (from more than a million) immigrate to JAR. Most
of them left back to the European Russia. They were Ashkenazi’s Jews.
In 1970 only 10 % of the population was Jews and now they are less than 5%
of it and declining.
There is nothing "Jewish" in the
Dov Gutterman, 18 November 1998
If the proportions of the flag are 240:360, the width of each horizontal
stripe is 93-6-2-6-2-6-2-6-2-6-2-6-2-6-93. These stripes symbolize of
course the rainbow. The white field could remind us of the white field of
the Israeli flag. Adopted first of October 1996.
Pascal Vagnat, 29 June 1997
image by Tomislav Šipek, 20 February 2020
Here is variant with coat of arms, but unknown status:
Tomislav Šipek, 20 February 2020
Regarding the flag of the "Jewish Autonomous Region" in Russia, a colorful
"rainbow" looking flag, there was some controversy that it appeared to be
similar to the overall "Gay Pride" (LGBT+) movement's variety of similar-looking
flags. I just found the below link to a 15 Oct 2013 Russian article discussing
Miriam Elder is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
(partial comments from the article)
'The Kremlin's top flag expert has declared that the local flag of Russia's Jewish Autonomous Region, similar to a pride flag, does not violate the country's ban on LGBT propaganda.
"Regarding the similarity of this flag with the symbol of the gay movement, we explain that not every rainbow image is linked to sexual orientation," Georgy Vilinbakhov, a Kremlin advisor, reportedly wrote in an official response to an unnamed resident of the far eastern region who had raised concerns over the flag."
Bill Garrison, 12 September 2022
The coat of arms is a French XIXc. shield, which colour is
Russian aquamarine (dark green). The proportions are 9:8. The upper and
lower parts of the shield are charged with horizontal stripes
white-blue-white, each colour 1/50th of the height of the shield. The
blue stripes symbolize the rivers Bira and Bidjan. The center of the
shield is charged with a tiger of Ussouri in gold with black stripes.
The tiger is going to the right and faces us. The law indicates that the
coat of arms will be used for the creation of the standards of the head of the
administration and of the president of the legislative assembly. I don’t
know how this looks like. The blue and white stripes on the shield remind
also of the Israeli tallith.
Pascal Vagnat, 29 Jun 1997
The tiger occurs in the J.A.R. coat-of-arms (as well as on the symbols of the
Maritime Region) simply because this animal lives in these areas
(Panthera tigris altaica) — and probably it is the most spectacular
creature in Birobidjan.
Jan Zrzavy, 18 Nov 1998
The light blue-white-yellow
triband is Birobidjan flag.
Dov Gutterman, 17 Nov 1998
This flag, in light blue, is listed under number 130 at the chart
Flags of Aspirant Peoples [eba94] as: "Yidishtim Yehudit (Jewish National Region) - South-East Siberia"
— an erroneous attribution.
Ivan Sache, 15 Sep 1999
"Yidishtim Yehudit" means "Jewish Jewish" (first word
in Yidish and second in Hebrew). I think that in Russia
they used the term "evrey" for Jewish and someone
maybe used two translations of it in order to make a new
Dov Gutterman, 21 Sep 1999
Isn’t this very similar to the historical flag of
António Martins, 08 Jun 1999
One of my old friends now living in Moscow visited Birobijian
and there he saw a strange flag hanging from
the windows in Birobidzhan: one is just like Russian tricolour, but
everything is fimbriated in red, and it also includes a Magen David
in the center, also fimbriated in red (the star itself in yellow),
the ratio is 2:3, and he saw this flag also aboard a ship
Muhamed Mesic, 17 Nov 1998