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Kharkiv (Kharkiv, Ukraine)

Last modified: 2023-08-12 by martin karner
Keywords: harkiv | kharkiv | horn | mercury |
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image by Pascal Gross, 7 July 2000

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The Flag

From the site of Ukrainian Heraldry :
"In September 14 1995 the session of the town council approved the gonfalon: a rectangular canvas with a ratio of the sides 3:2, there is a city emblem in a vert field." For the image from that site click here.
Phil Nelson, 7 July 1999

"History of Kharkiv's Flag
The direct occasion which caused putting the cities' heraldry in order during the rule of Pyotr the First were the measures, connected to a military reform. Creation of regular army required accommodation of a huge amount of soldiers in the cities and gubernias of Russia to enable supply and reinforcement. At the same time it was decided to give the names of the cities and districts where the new regiments were initially formed or dislocated instead of naming them after their commanders. On the banners of the regiments the crests of the appropriate cities and gubernias were ordered to be displayed. Just then it revealed that many cities did not have any city emblems. To put these measures in effect, one of the loyal colleagues of Pyotr the First S. A. Kolichev with the help of Piedmont nobleman and artist Fransisc Santi developed projects of the emblems, but the circumstances developed the way that these crests were not authorized officially. The crests for the cities of Slobozhanschina started being developed after publishing of special governmental decree on July 31, 1734. In the decree it was stated that the Military Board and Heraldry Office should compose emblems for the new banners of Slobozhanschina regiments. However, a heavy lack of proficiency of the Heraldry Office in drawing up the emblems compelled the Military Board to address the Academy of Sciences with a request to take this work into its competency. The Academy of Sciences transmitted the task of drawing up the emblems of Slobozhanschina regiments to a professor of Kenigsberg university I. S. Bekinstein, invited to Russia for giving lectures (among them on Heraldry) to Russian students. According to the sheets, received from the local sites, about the names of the regiments, the cities where they were housed, about the crests on the regiments' banners and seals I. S. Bekinstein developed new projects of crests on the banners of Slobozhanschina regiments, among them the emblem for Kharkiv regiment. The author submitted 41 drawing for consideration to the Military Board.
On April 25, 1735 the Military Board transferred the projects of the emblems for evaluation to the office of Her Emperor Majesty Anna Ivanovna. According to the instruction of the Office, the Military board undertook to make the necessary corrections and additions to certain drawings for the city emblems of Slobozhanschina. However, the works were not finished completely, despite their extensive schedule. From the correspondence of the Military board and of the Heraldry Office in the subsequent years it becomes obvious that in 1751 in the emblems there was not made any corrections and there is absent the information on approval of them by the supreme authority. Thus, in the XVIII century there were several attempts to create new emblems of the cities of Slobozhanschina and banners for the regiments, dislocated in its territory. But finally this problem was solved only in the beginning of 80s of the XVIII century. It is necessary to notice that in 70-80s the work on creation of the city emblems was the central field of activity of the Heraldry Office. Development of the city's crest creation in that period was controlled by prince M. M. Scherbatov, nominated for the Heraldry Office Head in 1771. He was also known as the author of new banner crests guidebook, created after an order of the Military board in 1775. In this book there were placed 35 drawings and descriptions of detachments' emblems on their banners, including those of Kharkiv, Izyum, Sumy, Akhtyrka, and other. Some of them were later used as the city's crests, particularly – in Izyum, Sumy, and Kharkiv."
Jarig Bakker, 11 December 1999

Photo of the flag, which shows the shield outline to be yellow, not orange (source).
Paul Bassinson, 6 August 2023

Coat of Arms

from the site of Ukrainian Heraldry

"The Coat of Arms of the Russian period was confirmed on the 21st of September 1781 – in a vert field there were a horn of abundance and the Mercury's staff in cross. The horn was full of flowers and fruits. That signified abundance of the region and trade on a well-known in those territories fair."
Phil Nelson, 7 July 1999

The City

From the site of Ukrainian Heraldry :
"City in Kharkiv Oblast.The first settlers appeared on the territory of the modern town in 20' of the XVII century. The origin of the name comes (according to a legend) from the name of the first settler – a Cossack Kharek.In 1659 a fortress was built in Kharkiv to defend Slobids'ka Ukraine from raids of the Tartars. Later Kharkiv lost its military significance and became a big trade and industrial center. After liquidation in 1765 of Cossacks self-government by tsarist government the town became the center of Slobids'ko-Ukrainian province. In 1836 it was renamed into Kharkiv province. In 1727 in the town there was opened a collegium which became the center of education in Slobozhanshyna. In 1805 a university was founded in the town."
Phil Nelson, 7 July 1999