UWC celebrates Crimean Tatar National Flag Day

#UWC news
June 26,2024 406
UWC celebrates Crimean Tatar National Flag Day

On June 26, the Ukrainian World Congress traditionally joins Ukraine and Crimean Tatar communities worldwide in celebrating the Qırımtatar Milliy Bayraq Künü – Crimean Tatar National Flag Day.

The Crimean Tatar national flag, Kök Bayraq, is deeply rooted in the Crimean Tatar People’s history and traditions and has long been recognized as a symbol of the Crimean Tatar struggles for freedom, dignity, and national identity. Today, Ukrainians and friends of Ukraine worldwide regard the Crimean Tatar national flag as one of the symbols of resistance to the Russian occupation of Crimea. It is also a representation of hundreds of Crimean Tatar volunteers serving in the Ukrainian Armed Forces to combat Russian invasion.

The origins of the light blue flag with a yellow coat of arms (the Tamğa) in its upper left corner go back to the creation of the Crimean Khanate. The flag was first officially introduced in 1917 by the First Crimean Tatar Kurultai. During the Soviet times, the flag was prohibited and re-established again as a national symbol in June 1991 by the Second Kurultai.   

With the Russian take-over of Crimea in 2014, Crimean Tatars were again under repression in their homeland. The Russian Federation brought back terror, intimidation, and persecution of the Crimean Tatar and Ukrainian communities based on political, cultural, and religious intolerance and has also been implementing a policy of artificial population replacement in the peninsula. The Kök Bayraq was once again de-facto prohibited by the occupiers.   

Despite the ten years of Russian occupation of Crimea, Ukrainians are rock-solid in refusing land trade for peace and remain confident that Crimea must return to Ukraine like any other Ukrainian territory under Russia’s occupation. A free and independent Ukraine is not possible without Crimea.

United by common colors, history and fight for freedom and sovereignty of Ukraine, the Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar communities around the world are celebrating Flag Day and hoping for Ukraine’s victory and the day when the blue and yellow flags will fly over the free Ukrainian Crimea again.

Crimea is Ukraine!

Cover: KrymSOS

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