Military Wiki
Advertisement

The pattern is thought to symbolise fire and gunpowder. It is also thought to be derived from the colours of the original Russian imperial coat of arms (black eagle on a golden background).

The Ribbon of St George or St. George's Ribbon (Russian: георгиевская ленточка georgievskaya lentochka) constitutes one of the most recognised and respected symbols of military valour in modern Russia. It is widely associated with the commemoration of World War II and especially with the units who were awarded the collective Guard battle honours during the conflict. The ribbon consists of a black and orange bicolour pattern, with three black and two orange stripes. Its origins lay back in the times of the Russian Empire.

The Georgian ribbon emerged as part of the Order of St George, established in 1769 as the highest military decoration of Imperial Russia (and re-established in 1998 by the Russian Federation). While the Order of St George was normally not a collective award, the ribbon was sometimes granted to regiments and units that performed brilliantly during wartime and constituted an integral part of some collective battle honours (such as banners and pennants). When not awarded the full Order, some distinguished officers were granted ceremonial swords, adorned with the Georgian ribbon. In 1806, distinctive Georgian banners were introduced as a further battle honour awarded to meritorious Guards and Leib Guard regiments. The pike on which these flags were mounted was topped by the St George Cross and adorned with 4,44 cm wide Georgian ribbons. It remained the highest collective military award in the Russian military until the Revolution in 1917.

Beret badge with ribbon of St George of a Russian Federation Guards unit

The title of the Soviet Guards was first introduced on 18 September 1941 in accordance with the decision of the Headquarters of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief (Russian: Ставка Верховного Главнокомандующего, or Stavka Verkhovnogo Glavnokomanduyuschego) and by the order No. 308 of the People's Commissar of Defense for the distinguished services during the Yelnya Offensive. The 100th, 127th, 153rd and 161st Rifle Divisions were renamed into the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Guards Divisions, respectively. The units and formations nominated for the Soviet Guard title received special Guards banner in accordance with the decision of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. On 21 May 1942, the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR introduced Guards ranks and Guards badges to be worn of the right side of the chest. Both included the Georgian ribbon pattern. In June 1943, they introduced the Guards Red Banners for the land forces and in February 1944 - for the naval forces. Georgian ribbons adorned the banners exactly as in the 19th century.

Established on November 8, 1943, the Order of Glory (Orden Slavy) was an order of the Soviet Union. It was awarded to non-commissioned officers and the rank-and-file of the armed forces, as well as to junior lieutenants of the air force, for bravery in the face of the enemy. The ribbon of the Order was orange with three black stripes - the same as that of the Cross of St. George.

One of the most honourable medals in the Soviet Union, the Medal "For the Victory over Germany in the Great Patriotic War 1941–1945" (Russian: За победу над Германией) also features St. George stripes. It was awarded to all the soldiers and officers who participated in the Eastern Front campaigns, and was the first award to be universally granted to all the veterans, for the most part, right after the end of the war.

The ribbon is prominent on the Russian Federation pattern (current) Guards Badge and also on the badge worn on berets by members of Guards units.

Georgievskaya Lenta Action

Since the 60th anniversary of the Victory Day in 2005, the ribbon is freely worn by civilians in Russia and other former republics of the USSR as an act of commemoration and remembrance. For the naming of the ribbons the diminutive form is used: георгиевская ленточка (George small ribbon). It has since been distributed in Moscow, all over Russia, and around the world in the preparation for the event and is widely seen on wrists, lapels, and cars. The motto that goes with it is "We remember, we are proud!"

Ribbon of Saint George on a car antenna, Moscow, May 2008

See also

External links

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).
Advertisement