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Lesson 9

Symbols of Ukraine

Author: Irina Derlyuk

Each country has its symbols that are known and recognized in the world. Ukraine is no exception.

The following ancient symbols of Ukraine are considered signatures: Easter eggs, motanka, and symbols-charms of Slavic gods, found in ethnic ornaments, pottery, and jewelry.


Pysanka is a symbol of spring, rebirth of nature, the birth of life, procreation, the symbol of sun, warmth and eternity, universe. Pysanka is considered to be the most powerful among others. It combines 7 primary colors: red, yellow, orange, green, cherry, brown, and black. Each image on the Easter egg has its meaning. Older people say that as long as people write Easter eggs, there will be love in the world.

Doll motanka

Motanka is a Ukrainian folk doll and amulet. The first motanka dolls appeared 5,000 years ago and were common in almost every country. Ukrainian motanka is an elegantly dressed and originally decorated doll. It has long been a talisman in every Ukrainian family, symbolizing femininity and wisdom. It is believed that she protected family comfort, well-being, and protection from evil forces. The doll-witch could even control the weather and cure diseases.

Symbols of amulets - Slavic gods

Looking at the beautiful patterns of fashion brands, signs of European tattoo parlors, and the tattoos themselves, you might have no idea that their elements and decorations come from ancient Ukraine.

Symbols of the plant

There are also symbolic plants in Ukraine. There is no Ukraine without willow and viburnum, says folk wisdom.

The ancient Slavs considered the viburnum a symbol of rebirth and infinity of life. The name "viburnum" is associated with the name of the sun – the Circle. Viburnum has long been the embodiment of goodness, peace, grace, and love.

Willow is the most revered tree in Ukraine; more than 30 species grow here. Our ancestors said: "Where is water, there is a willow", and therefore life. That is why the willow can be called a tree of life for Ukrainians.

Blooming symbols of Ukraine are sunflowers, marigolds, periwinkles, and mallows.
The flower symbolizes fertility and prosperity, fun and welfare, "the flower of the sun". The words of a woman from the Kherson region became a world meme when she suggested to the Russian occupiers put sunflower seeds in their pockets. She said it in order not to do extra work in vain – sow sunflowers and bury your bodies.

Marigolds are traditional elements of the Ukrainian wreath. These flowers are a symbol of fidelity and devotion. And there was an opinion that marigolds could protect the house from evil spirits and the evil eye.

Periwinkle (Barvinok) is a symbol of love. This plant is named after the passionate feelings of the young boy Bar and the girl Vinka. Periwinkle is traditionally decorated with loaves at weddings, woven into a wreath. Periwinkle has always served as a reliable amulet against evil spirits.

Pink mallow is traditionally considered a vital amulet. Houses were decorated with flowers of this plant. They were planted on their plots to take away grief and misery from the family. According to folk beliefs, the good spirits of deceased relatives are always somewhere near the mallow bushes and are a kind of guardian of all who live in the house.


Food is considered to be one of the noticeable symbols of Ukraine, along with the nightingale songs, colorful embroidered shirts, and state symbols of Ukraine.

Ukrainian red borsch and pampushky with garlic, lard, and honey liqueur are known far beyond our state. They are associated with the generosity of the Ukrainian soul, apt humor, and hospitality.

Ukrainian embroidered towel

Ukrainian embroidered towels, embroidered shirts, and Cossack trousers are known in almost every country worldwide. Designers of Milan and Paris did not miss such beauty. The Ukrainian embroidered towel is a symbol of the way of life. The infant was admitted to it during childbirth, and the deceased was escorted with him.

This embroidered shirt (found in Ukraine) is 1000 years old. It is an ancient manuscript of our people because every thread, every cross on the embroidered shirt has its sacred meaning.

By the embroidery of the shirt, you could recognize what event you were going to, whether a person was married or not, what kind of tribe they were from and what area.

In general, the embroidered shirt is not just a Ukrainian national dress, it is a symbol of ancient history, greatness and inviolability of our people.

Flag, coat of arms, and anthem

However, in reality, our flag, coat of arms, and anthem are the actual symbols of Ukraine, recognizable all over the world today.

In 1863, Mykhailo Verbytsky wrote music based on Pavlo Chubynsky's poem "Ukraine’s glory has not yet died, nor her freedom", this composition is now known as the National Anthem of Ukraine.

Each country's state flag is an integral attribute that embodies the identity and continuity of its state-building traditions. The colors of the sky and water (blue), the sun, and the wheat field (yellow) are the original colors of our people. The Ukrainian flag is a symbol of the country and embodies national unity, honor and dignity, traditions of state formation, history, and the present.

What about our coat of arms? Trident was the princely sign of Volodymyr Sviatoslavych both before and after the baptism of Russia. A few hundred years later, the trident became a symbol of the Ukrainian People's Republic and the state of Hetman Pavel Skoropadsky and has not changed as a state attribute! In the 1920s, Ukrainians could not imagine a symbol other than the trident. With the birth of the independent state of Ukraine, it became its emblem. Russians, Cossacks, Sich riflemen, and UPA fighters all understood the sacred meaning of this symbol. It reflects the genetic code of the Ukrainian nation.

Even in the difficult times of vile Russian aggression, our state produces new and new symbols for itself and the world. Let's remember the postmark with the inscription about the "direction of the Russian ship" or the pink panama hat of the band`s KALUSH lead. Lots of staff now have world-famous inscriptions:" Russian warship .. "," Good evening we are from Ukraine ", and "Glory to Ukraine! Glory to heroes!".

This is what Ukraine is known for today.

Now ask yourself, if a war-torn country mourning children and soldiers in ravaged cities can give the world so much light and warmth, isn't it worth saying:

How to be brave like Ukraine? How to be brave like Ukraine? How to be brave like Ukraine? How to be brave like Ukraine? How to be brave like Ukraine? How to be brave like Ukraine? How to be brave like Ukraine? How to be brave like Ukraine? How to be brave like Ukraine?
How to be brave like Ukraine? How to be brave like Ukraine? How to be brave like Ukraine? How to be brave like Ukraine? How to be brave like Ukraine? How to be brave like Ukraine? How to be brave like Ukraine? How to be brave like Ukraine? How to be brave like Ukraine?

It is to unite not because of belonging but because of an idea – through symbols and signs.

Lesson 10


Lesson 10