Meaning and history of the St. George Ribbon
The history of the St. George ribbon is inextricably linked with the heroic past of Russia. It is known that it was an integral part of the three insignia established in the name of the patron saint of the Russian army of St. George the Victorious, the order, the cross and the medal. In addition, the ribbon adorned the caps of the sailors who served as part of the Imperial Guard crew, and on ships awarded the St. George flag. It fluttered on the banners of the royal army.
What does the St. George ribbon mean? The story of its appearance
During the period of the military company of 1768-1774, to award those who showed courage, courage and prudence for the benefit of Russia, a special award was instituted - the St. George ribbon. Her motto became the words: "For service and courage." The corresponding award badge appeared - a white equilateral cross or a four-pointed golden star.
There are four order degrees. Cavaliers were first awarded with a cross, a star and a ribbon decorated with stripes of black and orange colors.Heroes awarded the order of the second degree, also had a star and a separate cross, which was worn around the neck. The next degree gave the right to wear a small cross on the neck, and the fourth - in the buttonhole. Since the establishment of the Order, black and yellow colors have become symbols of military valor and courage. Thus, the story of the appearance of the St. George Ribbon can only be considered in conjunction with the history of the order itself.
How the ribbon looked, how it was put on
The tape was worn depending on what class the awarded cavalier was. Three options were envisaged: in the buttonhole, on the neck or over the shoulder. The history of the St. George Ribbon includes such a curious fact: those who were awarded it received a lifetime salary from the treasury, and after their death the heirs became the owners of the award. But the Order of the Statute also provided for the deprivation of the award of those who by some unseemly act had tarnished the honor of the George Knight.
Initially, the St. George ribbon was made of silk and decorated with stripes of black and yellow colors - as it was provided for in the Order Statute of 1769. But if you look at the samples of those old years that have come down to us, then you can see that even then the yellow color on them was clearly to orange, which would only be approved in 1913.For a long time there have been discussions about what the St. George ribbon means.
The story of its appearance is connected with the war, so many believe that black means smoke, and orange means flame. This version, of course, has the right to exist, but the one that was expressed by the well-known expert in the field of phaleristics S. Andolenko is more likely. He draws attention to the correspondence of the colors of the ribbon and the national emblem of Russia - on a gold background a black eagle.
St. George Ribbon. History, meaning and features
There are many order ribbons, but only a few of them have independent status. The history of the St. George ribbon knows the periods when it was used as a full-fledged analogue of the order or the cross. For example, during the Crimean War, the defenders of Sevastopol could not receive the insignia and the ribbons were given to them. Another example is the period of the Imperialist war, when those who were awarded the order pinned a ribbon to the side of an overcoat. But the case is also known when the St. George ribbon was presented without an order and had an independent significance.
This happened in 1914. One of the highest ranks of the General Staff was awarded to her for having managed in the shortest possible time to mobilize the army.Neither the order nor the cross could not be handed, because they were awarded only to participants in hostilities. The tape was granted to him to the earlier order, and thus the general received the right to wear it on the St. George ribbon, which was a unique event in the history of Russia.
Two kinds of tapes
In the reign of Emperor Alexander I, it became a tradition to reward the units that particularly distinguished themselves in military actions with St. George's banners. These award standards differed from others in that the St. George Cross was placed in their upper parts (tops), and under it was a black and gold ribbon with standard tassels. There were no inscriptions on it. Over time, they began to be called "narrow St. George ribbons."
In contrast, the imperial decree of 1878 introduced wide ribbons on which it was written, for what specific services the military unit received this award banner. Such a tape became an integral part of the standard and was not removed from it under any circumstances. Their history begins with the fact that at the end of the military campaign of 1877–1878, Alexander II wished to award the most distinguished units and subunits of the Danube and Caucasian armies that took part in the battles.
Unique rewards for combat regiments
Army commanders provided information about two regiments that fought under their command. A detailed list of their exploits was attached to the report. But when the relevant commission began to consider the issue of awarding, it turned out that these regiments already had all the awards that existed at that time. It was for them that the wide St. George ribbon was established, listing their merits.
More similar ribbons were not awarded, and these two regiments were forever the only ones who were awarded this honor. It is known that at the end of the Crimean War, by the decree of the emperor, a nominal award weapon, decorated with the straps of flowers of the St. George ribbon, was introduced. Such an award was considered no less honorable than the Order. Samples of this golden weapon can be seen today in many museums in the country.
Hall of the Palace, dedicated to the gentlemen of the Order
In St. Petersburg in the royal residence at the end of the XVIII century, the Great Throne Hall was opened. His consecration took place on November 26 on the day of the celebration of the memory of St. George the Victorious. In this regard, he was named after him. Since then, all protocol events related to the awards were held precisely within its walls.There also sat a commission that considered the candidacies of the next cavaliers, and receptions were held annually in honor of his cavaliers.
Awarding ribbon in the White Guard troops
After the seizure of power in 1917, the Bolsheviks abolished the old award system, and the black and gold ribbon was used only in parts of the White Army. An example is its presentation along with the sign “For the Ice Campaign”, used in the award system of the Volunteer Army of Kornilov. Also on the Eastern Front, it was attached to the medal "For the great Siberian campaign."
In addition, the history of the St. George Ribbon knows many facts of its use as patriotic symbolism by many White Guard units and formations. Ribbons with black and orange stripes decorated the banners, chevrons and hats of soldiers and commanders. This was especially characteristic of the participants in the Yaroslavl uprising. The famous ataman Annenkov obliged the veterans of his movement to wear St. George ribbons to distinguish them from the newly called soldiers.
Allies of enemies and fighters against Bolshevism
In 1943, the German command formed the so-called Russian corps, consisting of immigrants and former citizens of the USSR, who had gone over to the side of the enemy.It was used to suppress the resistance of the Yugoslav partisans, and its most distinguished members were awarded St. George crosses and ribbons. Unfortunately, not only the heroic pages contain the history of the St. George ribbon. Vlasov, who fought in the ranks of the Wehrmacht, also often carried this sign of valor on their chests.
In 1944, a collaborationist organization was created in Bobruisk, called the Union Against Bolshevism. On his banner, decorated with two-color ribbons, an image of St. George cross was embroidered with silver. The same tapes served as armbands and distinctive signs of its leaders. Among the numerous unions created in the West by Russian immigrants, all sorts of symbols were popular, including St. George ribbon. One of these organizations was the Russian All-Military Union.
The continuation of the patriotic tradition
St. George Ribbon, the history of which is closely connected with the heroic pages of the Russian-Turkish war, eventually entered into the symbolism of the Soviet army. In 1942, at the height of the battles against fascism, the Guards Ribbon was established,corresponding in appearance to the well-known Georgievskaya. This was a continuation of the glorious patriotic tradition.
It was used on the Red Navy caps and as a breastplate “Sea Guard”. The image of the ribbon were decorated with banners of guards units, formations and ships. In 1943, a ribbon of the Order of Glory was established by government decree. Its appearance is completely identical to St. George. It was also used to design the pads of the medal "For the victory over Germany."
The revival of glorious awards
With the advent of democratic changes in the country, the attitude towards the monuments of our history has changed in many ways. A government decree of March 2, 1992 restored the Order of St. George and the insignia of the Cross of St. George. In 2005, in honor of the sixtieth anniversary of the victory over fascism, a public action called the St. George Ribbon was held. It was initiated by the RIA Novosti news agency and the Student Community ROOSPM.
From this time on, the Guards Ribbon was again called the St. George, and the actions dedicated to it became annual.Thousands of activists hand out ribbons to those who wish in this way to express their gratitude to our veterans. Black and gold ribbons, symbolizing the courage and heroism of Russian soldiers, are attached to the clothes, bags and antennas of cars. The action is held under the motto "I remember, I am proud." Thus, the story of the St. George Ribbon, briefly outlined in this article, has been continued.