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Jewish Autonomous Region (Russia)

Evreĭskaâ avtonomnaâ oblasth

Last modified: 2006-07-29 by antonio martins
Keywords: birobidjan | hebrew | jewish | rainbow flag | ussuri | tiger | tallith | magen david | error |
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Еврейскиая автономная область

Flag of Jewish Aut. Region
image by Pascal Vagnat, 29 Jun 1997

See also: See also:

Presentation of Jewish Autonomous Region

(Note: You need an Unicode-aware software and font to correctely view the cyrillic text on this page. See here transliteration details).

  • Name (english): Jewish Autonomous Region • (russian): Еврейскиая автономная область | Evreĭskaâ avtonomnaâ oblasth
  • Local official language: Yiddish
  • Capital (russian): Биробиджан | Birobidẑan • (english): Birobidzhan
  • Area: 36 000 km2 (≅13 900 sq.mi.) • Population: 197 500 inhabitants in 2000
  • Status: Autonomous region (автономная область | avtonomnyĭ oblasth) within the Russian Federation
  • Federal District: Far-East • Economic region: Far East
  • License plate code: 79 • Ham radio code: EA • ISO 3166-2 code: YEV
  • Flag adopted on 1996.10.01 • Coat of arms adopted on unkn. date

J.A.R. was established according to the USSR presidency Committee (a.k.a Stalin) decision of 28.3.1928 and was declared as the J.A.R. in 1934. The name J.A.R. is a little misleading since the Jewish population never raised more than 25% of the region population (in the early 50’s) and now the Jews are about 5000-7000 people which is less than 5% of the region population.
Dov Gutterman, 17 Nov 1998

One of the more bizarre Soviet attempts at national engineering, the Jewish Autonomous Region was established in 1934 as the national homeland of all Jews. World Jewry, very sensibly, declined to emigrate to their “homeland”, which today has a Jewish population of under 6%.
Stuart Notholt

The Jews represent there only 5,3% of the local population.
Pascal Vagnat, 29 Jun 1997

The Soviet Regim decided to establish JAR as an alternative for the Zionist Movement . There were few natives but the majority of the Jews in JAR arrived from the European part of Russia. The idea didn’t catch the Jews and only about 35,000 of them (from more than a million) immigrate to JAR. Most of them left back to the European Russia. They were Ashkenazi’s Jews. In 1970 only 10 % of the population was Jews and now they are less than 5% of it and declining. There is nothing "Jewish" in the region or city flags.
Dov Gutterman, 18 Nov 1998

Description of the flag

If the proportions of the flag are 240:360, the width of each horizontal stripe is 93-6-2-6-2-6-2-6-2-6-2-6-2-6-93. These stripes symbolize of course the rainbow. The white field could remind us of the white field of the Israeli flag. Adopted first of October 1996. Proportions 2:3.
Pascal Vagnat, 29 Jun 1997

Coat of arms

COA of Jewish Aut. Region
image by António Martins, 08 Aug 1999

The coat of arms is a French XIXc. shield, which colour is Russian aquamarine (dark green). The proportions are 9:8. The upper and lower parts of the shield are charged with horizontal stripes white-blue-white, each colour 1/50th of the height of the shield. The blue stripes symbolize the rivers Bira and Bidjan. The center of the shield is charged with a tiger of Ussouri in gold with black stripes. The tiger is going to the right and faces us. The law indicates that the coat of arms will be used for the creation of the standards of the head of the administration and of the president of the legislative assembly. I don’t know how this looks like. The blue and white stripes on the shield remind also of the israeli tallith.
Pascal Vagnat, 29 Jun 1997

Tiger occurs in the J.A.R. coat-of-arms (as well as on the symbols of the Maritime Region) simply because this animal is living in these areas (Panthera tigris altaica) — and probably it is the most spectacular creature in Birobijan.
Jan Zrzavy, 18 Nov 1998

Flag of Birobidjan city

Flag of Birobidjan city
image by Muhamed Mesic, 17 Nov 1998

The light blue-white-yellow triband is Birobijian flag.
Dov Gutterman, 17 Nov 1998

This flag, in light blue, is listed under number 130 at the chart Flags of Aspirant Peoples [eba94] as: «Yidishtim Yehudit (Jewish National Region) - South-East Siberia» — an erroneous attribution.
Ivan Sache, 15 Sep 1999

"Yidishtim Yehudit" means "Jewish Jewish" (first word in Yidish and second in Hebrew). I think that in Russia they used the term "evrey" for Jewish and someone maybe used two translations of it in order to make a new term…
Dov Gutterman, 21 Sep 1999

Isn’t this very similar to the historical flag of Chukotka flag?…
António Martins, 08 Jun 1999

Russian triband with Magen David

Russian triband with Magen David
image by Muhamed Mesic and António Martins, 11 Jul 1999

One of my old friends now living in Moscow visited Birobijian and thre he saw a strange flag hanging from the windows in Birobidzhan: one is just like russian tricolour, but everything is fimbriated in red, and it also includes a Magen David in the center, also fimbriated in red (the star itself in yellow), the ratio is 2:3, and he saw this flag also aboard a ship
Muhamed Mesic, 17 Nov 1998

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