Ceremony to honor state symbols of Belarus

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The tradition of honoring the most important symbols of sovereign Belarus has become truly nationwide, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said at a ceremony to honor the state symbols on the Day of the State Flag, the State Emblem and the National Anthem in Minsk on 12 May.

"On the fertile ground of love for the Motherland, this tradition has grown into our hearts, becoming truly nationwide," the Belarusian leader stressed.

On this day, thousands of young men and women throughout the country take an oath of allegiance to the state symbols. "This is a sign of deep respect for the past - the spiritual and moral values bequeathed to us by our ancestors. This is a sincere gratitude for the peaceful and happy present, which was provided by the older generation of contemporaries," Aleksandr Lukashenko said. "But most importantly this is a demonstration of readiness to take responsibility for the future of their country."

Addressing the representatives of the youth, the President noted that they, relying on all the achievement as if on the strong shoulders of their predecessors, take up the baton to preserve and strengthen the Belarusian statehood and undertake to cherish the symbols of the independent country.

“For me personally, this day is filled with special symbolism. The first referendum in the history of sovereign Belarus was held almost 30 years ago, on 14 May 1995. Then our people determined their path of development and laid the foundations of the policy of the Belarusian state. They are a strong Presidential power, a strategic alliance with Russia, equal state status of the Belarusian and Russian languages," the head of state said.

"Not succumbing to the threats of modern collaborators, or rather, traitors from politics, remaining true to ourselves, our principles and ideals, and our history, we defended our true state symbols together. Together we said ‘no’ to the symbols that became a real sign of misfortune for us. The heirs of the people who survived the genocide, survived concentration camps and ghettos, who stood up to fight the enemy in numerous partisan units, could not do otherwise," Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed.

Thus, in 1995, an overwhelming majority of Belarusians voted in favor of the continuity of heroic symbols.

The Belarusian President noted that in transitional times, people often abandon symbols that expressed the ideas and values of the previous social and political system. "But this was not our way. We carefully preserve the connection between generations, continue the traditions of our ancestors, and are proud of our history. It has many heroic pages in it. We have never flinched; we have never changed the policy that we are pursuing today. Both then and now, we have been faithful to the traditions of the past. We are especially proud that the Belarusian state symbols embody the unparalleled strength of spirit and contribution of our people to the Great Victory over the Nazism. They also reflect the labor feat of our fathers and grandfathers, who rebuilt the country on the principles of social equality and justice," Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The modern state flag, emblem and anthem are also symbols of sporting, creative and labor victories in the history of sovereign Belarus.

The flag of Belarus was raised by polar scientists in Antarctica, paratroopers - at the North Pole, climbers - on Everest.

"The flag has been flown to space three times. First with Oleg Novitsky, a native of Belarus. And most recently - with the first Belarusian cosmonaut, Hero of Belarus Marina Vasilevskaya," the President said.

"Today, symbolism not only unites. It is a source of confidence and inner strength. Our emblem, flag and anthem, as well as the policy are inspired by the ideas of national dignity and genuine democracy," the Belarusian leader said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that in various spheres, the state symbols have become part of life and achievements of the Belarusian people. For example, soon schools will hold solemn graduation ceremonies: to the sounds of the anthem, tens of thousands of graduates will take their first steps into an independent life. Farmers have completed the planting campaign. The harvesting campaign is ahead, during which thousands of Belarusian harvesters will go into fields. Under their dear flag, farmers will perform their labor feat. Hundreds of couples are preparing to enter into a legal marriage - the official seal will seal the vows of love and fidelity of new families.

The Belarusian emblem and flag can be seen in the windows of residential buildings and cars more often. On 3 July, the Independence Day, which this year will also mark the 80th anniversary of the liberation of Belarus, millions of compatriots will fill the squares of cities and villages to sing the anthem together.

"People are proud to be Belarusians. This is the national unity. The unity, which is sealed by the strong memory of the heroic feat of our grandfathers and great-grandfathers in the Great Patriotic War, patriotism, creative work and the desire for peace. The unity, which is symbolized by the State Flag, the State Emblem and the National Anthem of the Republic of Belarus. The unity that we must keep in order to preserve our country. Because time has chosen us!" the President stressed.