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Bashkortostan ASSR

Republic of Bashkortostan

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In the 10th century it was reported by the chroniclers Ibn Rustah, and Al Balkhi, that Bashkirs were an independent people occupying territories on both sides of the Ural mountain ridge between Volga, Kama, and Tobol Rivers and upstream of the Yaik river. In the 13th century they were under Mongol domination and, after the break up of the Golden Horde the Bashkirs were split between the Kazan Khanate, the Nogay Horde, and Siberian Khanate.

In the middle of the 16th century, Bashkirs joined the Russian state. Previously they formed parts of the Nogayskaya, Kazan, Sibir, and partly, Astrakhan khanates. Charters of Ivan the Terrible to Bashkir tribes became the basis of their contractual relationship with the tsar’s government. Primary documents pertaining to the Bashkirs during this period have been lost, some are mentioned in the family trees of the Bashkir.

The Bashkirs rebelled in 1662–64, in 1675–83 and in 1705–11. In 1676, the Bashkirs rebelled under a leader named Seyid Sadir or 'Seit Sadurov', and the Russian army had great difficulties in ending the rebellion. The Bashkirs rose again in 1707, under Aldar and Kûsyom, on account of ill-treatment by the Russian officials.

Another insurrection occurred in 1735, at the time of the foundation of Orenburg, and it lasted for six years. Although the history of the 1735 Bashkir insurrection cannot be easily summarized, its results can be. The Russian Imperial goal of expansion into Central Asia was delayed to deal with the Bashkir problem but Bashkiria was pacified in 1740. The southern side of Bashkiria was fenced off by the Orenburg Line of forts. It ran from Samara on the Volga east up the Samara River to its headwaters, crossed to the middle Ural River and followed it east and then north on the east side of the Urals and went east down the Uy River to Ust-Uisk on the Tobol River where it connected to the ill-defined 'Siberian Line' along the forest-steppe boundary.

Later, in 1774, the Bashkirs, under the leadership of Salavat Yulayev, supported Pugachev's Rebellion. In 1786, the Bashkirs achieved tax-free status; and in 1798 Russia formed an irregular Bashkir army from among them.

In 1782, the governorate of Orenburg, along with Chelyabinsky Uyezd of Perm Viceroyalty was transformed into Ufa Viceroyalty, which was divided into Ufa and Orenburg Oblasts. In 1796, Ufa Viceroyalty was renamed Orenburg Governorate, and in 1865 it was split in two - a smaller Orenburg Governorate, and Ufa Governorate.

After the Russian Revolution, the Bashkir Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (ASSR) was established, at first as Little Bashkortostan, but eventually all of Ufa Governorate was incorporated into the newly established republic. During the Soviet period, Bashkiria was granted broad autonomous rights- the first among other Russian regions. The administrative structure of the Bashkir ASSR was based on principles similar to those of other autonomous republics of Russia.

On 11 October 1990 the Supreme Soviet of the Republic adopted the Declaration on State Sovereignty of the Bashkir ASSR. On February 25, 1992 the Bashkir ASSR was renamed the Republic of Bashkortostan.

On March 31, 1992 a Federative Compact "On separation of authorities and powers among federal organs of power of the Russian Federation and the organs of power of the Republic of Bashkortostan" was signed. On August 3, 1994 a Compact “On separation of authorities and mutual delegating of powers among the organs of power of the Russian Federation and the organs of power of the Republic of Bashkortostan” was signed.







Since 1744 the Orenburg province was on Bashkir territory. On 18th century maps of Orenburg province there is sometimes a coat of arms parted per fess with a running marten in the lower half.

In 1773-’74 the province saw the Pugachev Rebellion.


Yemelyan Ivanovich Pugachev (1742-’75) pretender to the Russian throne, leader of  a great Cossack insurrection during the reign of Catherine II.

Alexander Pushkin wrote a notable history of the rebellion, The History of Pugachev

Seal of Pugachev, 1774 [1]

Å Yemelyan Pugachev’s portait painted from life

Rostov Veliki ,Rostov Museum,, inv. nr 4588


The arms with the marten became the coat of arms of the Ufa governorate established 23 February 1781. It was adopted on 3 July 1782 and it was:

Arms: Argent, a running marten on a grassy ground proper.


The arms of Ufa 03.07.1782

From: "Изображение губернских, наместнических, коллежских и всех штатских мундиров" (1794)

And from:

Winkler, P.P. von: Gerby Gorodov Gubernii, Oblastei o Posadov Rossiiskoi Imperii s 1649 po 1900 God. St. Petersburg, 1900.  Æ


On 23 March 1797 the province was renamed Ufa governorate in Orenburg province, and in May 1865 it was divided in Ufa Governorate and Orenburg Governorate.



A coat of arms was granted to Ufa Governorate by law nr. 58684 of 5 July 1878. It is:


Arms: Argent a running marten Azure

Crown: The Imperial Russian Crown

Garland:  Branches of oak Or and a the  ribbon an bow Azure of the Order of St. Andrew.


Flag of Idel Ural Republic

adopted 3.12.1917 in Ufa


After the October Revolution of 1917 the old symbols were discarded. On 29 November 1917 the Bashkir Central Shuro (Council) in Orenburg proclaimed territorial and national autonomy of Bashkiria as part of a federated Russia. In December this Bashkiria entered the Idel-Ural State that united Tatars, Bashkirs and the Chuvash in the turmoil of the Russian Civil War. Often viewed as an attempt to recreate the Khanate of Kazan, the republic was proclaimed on 12 December 1917 by a Congress of Muslims from Russia's interior and Siberia. The republic was defeated by the Red Army on 28 March 1918. Trying to preserve the nation-state, the Bashkir government signed an agreement with the Soviet Russian government on 20 March 1919 about the establishment of an autonomous Bashkortostan in the federation. On 23 March 1919 the Bashkir Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic was formed


Bashkortostan Autonomous Socialist Soviet Republic



In the mid-1920s, a draft of an emlem for the Bashkortostan ASSR was made. It showed a rider with the flag of Bashkostostan, riding in a landscape with works and a wooded mountain. In base a sheaf of wheat and a hammer and sickle in saltire. This draft was rejected. [2]


A coat of arms of Bashkir ASSR was approved in 1925. It was identical to the coat of arms of the Russian Federation, but supplemented by inscriptions on the Bashkir language.


The Constitution of Bashkortostan was adopted X Congress of Soviets of June 23, 1937. The coat of arms and flag described In the in Articles 111 and 112 it was laid down that the arms of the B ASSR would be the arms of the RSFSR.  This seems to have been so interpreted that the initials РСФСР were replaced by the initials AБССР (Autonomous Bashkir Socialist Soviet Republic).



The 8th extraordinary session of the Supreme Council of the B ASSR 9th convocation of  30 May 1978 adopted a new Constitution of Bashkiria. The Coat of Arms was described in Article 157, and the flag in Article 158. The description of the arms and the flag remained the same but on the arms a golden edged red star was added as a crest.


Republic of Bashkortostan



In 1990, Bashkortostan declared its independence (but in fact remained a part of Russia). A special Act of 13 October 1990 instructed to change the texts of all legislation adopted before the signing of the Declaration of Independence. This formally meant that the name of the state on the arms had to be changed into ‘Bashkir Soviet Socialist Republic’. Before this could be done the name of the republic was changed again by law of 25 February 1992 into ‘Republic of Bashkortostan’. No arms with such an inscripion are known either.


Emblem of Bashkortostan as adopted 12.10.1993


A competition was held for a new emblem of state. The commission which had to judge the designs received fourty proposals. From these the design of Azat Muhtarullinym was chosen to present to the Supreme Council. It showed a winged horse (pegasus) within an oval in the national colors and surrounded by golden ornaments, symbolizing the prosperity of the country. This project was rejected because a winged horse was also an emblem of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

A second project, submitted by Ildar Shayakhmetov, consisted of a white wolf, the totem of the Bashkir people (Bashkort meaning wolve’s head) with the Ural mountains on the background, a sun and a swastika. This project was also rejected.

A third project, made by Fazletdin Farrahovich Islah showed the monument to Salavat Yulaev and a green Kurai (= cow parsley  (Anthriscus sylvestris – Umbelliferae)) - flower surrounded by a golden national ornament and a ribbon in the national colors with the inscription “Bashkortostan”.

This project was approved by the Supreme Council of Bashkortostan by Law “On the State Emblem of the Republic of Bashkortostan” of 12 October 1993.


At the end of 1993 the emblem was slightly altered by making the rider riding to the sinister instead of to the dexter, matching better the monument to Salavat Yulaev.


Æ See illustration in the head of this article.



Salavat Yulaev (1754-1800) – was a Bashkir national hero and poet glorifying the exploits of the Bashkir heroes. His work is imbued with the spirit of the struggle against all oppression, passed from mouth to mouth.

The Monument to Salavat Yulaev  was erected in 1967 on the banks of the White River in Ufa. It was made by the sculptor S.T. Tavasiev and the architect  I. G. Gainutdinov.

The monument represents a (Bashkir-) warrior on horseback “fighting for freedom and justice”. It symbolizes the friendship between and the  unity of the peoples of Bashkortostan.


By Law "On state symbols of the Republic of Bashkortostan" of the Legislative Chamber of the National Assembly of the Republic of Bashkortostan of 27 May 27 and approved by the House of Representatives 24 June 1999, the Act on the State Flag of 1992 and the Law on the National Emblem of 1993, were replaced and changes were made in its symbolism. Aticle 11 of the law reads:


Статья 11. Описание Государственного герба Республики Башкортостан

Государственный герб Республики Башкортостан представляет собой изображение памятника Салавату Юлаеву на фоне восходящего солнца и его лучей, вписанное в круг, обрамленный национальным орнаментом. Ниже изображено соцветие курая, лента, окрашенная в цвета Государственного флага Республики Башкортостан, с надписью по белому полю "Башкортостан". В цветном изображении Государственного герба Республики Башкортостан памятник Салавату Юлаеву и орнамент - золотистого, цветок курая - зеленого, восходящее Солнце - светло-золотистого цвета, лучи Солнца - желтого, фон между памятником и орнаментом - белого, внутренняя и наружная окружности - темно-золотистого цвета.


That is:

Article 11. Description of the State Emblem of the Republic of Bashkortostan

The State Emblem of the Republic of Bashkortostan is a picture of the monument to Salavat Yulaev before the rising sun radiant within a circle of the national ornament. It is charged with a flowering  Kurai, and a ribbon in the colors of the State Flag of the Republic of Bashkortostan, with an inscription "Bashkortostan" on the white field.

In the color image of the State Emblem

the Bashkortostan monument to Salavat Yulaev and the ornament are golden,

the Kurai flower is green,

the rising sun is of a light shade of gold and rays of the sun are yellow,

the background between the monument and ornament is white,

the inside and outside of the circle are of  a dark shade of gold



Arms: Argent, a rising sun radiant and the monument to Salavat Yulaev, its socle charged with a disk issuant Argent, a cow parsley-flower Vert, within a bordure of a national Bashkir ornament, Or.

Motto:  БАШКОРТОСТАН in black lettering on a ribbon of the national colors blue, white and green.


The emblem is in the Heraldic Register of the Russian Federation N° 164




MVD emblem of the Republic of Bashkortostan


Arms:  Per fess Azure, Argent and Vert, the Salvat Yulaev statue Or and Argent, in  base a disk charged with a cow parsley-flower of the third.

Crest: The achievement of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Motto:  СЛУЖА ЗАКОНУСЛУЖИМ НАРОДУ  (To Serve the Law - To Serve the People) in golden lettering on a red ribbon.


Bashkortostan Riot Police (ОМОН)


Arms: Per fess Azure, Argent and Vert, the Salvat Yulaev statue Or and Argent

Crest: The achievement of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Supporters: Two swords in saltire, hilts in chief Argent

Motto:  СЛУЖА ЗАКОНУСЛУЖИМ НАРОДУ  (To Serve the Law - To Serve the People) in silver lettering on a red ribbon.

Bashkortostan Criminal Militia


Arms: Sanguine, the Salvat Yulaev statue Or and Argent, a base Argent a cow parsley-flower Vert, and a bordure set with rivets Or.

Crest: The achievement of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Supporters: A sword per bend, hilt in chief Argent, the hilt Or.

Motto:  БЛАГОРОДСТВО. МУЖЕСТВО. ЧЕСТЬ  (Generosity Honor Courage) in silver lettering on a sanguine ribbon. [3]



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© Hubert de Vries 2015.10.30. Updated 2016.03.09




[1] Sobolieva, N.A.: Pugatchevski Petchati. In: Voprosi Istorii. 1977, T. 8, pp. 211-215. The seal was discovered by Puskin. In the sixties and the seventies of the 20th century there was some time some interest in the heraldry of rebellious peoples’ movements. See for example about the Hussites: Bertényi, Iván: Zur Problematik der Heraldik der antifeudalen Bauernbewegungen. In: Genealogica & Heraldica. Report of the 14th International Congress of Genealogical and Heraldic Sciences in Copenhagen 25-29 August 1980. Copenhagen, 1982. pp. 378-391. At the growing repression in the east the publications about this tricky subject became silent.

[2] Figure courtesy of S. Filatov (Perm) with reference to the booklet "State symbols of Bashkortostan"


[3] http://www.vedomstva-uniforma.ru/mvd/mvd_emb1.html


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