A characteristic of the recent Belarus protests is the use by the demonstrators of the white-red flag. Shortly after the announcement of the elections’ result on August 9th, the streets of Minsk flooded with opposition-backed protestors waving white-red flags.
But what is the actual meaning of the Belarusian white-red flag and what’s the history behind it?
It was used for the first time by the short-lived anti-Bolshevik Belarusian National Republic (BNR) between March 1918 and February 1919. During the interwar period, it was occasionally used by political and non-political organizations, including the conservative Belarusian Christian Democracy (1927).
However, the white-red flag emerged again during World War II, as a symbol of the Nazi administration in Belarus, also appearing on arm patches of Belarusian Nazi collaborationists who volunteered in the German Army and the SS. Additionally, the flag was used by the anti-Soviet, collaborationist “Belarusian Central Rada” between 1943-1944.
The above are confirmed by a plethora of documents and pictures from the World War II era.
The major questions which arise are: Do the protesters in Belarus – especially the younger generations – who are waving the white-red flag, the actual symbolism of the banner?
Do they know that the flag, under which they protest, was used extensively by collaborationists, traitors and cowards who served the Nazi invaders?
Do they realize that by waving the white-red flag they betray the memory of their grandfathers and great-grandfathers who fought against the Nazis?
The same, white-red flag was used again in the early 1990s, as an anti-Soviet, anti-communist symbol by Belarusian counterrevolutionaries.
It is not a coincidence that Ukrainian and Polish fascists openly support the Belarusian opposition movement. Especially in the case of Ukraine, we all know where the – EU and NATO-sponsored - 2014 Kiev Maidan led and how neo-Nazis emerged in governmental positions.
Belarus must not become a new Ukraine. The young people of Belarus must not fall victims of the false promises made by the foreign-backed opposition.
The white-red Belarusian flag in their hands is not only an insult for the country's proud past but also a worrying sign for her future.