Poroshenko says the Ukrainian flag should be raised once again over Donetsk, Luhansk and Crimea
Ukraine celebrates the Day of the National Flag on August 23rd. A solemn ceremony took place at St. Sophia Square in Kyiv. Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko raised the ‘blue-and-yellow' national flag. Head of the state reiterated the need to restore Ukraine's sovereignty, stressing "the flag must wave again over the occupied territories of Donbas and Crimean peninsula".
Petro Poroshenko, President of Ukraine: "It will prove to be an extremely difficult task ahead of us getting our flag flying once again over Donetsk, Luhansk, Simferopol, and Sevastopol."
Shortly after the ceremony, Poroshenko headed to Donbas. In view of the upcoming Independence Day the President is set to give Ukrainian soldiers new military equipment.
Meanwhile, other Ukrainian cities compete for the most outstanding flag presentation. Numerous windows on and around Dnipro city administration were decorated with small Ukrainian flags, more than 300 in total. The building is situated in the city centre, so that nearly every Dnipro resident may witness the holiday decorations.
The administration of the whole Dnipro region made a huge electrical flag, supposedly the largest in Ukraine. Constructed of 120 spotlights and 2,500 LEDs of blue and yellow depicting the Ukrainian flag can be seen from the plane above. Engineers say there have been problems with the yellow colour, so they had to mix various other colours to make it work. The project was financed from private sources. The total amount of costs invested has been kept secret. Construction is over 1800 square metres and set to illuminate the surrounding area.
Yuriy Golik, Dnipro's mayor advisor: "We want this flag to be seen from several thousand metres from above. So those flying over Dnipro could see it unfurling on the ground. No one has done anything similar before. It was rather difficult, but we managed to rise to the task."
The residents of Odessa in Southern Ukraine raised a flag of 25 metres long. The length is equal to the number of years of Ukraine's independence. People stretched a huge national flag along the stairway of Potemkin Steps and carried it up to the monument of Duke de Richelieu. The orchestra of Ukrainian navy performed a national anthem there in honour of the national symbol.
Olena Pischemukha, coordinator: "It is a traditional event. The flag becomes longer and longer every year, as well as the number of people participating in the action. Everyone willing to join the flash mob is free to come and raise the flag with us."
The holiday of Ukrainian national flag was established in 2004. The corresponding decree was issued by second Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma. In 2009 Ukraine's third President Viktor Yushchenko made amendments to the decree, establishing an annual official flag-raising ceremony on August 23.