Less Russia, More Europe. Why Belarus’ New Symbol-To-Be Raises Eyebrows

Belarus is considering adopting a new national coat of arms. One of the most noticeable changes concerns the globe, the old one shows Belarus along with most of Russia, while the new – the countries of Europe.

While the national anthem, flag, and several state symbols are unchanged in the proposal, the new coat of arms has subtle differences from the one dating back to Soviet times.

Most notably, the new emblem shows a map of Western Europe and the Atlantic Ocean, a politically pointed change from the former emblem, which showed Russia and Eurasia.

coat of arms Belarus

The old (left) and new designs of a coat of arms of Belarus

“The change could be seen as a reflection of the delicate balancing act Belarus, still a close ally of Russia, is trying to maintain,” Radio Free Europe notes.

Other changes will include a larger silhouette of Belarus and a less militarized star. The shapes of wheat, clover, and flax will become more voluminous, as will the ribbons framing the flowers.

The contour of the state’s territory will turn gold to match the sun’s rays. More proposed changes can be found at a website for state documents and legislation.

Commenting on the bill, Belarus’ Justice Minister Oleg Slizhevsky stressed that there were no political connotations when the specialists-designers worked on the new state symbol.

“It is logical that our country and the outline of the republic’s border should be in the center of the image of the globe, and not somewhere in the corner. This is quite obvious,” he stressed.

Meanwhile, over the past year, the number of supporters of the Belarus-Russia union has decreased from 60,4% to 40,4%. At the same time, the number of EU supporters increased from 24.4% to 32%.