Role of the plants in the National symbols of Ukraine
Each country has its flag and emblem. Besides its unique heraldry, the nation is also identified by a close connection with the nature at the territory where live people. From the ancient times on flags of the nobles and the hosts were decorated with the plants and animals images. This natural symbolism promised good luck and inspiration in the military service. Our ancestors believed that a symbol shown on their flags became their protective talisman and granted knights with the greatness of nature, the most powerful forces on earth.
Old new symbols and their history
During the reign of Vladimir the Great, our ancestors the Slavs were closely connected with the nature. Their faith in the supernatural powers was based on the nature and its representatives – the plants. The birth of the current Ukrainian symbolism began right from that time.
Since then, our people began to honor the cherry tree that was consider as a holy tree of Svarog God that took a leading role in the New Year celebration. Moreover, an earlier blossom of the cherry was considered as a good omen.
The Trypillian people have honored apple trees. The heathen Slavs as well as the Greeks and Romans knew about the Pears healing properties. The black Ash, the male tree used to make bows and arm elements during the time of the Scythians, occupied a special place.
The Willow, among the Slavs, symbolized the Great Tree of Life, the road tree that was usually planted be the roadside. Our ancestors also had an interesting tradition of the willow whipping. The ancient people believed that our Earth world had borders with the ocean space of the Universe, and the willow could gather these two realities and make a person more closely to space and the gods.
The Linden was a symbol tree of the water, our foremother. The Oak was the Perun tree and identified with the sun. The Birch was the Lada goddess tree, when the Maple belonged to Polel God. The Kalyna was used in the Kolyada celebration (the Christmas Carrols). There are many legends about its healing properties; some of them came down to us but in a modified form.
Modern plant symbols of Ukraine
Since the ancient times many things have changed. The territories and people of the Kyiv Russ were Christianized. The course of history also affected the roles and meanings of the symbols of our country. Among the people popularity was gained by the marigolds (mean family, the parents’ home), periwinkle (is identified with the eternity, permanence), lily (symbol of the Holly Virgin, purity of heart), cornflower (means modesty, fragility) and other plants.
Today, the willow is one of the main symbols of our land. This is a symbol of the continuity and power of life. The Christians celebrate the Palm Sunday. The bark of this tree is used as an anti-inflammatory and antipyretic. The poets and writers glorify it as an integral part to our nation.
With the harmony of The Poplar (Topol) tree is compared a girlish figure. Even the Taras Shevchenko’s poem has the same name. Furthermore, the Trinity tradition “led poplar” is saved on the territory of Ukraine to the present day.
In the legends, the Oak tree appears as the most popular symbol of long life and power. It combines the living and the dead worlds. In addition, it is the center of the Universe. The Oak tree became famous not only in Ukraine; his cults also were in Greece, Rome and Germany. Moreover, it stays popular.
The Kalyna is the most exceptional symbol of our country. Such meanings as faith in love, glorified by the Ukrainians beauty, family happiness are encoded in this tree. It is used in the treatment, at weddings and at the dedication of the houses.
All these plants are symbols, which demonstrate the wealth of our land and their close and deep connection with the people. If you know about them, you will always remember your home