Everybody knows the history of St. George ribbons. The Order of St. George was established in 1769 to reward the Russian military in the war with Turkey. Then, in the Soviet Union it was canceled, and in 2000, Russia restored it.
The Guards ribbon was established in 1942 to designate guards units, formations and ships that displayed heroism in the battles with the fascists. Outwardly it strongly resembled St. George’s, but the stripes in it were not yellow, but orange.
Why did a real war develop between supporters and opponents of striped ribbons?
In my opinion, there was a confusion of concepts.
There are some citizens of Russia who, under the influence of the Kremlin propaganda, have experienced a complex of greatness in recent years. They consider themselves to be the continuers of the work of the Russian kings, the collectors of the Russian lands, and the creators of the “Russian world”. These people support the annexation of Crimea and other “primordially Russian lands” to Russia. It was to please them during the separatist war in Ukraine in 2014 that Russian propagandists used the distinctive sign – the St. George ribbon, as a symbol of “the greatness of the Russian empire”. I think that it was applied not accidentally, as many citizens of the former Soviet Union were associated with the Guards band, that is, with heroism in the fight against fascism. The leitmotif of Russian propagandists was that Ukrainian separatists were allegedly fighting “Ukrainian fascists who oppressed Russian-speaking compatriots”.
I think that this cunning move of the Kremlin’s ideologists is due to all the current annoyance with the ribbons in Russia, as well as in all the former Soviet republics.
Some people praise the St. George ribbon, as a symbol of the greatness of Russia.
Another group of people revere the Guards tape, as a tribute to the heroes-guardsmen, who gave their lives in the war against the fascists.
And since outwardly these tapes are similar, then the third group of people who are jealous of the independence of their young state, all the above carriers of striped ribbons seem to be Imperials.
However, I can assure you that this is not true.
I’ve seen so many people who are patriots of Kazakhstan and have absolutely nothing to do with the “Russian world”, but they want to honor the memory of their dead grandfathers wearing the Soviet-era Guards ribbons. These people are at a loss, why are they so vehemently hated by the Kazakh national patriots? After all, no one canceled respect for the heroism of the defenders of the Fatherland.
Kremlin ideologists have achieved their goal. Under the auspices of striped ribbons, they split the societies of several countries into two parts. At the same time, because of the similarity of the St. George and the Guards bands, they managed to poach a large part of the population to their side.
What should we do now?
The motivation of Kazakhstan’s national patriots is clear. In order not to confuse normal people with the Imperials, they propose to abandon the Guards ribbons, so inappropriately similar to the St. George’s, and to wear only their own, turquoise. That is, they propose to honor the memory of the heroes-grandfathers so that there is not the slightest association with the Imperials.
They may be objectedby saying: “We are used to striped ribbons and do not want to give them up because they are now associated with someone with George ribbons.” To this there is the answer: “Once and the Indian swastika meant luck and prosperity. But since it was used by fascist Germany, it’s foolish to wear it and prove to everyone that this is just an ancient Indian sign of prosperity. ”
I myself am skeptical about the increased attention to signs. I prefer the meaning more. But taking into account all of the above, I’m more inclined to the opponents of striped ribbons. Since it was appropriated and defiled by great-power chauvinists, it is more reasonable for everyone else to abandon striped ribbons and apply new signs.