Why is red color associated with communism?

Why is red color associated with communism?

Red color is traditionally associated with communism. You can find it at Soviet Union flag, China flag and red star is normally symbol of communist countries . Why is red color associated with communism? What does it symbolizes?

(There's a pretty complete description of the association between the red flag and revolution on Wikipedia's page on the color red)

It can be associated with revolution (at least as far back as the French revolution, before that in Europe it was sometimes associated with monarchy) and communists see themselves as revolutionaries.

Red is associated with courage, sacrifice, blood and war in general.

In the West, a red flag in battle was used to signal the fight would be to the death and there would be no surrender (and/or no prisoners taken). Communists may have adopted it to send that message to the nobles/upper-classes. Or maybe it was just for the general association with courage/sacrifice/war.

In Asia, and China in particular, red is associated with loyalty, honor, success, and happiness. As such it's a nice flag for the Communist Party to use.

I don't think there's a definitive logical answer to the question. The answer is probably some combination of the above. Also communists world-wide would have copied each others color, to symbolize unity/shared ideology and the historical association with revolution.

In Europe and especially in France the events of the Paris Commune and the use of the red flag there set for good the red flag as the symbol of the socialist revolution and not "just" the revolution.


We were told in school it signified fire or the blood shed by the comrades, but the true story is that red color came from the Second Paris Commune (after which Communism was named), then in turn from the Great French Revolution (which started from the first Paris Commune), and ultimately from the Commune of Rome of 1144. The Commune of Rome of 1144 choose red color because it was the color of Republican Rome, the restoration of which the proponents advocated against the Papacy.

Richard Wurmbrant, in his books, stated that red ties worn by those who gave allegiance to the communist/socialist governments were the way to recognize the people who could have jobs, get necessities, etc. Those without red ties were outcasts and subject to arrests and no place to legally live, at least not for very long.

Why Republicans Use the Color Red

Mark Makela / Getty Images News

The color associated with the Republican Party is red, though not because the party chose it. The association between red and Republican began with the advent of color television and network news on Election Day several decades ago and has stuck with the GOP ever since.

You've heard the terms red state, for example. A red state is one that consistently votes Republican in elections for governor and president. Conversely, a blue state is one that reliably sides with Democrats in those races. Swing states are a whole different story and can be described as either pink or purple depending on their political leanings.

So why is the color red associated with Republicans? Here's the story.

The History of Party Colors in the United States

Prior to the United States presidential election of 2000, which party was Red and which was Blue was largely a matter of which color a news outlet chose. On the October 30, 2000, episode of the Today show, Tim Russert coined the terms “red state” and “blue state.”

As far back as the 1888 election blue was used to represent the northern Union states (Republicans in those days) and red the south, but this wasn’t consistent throughout time (see Origins of the color scheme). In the 70’s and 80’s (starting in 1976) the major networks starting using lighted maps to illustrate election results. Democrats were often coded blue and Republicans red, but it wasn’t consistent. This inconsistent coloring continued throughout the Clinton years and up to the Gore Vs. Bush. This can all be varied by old videos and articles. [3] [4]

Why Were Different Colors Used?

Prior to the 2000’s colors were chosen for a variety of reasons. They include:

  • The flag is Red, White, and Blue. I think we can assume why no one wanted to overtly be “the white team.”
  • Every party would try to use the color blue as, especially after the Cold War, “no one wanted to be RED.” Thus, we’d often get yellow (see the Carter/Ford election video below).
  • In other cases, red was picked for liberals as that is the traditional international “liberal” color blue was picked for conservatives. [5]

Today, when looking at documents produced after 2000, Democrats are typically coded blue. For instance, this color map of all past elections by state uses Blue to represent the Democratic Party and Red to Represent Republicans regardless of what color was used at the time.

FACT: Historically each party would use the color blue, especially after the Cold War, as “no one wanted to be RED.” Red is traditionally associated with socialism and Communism, which are liberal.

“For years, both parties would do red and blue maps, but they always made the other guys red,” said Chuck Todd, political director and chief White House correspondent for NBC News. “During the Cold War, who wanted to be red?” – From Smithsonianmag.com

Red Corner

A red corner, " krasni ugol," in Russian culture is the so-called icon corner, which was present in every Orthodox household. This was where the family's icon and other religious accouterments were kept. In English, the "krasni ugol" is translated either as “red corner,” "honorable corner" or “beautiful corner,” depending upon the source.

Red and the History of Leftist Politics

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Today, on International Women’s Day, women around the world are abstaining from work, marching, attending rallies, and even giving up household chores and childcare as part of an international general strike.

Though the general strike isn’t the creation of one organization, most of the events happening in the US suggest that women and men supporting the strike wear red. On the page for A Day Without A Woman — an International Women’s Day event created by the organizers of the massive Women’s Marches that happened the day after the inauguration — an FAQ says that red is symbolic of “revolutionary love and sacrifice.” It continues: “Red is the color of energy and action associated with our will to survive. It signifies a pioneering spirit and leadership qualities, promoting ambition and determination.” Finally, it adds that red “also has a history of being associated with the labor movement.”

Scenes from a #ADayWithoutAWoman rally in New York City. Photo: Scott Nelson

Many, maybe most, of the women participating in strikes and protests today will go into them unaware of the history behind the color of their outfits. “Revolutionary love” softens the radical history of this color to an almost absurd degree. And that final sentence hardly covers the significance of the color red in labor and revolutionary movements. Unlike the Women’s March, which was notable for the sea of pink “pussy” hats that the crowds wore, the choice of red today is far from arbitrary.

The color red has been associated with revolutionary leftists movements for more than 200 years. It started with the first French Revolution. In the late 18th century, radical groups in France began to agitate to overthrow the monarchy and establish a republic led by the people. The Jacobins and other radical groups began wearing red Phrygian caps, also known as “liberty caps,” modeled after hats worn by freed slaves in ancient Rome. Women also wore the caps — most notably when observing the public executions by guillotine, which were common during the post-revolutionary Reign of Terror. These women, who routinely appeared to celebrate the death of counter-revolutionaries (or anyone else the regime decided to kill), were known as “furies of the guillotine.” As you might guess, these bloodthirsty women didn’t win much favor from critics. “Never in any age or any country did women so disgrace their sex,” scolded a dictionary from 1870 by compiler E. Cobham Brewer.

Scenes from a #ADayWithoutAWoman rally in New York City. Photo: Scott Nelson

French revolutionaries continued to associate red with radical politics. In 1848, it became the color of the next French Revolution, as well as the banner of the Paris Commune, the socialist government that formed after Napoleon III’s defeat by Prussia in 1870. Their movement had a strong influence on Karl Marx as he formulated his ideology. Around the same time, newly formed socialist parties around Europe adopted red, often to symbolize the blood spilled by their comrades in the fight for justice.

In Russian, the root word for red (krasniy) is the same as the root word for beauty (krasota). It’s even possible that Moscow’s Red Square may not have been named for the color of the buildings, but to praise its beauty. This deep connection in the Russian language made red an obvious choice for the Bolsheviks’ flag. The conclusion of the Russian Revolution in 1917, and the hoisting of the red flag over the newly communist government, cemented the connection between red and communism that persists today. From then on, communist countries, from Cuba to China, used red to symbolize their politics.

Scenes from a #ADayWithoutAWoman rally in New York City. Photo: Scott Nelson

The color red also played a big part in American anti-communist propaganda in the 20th century. During the “Red Scares,” first in the late 1910s and early ‘20s in reaction to the Bolshevik Revolution and then in the 1950s in response to the Cold War with the Soviet Union, American propaganda used color terminology to indicate their enemy. Often, communists were referred to as simply “reds.” In 1925, the term “Pinko” was coined to described communist sympathizers (a diluted form of pure-red communism). In 1949, a film starring Robert Rockwell called The Red Menace dramatized fears of communists inside the US. The color red appeared as much in anti-communist propaganda as it did in pro-communist literature in the countries where communism ruled.

Leftist movements continued to use red throughout the 20th century, whether at rallies on the workers’ holiday May Day or during the Spanish Civil War. After World War II, socialists and social democrats began using a blood-red rose as a symbol for their cause. This symbolism carries through to today. Organizations like the Democratic Socialists of America have gained prominence following the election, and rose emojis have popped up across the internet, particularly on the Twitter accounts of those who align themselves with the democratic socialist philosophy.

In 2000, two weeks before the election between George W. Bush and Al Gore, an NBC anchor first referred to “blue states” and “red states.” In the tense months after the unsettled election, those terms caught on, confusing the traditional association between red and leftism. Trump’s iconic Make America Great Again hats carried on this opposite-day symbology. It made sense — red, the color of blood, and anger seemed apt to describe a party in a constant fit.

So it’s not hard to understand why women marching today, particularly young women, may have never seen the color red as a symbol of progressivism. Perhaps today we will reclaim red for the leftist cause — if anyone bothers to investigate why they are wearing it.

The Secret History of the Color Red

Did you know that red is the first color that humans perceive, after black and white? It’s the color that babies see first before any other, and the first that those suffering from temporary color blindness after a brain injury start to see again. Red’s dominance is even reflected in how colors are defined: although different societies developed their names for colors at different times and in different ways, almost all of them named them in the same order. With only a few exceptions, the order of labelling colors was generally black first, white second, red third, and then green, yellow and blue.

Scientists have posited that societies developed names for colors according to which ones they had the strongest reaction to. This means that humans, supposedly much like bulls, have had strong feelings about the color red for thousands of years. Over time, red has come to symbolize power, love, vigor, and beauty. Do you want to know why? Take a journey with us through history to discover the surprising story of the world’s most powerful color…

1. Painting the Cave Red

Scientists have found evidence that over 40,000 years ago, Stone Age hunters and gatherers ground up red clay to make body paint. Another use was protection in the afterlife: in the Paleolithic period people buried their dead with red powder in order to ward off evil spirits (or potentially neutralize odors).

Red also made waves on the pre-historic art scene. Caves across the world, from Africa to Asia to Europe, bear traces made during the Paleolithic era. Drawings of animals, vessels, and people were made from painting red ochre on the cave walls, like this painting of a thylacoleo (an extinct species of lion) from the Djulirri rock art site in Northern Australia. More than 11,000 paintings have been found stretched over the site. Dated to 11,000 BCE, this naturalist animal painting may be the oldest surviving painting discovered there.

Red, White, Blue: Color symbolism in Russian language

The brightest color in the Russian language, and the one that has most positive connotations, is the color red. The word "red" in Russian (krasny) has the same root as the word "beautiful" (krasivy), and the meanings of these two words are indeed very close.

Moscow's main square is called Red Square. Historically, it is believed the square was given that name not because of the presence of red buildings on it, but because it was considered to be beautiful. So it would have been more appropriately called not Krasnaya but Krasivaya square.

In the early 20th century the word "red" acquired a new meaning and has since then been primarily associated with communist ideology. After the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, red became the color of the national flag, under which the country lived until 1991. In Soviet mythology, red was considered to be the color of the blood shed by the working class in their fight against the yoke of capitalism.

A Soviet person was immersed in red symbolism from their very childhood: from the age of 10 until they became 14, practically all schoolchildren were pioneers and, as a sign of belonging to that youth communist organization, had to wear (at school at least) a triangular red necktie.

After the revolution, the ideological antonym of red was the color white. It is the Red and the White armies that fought against each other in the 1918 to1920 civil war, in which the White (i.e. regular Russian) Army was defeated and driven outside the country. Its remaining representatives became known as white émigrés, while in the USSR the word "white" became synonymous with "counterrevolutionary" and "hostile."

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Next to red in the rainbow spectrum sits the color orange, which also has recently acquired some ideological tinge in Russian usage. Following the so-called Orange Revolution that took place in Ukraine some 10 years ago, the word "orange" began to denote members of the liberal, pro-Western, opposition.

The colors yellow and green have universally accepted associations: the word "yellow" is used to describe sensationalist press, while the word "green" is used to denote association with the environmental protection movement.

The word "violet" in Russian slang is used to describe utter indifference. You could say in Russian: "It's all violet to me," meaning: I couldn't care less.

However, it is the word "blue" that has developed diverse and sometimes quite unexpected associations in the Russian language. Traditionally, this color was a symbol of noble birth and the expression "blue-blooded" was used to describe members of the aristocracy.

In Soviet times, especially in the 1960s, blue became associated with the romance and excitement of exploring and developing remote parts of the country (one of the popular songs of the time, which urged young people to join construction projects in Siberia, was called "Blue cities").

The word "blue" was also used to describe far-reaching dreams and aspirations. While the most popular TV program of the time was called "Little Blue Light" (an allusion to the real color of the black-and-white TV screen).

Yet, the meaning of the word "blue" has had its most curious transformation in the last two decades. Once it became possible to openly discuss homosexuality, the word "light blue" became the main euphemism depicting gay people. Moreover, this once peripheral meaning has gradually pushed all the other meanings of the word far into the background. For instance, an absolutely innocent Soviet-era children's animated cartoon called "Blue Puppy" (about a lonely puppy whom nobody loved) has today developed an erotic double entendre, which its creators could never begin to anticipate.

Why Do Communists Love Red?

The popular Chinese official Bo Xilai has been ousted by China’s Communist Party. Bo became famous in part through his “red” campaign, in which he promoted “a retro-Maoist culture in which citizens sang patriotic songs and dressed in red.” Why do communists love red?

Because it’s the color of revolution. Starting during the rise of the radical Jacobins during the French Revolution, red flags symbolized uprisings against entrenched authority. The revolutions of 1848 furthered the trend, as they began with red flags foisted in France and continued with others in Germany, Denmark, Italy, Austria, and Poland. The Communist Manifesto was published the same year, and its followers fought under the same red flags as the democrats and anarchists.

The red flag didn’t always represent popular uprising. Earlier, it was a symbol of emergency, and was used to signal the need for martial law. When a crowd petitioned to depose King Louis XVI in 1791, the red flag was flown not by the revolutionaries but by the counterrevolutionaries. The writer and historian Thomas Carlyle described how the crowds let out a great “howl of angry derision” at the sight of it. Similarly, when in A Tale of Two Cities Dickens describes how the crowds were “tumultuous under a red flag and with their country declared in danger,” he’s describing the flag of the authorities.

In any case, the first Marxist regime to make red its official color was the Paris Commune, which ruled over Paris very briefly in 1871. (They flew the red flag rather than the French tricolor.) Soon Marx became known to his opponents as “the Red Terror Doctor.” As fear of the red menace set in, Prussian police banned the use of the color “on the first letters of banners in demonstrations.” The young townsmen of the Pyotr Lavrov’s “Going to the People” movement in 1874 wore “red shirts and baggy trousers” as they went to live with the peasants. By 1889 the colored banner was inspiring young socialists to break out in songs, like “The Red Flag” by Irish socialist and journalist Jim Connell in 1889. The lyrics express the sanguinary symbolism of the flag: The people’s flag is deepest red,/ It shrouded oft our martyr’d dead/ And ere their limbs grew stiff and cold,/ Their hearts’ blood dyed its ev’ry fold.”

Red vs. Blue: A history of how we use political colors

There's a lot to love in the video above, showing ABC's election night coverage from the 1976 elections. The introductory music and wavering animation of a Minuteman's head, the tickertape sound effects, the faces of journalists we recognize, but minus four decades. Harry Reasoner welcomes viewers to "this first election of our third century," a jarring statement, until you remember that any presidential election in 1976 would necessarily be soaked in patriotic recognition of the bicentennial.

Then, later in the broadcast, the team shows the current map of who's winning which state. And that, too, is jarring.

The Democrats are blue and the Republicans are . yellow? Why aren't they red? The answer is: Because the assignation of red-as-Republican, blue-as-Democrat didn't become the standard until the last election of the third century in which America existed: the election of 2000.

There have been a number of good assessments of how the way in which we depict the two parties has evolved. One of the earliest appeared here in the Post, shortly before the 2004 election. There was one shortly after that in Washington Monthly which is often cited probably the most thorough is this one, from the Smithsonian.

What's clear is that, prior to 2000, talking about "red states" and "blue states" wouldn't necessarily have resulted in any understanding from your audience. In 1992, David Nyhan of the Boston Globe wrote of his mixed feelings about Bill Clinton's candidacy. "[W]hen the anchormen turn to their electronic tote boards election night," he wrote, "and the red states for Clinton start swamping the blue states for Bush, this will be a strange night for me." You'll notice that those colors are backward, by our current understanding. Nyhan is being figurative we can assume, recognizing the standard red-blue split if not the significance of the colors.

But by 1992, networks seem to have mostly settled on red-for-Republican, blue-for-Democrat. The first network to use a colored-state graphic for its election night broadcast was not NBC in 1976 (as this NBC-produced book about election nights would have you believe). It appears instead to have been CBS in 1972, which used segments of the country to illustrate how things were progressing. (The color on this is murky just know that Nixon -- blue -- ended up winning all of these states.)

(It's worth remembering that for several decades, map colors didn't matter, since the footage was in black-and-white. Of course, for the first 40-plus presidential races, there was no television at all. People had to rely on -- shudder -- newspapers.)

The Smithsonian article tells a great story about the 1976 NBC map, which was a huge, physical map constructed of wood and plastic. When they practiced lighting up the bulbs, the plastic started to melt, requiring the installation of giant air conditioners. NBC, too, used red-for-Democrats, blue-for-Republicans.

There's some discussion of why networks first drifted toward those colors. Red, the Smithsonian article suggests, was color non grata in American politics at the time, thanks to the Cold War. Red, of course, was associated with the Soviet Union, because it was associated with communism and socialism -- and with left-leaning parties internationally. (See this poll from the upcoming British elections: Labour is red the conservatives, blue.)

NBC kept using red-for-Democrats, blue-for-Republicans until at least 1984. By 1988, no network footage that we found used that combination, instead opting for the now-familiar Republican red, Democratic blue.

Most Americans probably weren't paying very close attention to the decisions made by networks every four years, so it's pretty safe to assume that they, like Nyhan, wouldn't immediately have associated the parties as we do now.

Then there was the election of 2000, which, if you were born at any point after, say, 1985, and care even a tiny bit about politics, is seared into your memory. Al Gore won Florida, and then he didn't, and then George Bush won Florida, and then he didn't, and we had no idea who the next president would be for several weeks. This was just at the cusp of the internet/cable news era, so pundits kept busy making and pointing to and discussing maps of the states and how Bush or Gore would end up winning this thing. And those maps, in heavy rotation, looked like the maps from election night: Republican red, Democratic blue.

The 2004 Post article by Paul Farhi suggests that "the 2000 election, NBC's graphics department and David Letterman all played critical roles." NBC graphics, because that prompted Tim Russert and Matt Lauer to discuss red and blue states shortly before Election Night. David Letterman, because he made one of the early jokes on the subject, while Florida's votes were still being counted. "The candidates will work out a compromise," he joked on November 14. "And thank God, not a minute too soon. Here's how it's going to go. George W. Bush will be president for the red states. Al W. Gore will be president for the blue states. And that's -- that's the best they can do."

Two things are interesting about that. First, that the audience is expected to understand what it means. And second, that Letterman was hardly the first to make the joke. A letter to the editors of the Post on November 11 from Robert Forman made the same proposal, "Why not let Gore be the president of the United States of America to include all the blue states east of the Mississippi? Bush could be the president of the Confederate States of America, to include all the red states on both sides of the Mississippi." The dichotomy had already set in.

There's nothing about the color assignations which are unchangeable, of course. We could just as easily use orange and green, but for the fact that red and blue offer much more contrast (and therefore are good for television). There have been complaints, like Clark Bensen of Polidata's 2004 memo tilting at this color-coded windmill.


The hammer stands for the industrial working class and the sickle represents the agricultural workers, therefore together they represent the unity of the two groups. [ citation needed ]

The hammer and sickle were first used during the 1917 Russian Revolution, but it did not become the official symbol of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic until 1924. [ citation needed ] Since the Russian Revolution, the hammer and sickle have come to represent various communist parties and communist states.

The five-pointed red star is a symbol of communism as well as broader socialism in general. The red star was a revolutionary symbol after the October Revolution and following civil war in Russia. [ citation needed ] It was widely used by anti-fascist resisting parties and underground socialist organizations in Europe leading up to and during World War II. During the war, the red star was prominently used as a symbol of the Red Army troops of the Soviet Union countering the invading forces of Nazi Germany and wiping them out of Eastern Europe, achieving absolute victory and ending the war at the Battle of Berlin. [ citation needed ] Most states in the Eastern Bloc incorporated the red star into state symbols to signify their socialist nature.

While there is no known original allegory behind the red star beyond being a universal political symbol, [ citation needed ] in the Soviet Union the red star gained a more precise symbolism as representing the Communist Party and its position on the flag over the united hammer and sickle symbolized the party leading the Soviet working class in the building of communism. [ citation needed ] Today, the red star is used by many socialist and communist parties and organizations across the world.

The red flag is often seen in combination with other communist symbols and party names. The flag is used at various communist and socialist rallies like May Day. The flag, being a symbol of socialism itself, is also commonly associated with non-communist variants of socialism.

The red flag has had multiple meanings in history. It is associated with courage, sacrifice, blood and war in general, but it was first used as a flag of defiance. [3] The red flag gained its modern association with communism in the 1871 French Revolution. [ citation needed ] After the October Revolution, the Soviet government adopted the red flag with a superimposed hammer and sickle as its national flag. Since the October Revolution, various socialist states and movements have used the red flag.

The red and black flag has been a symbol of general communist movements, though generally used by anarcho-communists. The flag was used as the symbol of the anarcho-syndicalists during the Spanish Civil War. The black represents anarchism and the red represents leftist and socialist ideals. [4] Over time, the flag spilled into statist leftist movements, these movements include the Sandinistas and the 26th of July Movement, where the flags colors are not divided diagonally, but horizontally. As in the case of the Sandinistas, they adopted the flag due to the movement's anarchist roots. [5]

This famous photo captured by photographer Alberto Korda of Che Guevara in 1960 has become a world symbol of revolution. This image can be found on t-shirts, flags, hats, in street art, parodied in popular media, and even in the autonomous areas of Chiapas, Mexico, controlled by the EZLN.

The Internationale is an anthem of the Communist movement. [6] It is one of the most universally recognized songs in the world and has been translated into nearly every spoken language. Its original French refrain is C'est la lutte finale/Groupons-nous et demain/L'Internationale/Sera le genre humain (English: This is the final struggle/Let's group together and tomorrow/The International/Will be the human race). It is often sung with a raised fist salute.

The song has been used by communists all over the world since it was composed in the 19th century and adopted as the official anthem of the Second International. It later became the anthem of Soviet Russia in 1918 and of the Soviet Union in 1922. It was superseded as the Soviet Union anthem in 1944 with the adoption of the State Anthem of the Soviet Union, which placed more emphasis on patriotism. The song was also sung in defiance to Communist governments, such as in the German Democratic Republic in 1989 prior to reunification as well as in the People's Republic of China during the Tienanmen Square protests of the same year. [ citation needed ]

Although not an exclusively communist symbol, the Plough, or Starry Plough, is a symbol of Irish socialism. It may have the same roots as the original hammer and Plough that was replaced by the hammer and sickle in Soviet Russia. [ citation needed ] The significance of the banner was that the free Workers of the Republic of Ireland would control its own destiny from the plough to the stars and the sword forged into the plough would mean the redundancy of war with the establishment of a socialist International. The flag depicts the Big Dipper, part of the constellation of Ursa Major that is known as "The Plough" in Ireland and Great Britain. [ citation needed ] The Plough is one of the most prominent features of the night sky over Ireland throughout the year. This was unveiled in 1914 and flown by the socialist workers' militia (the Irish Citizen Army) during the 1916 Easter Rising.

In China, the Plough flag (Chinese: 犁头旗 ), a red flag with white or yellow plough, is widely used in the period of the First Revolutionary Civil War as the flag of the Chinese peasant associations, an organization led by the Communist Party of China. [7] [8] It is believed that Peng Pai (Chinese: 彭湃 ) was the first user in 1923 at the peasants' association of Hailufeng. [9] The Plough flag has many different versions and some are combined with the flag of Blue Sky, White Sun or Red Field [10] other are different on the details of the plough. [11] [12]

Many communist governments purposely diverged from the traditional forms of European heraldry in order to distance themselves from the monarchies that they usually replaced, with actual coats of arms being seen as symbols of the monarchs. Instead, they followed the pattern of the national emblems adopted in the late 1910s and early 1920s in Soviet Russia and the Soviet Union. [ citation needed ]

Socialist heraldry, also called communist heraldry, is a colloquial name for the common design patterns of the national emblems adopted by communist states. Although commonly called coats of arms, most such devices are not actually coats of arms in the traditional heraldic sense, but the recognizable common patterns have led to the use of the unofficial term "socialist heraldry". [ citation needed ]

While not necessarily communist in nature, the following graphic elements are often incorporated into the flags, seals and propaganda of communist countries and movements.

    as well as protest music. The Internationale falls under this category. , an art style developed in the Soviet Union.
  • Crossed proletarian implements, including picks, hoes, scythes and in the case of the Workers' Party of Korea a brush to represent the intelligentsia. The ubiquitous hammer and sickle also belong in this category.
  • Rising sun, exemplified on the state emblems of the Soviet Union, Turkmenistan, Croatia, Romania and PASOK.
  • Cogwheels, exemplified on the emblems of Angola and China.
  • Wreaths of wheat, cotton, corn or other crops, present on the emblems of almost every historical Communist-ruled state.
  • Cherries resemblance from the Le Temps des cerises exemplified in the emblem of the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia.
  • Rifle such as the AK-47 on the flag of Mozambique and Mosin–Nagant on Albanian lek.
  • Red banners with yellow lettering, exemplified on the emblems of Vietnam and Soviet Union.
  • Red or yellow stars, perhaps the most common communist symbol behind the hammer and sickle.
  • Open books, exemplified on the state emblems of Mozambique, Angola and Afghanistan and also on the party emblems of Communist parties of Russia and Ukraine.
  • Factories or industrial equipment, exemplified on the emblems of North Korea, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Democratic Kampuchea, emblem of CPUSA and Azerbaijan.
  • Natural landscapes, exemplified on the emblems of Armenia, Macedonia, Romania, and Karelo-Finland.
  • Torches, exemplified on the Emblem of Yugoslavia.
  • Sword and shield, exemplified on the Soviet Committee for State Security emblem and the Mother Motherland.
  • Cross and sickle, the symbols of the Christian communism and Christian socialism
  • Portraits of various communist leaders, such as Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, Josip Broz Tito, etc.
      's image, in particular as it appears in Guerrillero Heroico (“Heroic Guerilla”), is a common symbol of the Cuban Revolution, [13] : 19 Guevarism, and revolution in general. [13] : 73 [14]
  • Notable examples of communist states that use no overtly communist imagery on their flags, emblems or other graphic representations are Cuba and the former Polish People's Republic.

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