Back to Russia

Back to Astrachan



For the history of Kalmykia see Æ Wikipedia


Kalmykia was a part of Tsarist Russia from the time of Catharina the Great. After the Russian Revolution a resolution was passed on 4 November 1920 by the All-Russian Central Executive Committee proclaiming the formation of a Kalmyk Autonomous Oblast. Fifteen years later, on October 22, 1935, the oblast was transformed into an autonomous republic and became the Kalmyk Autonomous Socialist Soviet Republic.

After the German occupation of Kalmykia in WWII the Kalmyks were accused of collaboration and deported in 1943. The republic itself was abolished. In 1956 however, the Kalmuks were rehabilitated and could return from their exile. The republic was restored.

After the dissolution of the USSR, the Kalmyk SSR was transformed into the Republic of Kalmykia (Russian: Респу́блика Калмы́кия, Respublika Kalmykiya; Kalmyk: Хальмг Таңһч, Hal'mg Tanghch = Kalmyk Territory) within the Russian Federation on 31 March 1992




The arms of the Kalmyk ASSR were the arms of the Russian Federation of 1925 to which some inscriptions in Kalmyk were added: КАЛМЫЦКАЯ АССР  ХАЛЬМГ АССР. On the ribbon below came also the motto in kalmyk: ЦУГ ОРН НУТ-ГУДЫИ  ПРОЛЕТАРМУД  НЕГДЦХЭТН!

On 30 June 1993 new arms were adopted. [1]


Kalmytskaya Autonomnaia Oblast

04.11.1920- 20.10.1935


On March 25, 1917 a congress of Kalmyk noyons (knights, lords) and zaisangs (communities) petitioned the Provisional Government of Russia to recognize the Kalmyk Cossack troops and to grant autonomy to the Kalmyk people. By decision of the Provisional Government of 1 July 1917 a Kalmyk steppe region was formed , and in September 1917 a separate Kalmyk Cossack army was created.

On 4 November 1920 by a joint decree of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee and the Council of People's Commissars of the RSFSR, the Kalmyk Autonomous Oblast was created from  parts of the territories of Astrakhan, of Tsaritsyn, of the Stavropol province, and of the Don and Terek Oblast. Until 1924, the administration of the Autonomous Region was in Astrakhan, and was then moved to the newly built city of Elista.


In 1920 the official newspaper of the Kalmyk Autonomous Region published an emblem consisting of a red diamond charged with a "Yunden" (swastika), on which were placed the letters "RSFSR", surrounded by a wreath of ears and a five-pointed star. [2] This emblem had been adopted for the Red Army Forces of the South Eastern front by Decree № 213 of November 1918. It was also on the shoulder patches of Kalmyk Red Army officers from 1920 until 1925.







The decree reads:

     A diamond of  15´11 cm. of  red cloth. In the upper angle a five-pointed star, in the center a garland in the middle of which is a swastika with the inscription "R.S.F.S.R.". Diameter of the star 15 mm, of the garland 6 cm, size of the swastika - 27 mm, of the letters - 6 mm. The emblem for the commanding and administrative personnel is of gold and silver embroidery, the Red Army star, the swastika and ribbon of the garland of gold emboidery (for the Red Army soldiers of yellow paint), the garland itself and inscription of silver embroidery (for the Red Army soldiers of white paint)."  [3]




í The Swastika is one of the most ancient and widely diffused symbols, present in prehstoric Asia, Eurasia and the Americas. Tibetan Buddhists regard it as a symbol of the eternal state of enlighten-ment (bodhi). It is also used as an auspicious emblem for longevity. The arms of the Buddhist swastika characteristically point to the right or in the direction of the sun’s course.




The star in chief is the emblem of the Red Army


Kalmytskaia Autonomnuiu SSR

20.10.1935 - 20.02.1992


On 20 October 1935 the Kalmyk Autonomous Oblast was transformed into the Kalmyk Autonomous Socialist Soviet Republic. From 1935 until 1937 the Kalmyk ASSR had no emblem and flag. These were adopted by Constitution of the Kalmyk Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic of 23 June 1937,  Chapter X, Art. 111.


The article reads:

Статья 111.

Государственным гербом Калмыцкой Автономной Советской Социалистической Республики является государственный герб Р.С.Ф.С.Р., который состоит из изображения золотых серпа и молота, помещенных крест на крест, рукоятками книзу, на красном фоне в лучах солнца и в обрамлении колосьев с надписью “Р.С.Ф.С.Р.” и “Пролетарии всех стран, соединяйтесь!” на русском и калмыцком языках, с добавлением под надписью “Р.С.Ф.С.Р.” буквами меньшего размера надписи “Калмыцкая А.С.С.Р.” на русском и калмыцком языках. [4]


That is:

Article 111.

The state emblem of the Kalmyk Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic is the state emblem of the R.S.F.S.R., which consists of a golden hammer and sickle, placed crosswise, handles down and a sun, on a red background and framed by ears of wheat, with the inscription "R.S.F.S.R." and "Workers of all countries, unite!" in Russian and Kalmyk, with the addition under "R.S.F.S.R." of the inscription "Kalmyk A.S.S.R." in Russian and Kalmyk in smaller letters.


The name of Kalmyk in kalmyk script is “ХАLЬMG A.S.S.R.”. After 1940 the inscriptions in kalmyk language were spelled in cyrillic instead of in latin alphabet.


Arms of 1940

From October 1942 until January 1943 a significant part of the Kalmyk A.S.S.R. was occupied by German troops, cooperating with the local population. Some collaborating Kalmyk fighting units were formed: the Kalmüken Verband Dr. Doll (Kalmukian Volunteers), Abwehrtrupp 103 (Kalmukian Volunteers) and the Kalmücken-Legion or Kalmücken-Kavallerie-Korps (Kalmukian Volunteers). These Kalmyk units were extremely successful in flushing out and killing Soviet partisans.

Of these fighting units the Kalmücken Verband Dr. Doll had its own emblem consisting of a buddhist Dorje Gyatum or lightning-cross:

Sleeve patch of the Kalmücken Verband Dr. Doll [5]


After the liberation by the Soviet Army in 1943, the secret service NKVD of the USSR accused the entire Kalmyk population of collaboration with the Germans. By order of the State Defense Committee of the USSR all the Kalmyk population was deported then to Central Asia. The Kalmyk ASSR was abolished and its territory incorporated into Astrakhan and the Stalingrad area and Stavropol Territory. The capital Elista was renamed Stepnoi (Steppenwolf).


After the XX Congress of the CPSU of 24 November 24 1956 the CPSU Central Committee had adopted a resolution "On the restoration of national autonomy of the Kalmyk, Karachay, Balkar, Chechen and Ingush peoples," the unfounded charge of treason of the Kalmyk people was withdrawn and Kalmyks were allowed to return to their former place of residence. The decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of 9 January 1957 restored a Kalmyk Autonomous Region as a  part of the Stavropol Territory. On 29 July 1958 the Kalmyk AO was transformed into the Kalmyk Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic with the restoration of the Constitution of the Kalmyk A.S.S.R. of 1936.

The arms of 1936 were descibed in the same way but in the mean time the arms of the Federation had been changed by omitting the interpunction of the initials of the Federation. The inscriptions read: "КАЛМЫЦКАЯ АССР - ХАЛЬМГ АССР and thr motto in Kalmyk: "ЦУГ-ОРН-НУТГУДЫН  ПРОЛЕТАРМУД, НЕТДЦХЭТН!".


A new constitution was adopted at the extrordinary session of the 8th Supreme Council of the  Kalmyk ASSR of 30 May 1978. In the constitution the redaction of the coat of arms in Art. 157 was not changed but in the mean time the arms of the RSFSR were changed by adding a red star with a golden edge as a crest. The representation of the achievement of the Kalmyk ASSR was changed accordingly. The inscriptions in kalmyk  remained unchanged "ЦУГ-ОРН НУТГУДЫН ПРОЛЕТАРМУД, НЕГДЦХЭТН!" and КАЛМЫЦКАЯ АССР - ХАЛЬМГ АССР


Respubliku Kalmykiya / Hal'mg Tanghch

20.02.1992 - present


On 18 October 1990 the Supreme Soviet of the Kalmyk Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (Supreme Council of the Kalmyk Autonomous SSR) adopted a Declaration of State Sovereignty, according to which the ASSR was transformed into the Kalmyk SSR - Khalmg Tangch (Калмыцкую ССР - Хальмг Тангч).  In the Kalmyk language "Tangch" means "field", i.e. "Kalmyk region". The arms and flag were not changed at that occasion.


By Resolution of the Supreme Council of 20 February1992 №336-IX the Kalmyk SSR was transformed into the Republic of Kalmykia - Khalmg Tangch.

The advice about the renaming was given by A.Kookueva, Head of the Secretariat of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Kalmykia - Khalmg Tangch, with ref. №920 from 23 November 1992


A new state emblem was approved by the Parliament of the Republic of Kalmykiya-Khalmg Tangch by decree  №64-IX of 30 July 1993

The decree reads:


"Государственный герб Республики Калмыкия - Хальмг Тангч - Шюльде (знак, герб) представляет собой изображение "улан зала" и "хадыг" в круге золотисто-желтого цвета в обрамлении национального орнамента "зег" на голубом фоне, в основании которого лепестки лотоса. В верхней части герба - изображение древнего символа "Дербен Ойратов" - четыре скрепленных между собой круга"


That is:

"The State Emblem of the Republic of Kalmykia – Khalmg / Tangch - Shyulde (the sign, emblem) is an image of an "ulan zala" and a "hadyg" on a golden disk framed by the national ornament "ser" on a blue background, on the base of which are the petals of a lotus. In the upper part of the coat of arms is the image of the ancient symbol of  the "Derben Oiratov" – consisting of four circles "



Emblem: A disk Or, charged with an ulan zala Gules, within a bordure Azure, decorated with a ser- ornament Argent.

Crest: A disk Azureб four circles intertwined Argent voided Gules

Compartment: A lotus Argent


Æ See illustration in the head of this essay.


The emblem was designed by Bata Badmaevich Erdni. It is inspired by a memorial plaque made by the artist Vladimir Tabor at the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the Kalmyk epic "Dzungaria" in 1939. The plaque represents a blue lotus flower charged with the plumed crest named Ulan Zala of the Dzungarians


The parts of the emblem symbolize:

The four rings surrounded by another is the symbol of the union of the four historical Kalmyk tribes

Ulan Zala is a crest of red plumes on the helmet, obligatory for all Oirats by order of governor Toyon Taisha (†1439) in 1437.

Plumed helmet of the Chinese Imperial Guards Brigade

(Qianlong, 1736-’95)


Hadyg is a white silk scarf, offered to the faithful in the temple. Symbolizing peace, kindness, generosity and abundance (Called "Hadak" in Buryatia and Tuva and also depicted in the coat of arms of the Agin-Buryat Autonomous District and of the Republic of Tuva).

Gold is the color of Lamaism, the sun

Blue is the color of the sky, eternity and permanence.

The ornament "ser" symbolizes the nomadic life of the Kalmyks, the path to prosperity in the future.

The Lotus was associated with divinity throughout the ancient world. The Egyptians, Assyrians, Greels and Persians all ascribed sacred qualities to this white or blue flower which grows undefiled out of its muddy water base. The early Buddhists adopted the lotus symbolism already existing in India, connecting the flower’s purity and perfection with divines birth and emancipation of Buddhahod. As Mahayana Buddism developed and anthropomorphic representations of the Buddha began to appear in India and elsewhere in Buddhist Asia, lotus flowers in conventionalized disk-from were shown sprouting from the feet of Buddhist images or in naturalistic or stylized form, supporting seated or standing images of saints and divinities. The lotus throne or support ws a cincrete symbol of the attainment of enlightnement. The Mahayanist doctrines of Buddhist paradises with thier lotus pond settings (as in the Lotus Sutra) reinforced the lotus symbolism. The lotus has a further Mahayanist meaning as the female element, paire with the male element vajra.


On 31 May 1996 the People's Hural (Parliament) of the Republic of Kalmykia adopted resolution №247-1 "On state symbols of the Republic of Kalmykia" and the Law of the Republic of Kalmykia №44-1-3 of the same name was signed by President Ilyumzhinov on 11 June 1996. It contains the following description of the arms of the Republic:


Статья 9.

Государственный герб Республики Калмыкия - Хальмг Тангчин сюлде (дословно - знак области калмыков) представляет собой изображение "Улан зала" и "Хадак" в круге золотисто-желтого цвета в обрамлении национального орнамента "зег" на голубом фоне, в основании которого лепестки цветка белого лотоса. в верхней части герба - изображение древнего символа Дербен Ойратов - четыре скрепленных между собой круга.


That is:

Article 9.

The State Emblem of the Republic of Kalmykia - Khalmg Tangchin syulde (literally - the sign of the region Kalmyk) is a picture of "Ulan Zala" and "Hadak" in a golden disk framed by the national ornament "ser" on a blue background, on the base of which are the petals of a white lotus. At the top of the arms - the image of the ancient symbol Derben Oiratov - four wheels intertwined.


The image in the arms of the Kalmykia national ornament ser is identical to the national ornament tumen nasan in the arms of Mongolia and the Buryat ornament alkhan khee on the flag of the Ust-Orda Buryat Autonomous District


The arms of Kalmykia are included in the State Heraldic Register of the Russian Federation under №150.






Back to Main Page


 © Hubert de Vries 2015.10.14. Updated 2017.01.05




[1] http://www.heraldicum.ru/russia/subjects/kalmyk.htm

[2] Spelled  Люнгтн (Liungtn) in the decree.

[3] See also: Simbirsk/Ulyanovsk

[4] Архивная справка от 14.12.1992 года №215 Центрального Государственного архива Республики Калмыкия -Хальмг Тангч

[5] http://elan-kazak.ru/?q=almanakh-2-2010-fail-pdf-tekstovaya-versiya/vagner