Dear compatriots, brothers and sisters!
I congratulate all of you on the Day of the National Flag!
I congratulate young Ukrainian Petro Zubar from Artemivsk, Donetsk region. 16-year-old young man was hiding from occupants the State Emblem of Ukraine downed by militants from the building of the city council for more than a month. Petro, you are a true hero!
I would like to personally address 10-year-old resident of Lviv Taras Krotko. The boy dreamed to buy a tablet. Each of us can remember the power of our children’s wishes. But the boy gave his money to the fund of assistance to the army. He brought the money in his penny bank. He said that he could do without a tablet, but a soldier cannot do without an armor vest. Taras, you are a true patriot!
Country where children like Petro Zubar and Taras Krotko grow up has a great future. It will be united, for Petro is from the Donbas and Taras is from the Galicia!
Today we honor our national shrines: National Flag, National Emblem and National Anthem. Dark-blue and gold, blue and yellow colors have shone already on state symbols of Grand Princes of Kyiv and King Daniel of Galicia. On gonfalons of Glorious Zaporizhzhya Army!
In 1848, flying over Lviv City Hall, our flag became the forerunner of the birth of the new Ukrainian nation during the so-called spring of European nations.
In 1914, 100 years ago, the first manifestation flying yellow and blue flag took place here in Kyiv.
These colors consecrated Ukrainian and West Ukrainian People's Republics, the Act of Unification and the revival of the modern Ukrainian state. Under this flag soldiers of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army went into battle. For the love to these colors, the Empire sent our patriots to Siberian prisons. Under this flag, people rose up to defend their rights during the Revolution of Dignity.
Please note. Flags of Ukraine and the European Union - are designed in the same colors. It is an eloquent and very important detail! Just like the flag of the EU, the Ukrainian flag became a symbol of freedom which is developing further to the East. It was recently clearly demonstrated to us by those desperate Russians who were not afraid to raise the Ukrainian flag over Moscow!
If we wanted to find more peaceful flag colors – we would not succeed. Nothing symbolizes peace and tranquility more than blue sky and yellow field.
“Blue as the sea, gold as the day,
Our bright flag is from the sky and the sun”
- great Ukrainian poet Oleksandr Oles wrote.
The colors of our flag are not only peaceful, but also strong.
They are confidence!
They are power!
They are victory!
They are glory!
We are peaceful people, but we are ready to pay sweat and blood for the right to live under this flag, under this sky and among these fields. And we do it.
Yellow and blue flag became a symbol of peaceful life which the Ukrainian Armed Forces return to the Donbas liberating it from terrorists.
The national flag proudly flies over Sloviansk and Kramatorsk, Lysychansk and Severodonetsk, Artemivsk and Kostiantynivka. Residents of Donetsk and Luhansk tortured by militants are also striving for peace. They will certainly achieve it!
National symbols became an organic part of people’s life. Yellow and blue colors became an object of national pride and a sign of fashion. Look at this touching movement. Thousands of volunteers paint fences and bridges all over the country in yellow and blue colors for the money gathered by citizens. Bridges across Dnipro are not simple roads. They are the objectification of unity of two shores of our Ukraine.
We have been slowly forming as political nation for 22 years. Hard challenges of the last year have accelerated the given process but that’s not all. They have led to its logical conclusion. Today, as people, we are united and powerful as never before! Strong, cruel and insidious enemy has hardened and cemented us as nobody. Those who wanted to divide us and make us weaker united and strengthened us even more!
In the course of the last year, the number of those who consider themselves patriots of Ukraine, who stand for joining the EU, for the unitary state, for Ukrainian as a single state language has increased radically. By the way, many of us speak Russian. But they think different than in Russia.
Having a conversation with soldiers in the ATO area or in the hospital, I saw and heard that they love Ukraine in Russian language not less than in Ukrainian. Unfortunately, a lot of fallen warriors cried out, said or whispered their last words of love to the Motherland, mother or wife in Russian… I know that nobody will be able to split the country on linguistic grounds now.
Remaining principled that the only state language is Ukrainian, we must adequately evaluate the contribution of Russian-speaking Ukrainians to the protection of our common Motherland. Our nation becomes stronger not only on the basis of language or ethnos, but also on the basis of common will of Ukrainians. It is a will to live in united, unitary, democratic and European state. Division of Ukraine into East and West, North and South remains in the past. It means that we have finally and irrevocably formed as nation, as the people of Ukraine.
We are on the threshold of tremendous tectonic changes. Just as our soldiers set flag over liberated towns and villages, we all must raise the flag of victory over corruption, unemployment and poverty by our joint work.
We will manage to do everything dear compatriots!
Everything will be fine. We are strong and goal-oriented. I am proud that I am Ukrainian.
Ukraine is our native Motherland. It is a place of great dreams and grand deeds.
We, as people, are capable of extraordinary efforts and great victories.
Each of us can and must contribute to them.
Glory to Ukraine!