History of state symbols of the Republic of Kazakhstan

The flag of Kazakhstan could well have been tricolor. Historians explain the events that happened before the creation of the young Republic’s own state symbols. The question of whether the change is necessary was first raised in June 1990. Academician Kozybayev wrote a letter to the former President of the Kazakh SSR. He pointed out that the anthem of the republic was written during the war, in the spirit of Stalinism. Meanwhile, the coat of arms is borrowed from the general USSR coat of arms as well as the flag. The suggestion to change the symbols of country based on our own nationalism was timely.

A working group was created under the Supreme Council. In addition to deputies, the group included figures of science, culture and art. A big competition for the best state symbols was announced in the country. Anyone could take part.

The competition went in full swing. Over 450 sketches of the flag were collected in 4 months. Some of the drafts had the flag in green, red and some in several primary colours. The final choice was selected from the draft made by professional artist, Shaken Niyazbekov. According to the artist, the sky blue colour represents the symbol of awareness of Kazakhstan’s role and place in the world. The image of the eagle represents power, generosity and foresight. The openness of the country to the world is symbolised by the sun. There’s a strip with national ornament at the flag pole.

Historical traditions and folklore motifs have become the main criteria in choosing the best version of the coat of arms. Members of the working group received 245 sketches and dozens of proposal letters. But they all liked one specific sketch which has Shanyrak – the dome of a yurt – as the main element, which represents strength.

Zhandarbek Malibekov and Shota-Aman Valikhanov submitted the sketch that later became the country’s coat of arms. They drew a Shanyrak with support or bearings of the yurt. On the left and right of the yurt are images of mythical winged horses. At the top of the emblem is a 3-dimensional five pointed star while at the bottom is an inscription of the word Kazakhstan. Gold was chosen was the color of the emblem. The creators of the coat of arms were selected as members of the Republican Commission of State Symbols.

On June 4, 1992 the Head of State took part in the plenary meeting of the 8th session of the Supreme Soviet of Kazakh SSR council. A decision was made to create a new anthem at the meeting. Out of over 750 versions submitted to the working group, the winners were a group of Kazakh authors and composers, which includes Mukan Tulebayev, Yevgeny Brusilovsky and Latif Hamidi. They created the anthem based on the poems by poets Muzafar Alimbayev, Kadyr Myrzaliyev, Tumanbai Moldagaliyev and Zhadyra Daribeyeva. Two days after the final selection, the official ceremony to present the state symbols took place in the great hall of the Abai Opera and Ballet Theatre. The new anthem was approved in 2006. On January 11th, it was first performed at the Presidential inauguration. The anthem is derived from the popular patriotic song “My Kazakhstan.”