The Ukrainian Coat of Arms has been appropriated by Neo-Nazi's today, but its true origin belongs to Saint Vladimir of Kiev - the Father of Orthodox Christian Russia. This symbol belongs to Russians, Ukrainians, and Belarusians equally and should never be used as a symbol for hate or Nazism
On the Left, Bogdan Zinovii Khmelnitsky, the Cossack Leader who reunited Ukraine and Russia in 1654, on the right Saint Vladimir of Kiev, Baptizer of All Russia, between them is the Trizub, Saint Vladimir's Sign.
Ukraine has, since 2014, been the victim of a pernicious plot of foreign powers (and no, that does not mean Russia, her Slavic sister), who have tried--and succeeded-- to divide the country and spread strife in its lands.
Currently, there are many groups with Neo-Nazi and anti-Christian ideologies prowling about the country and sowing violence in the name of a nationalist awakening and liberation movement.
One of the symbols that the nationalists have appropriated as their personal symbol is the official Ukrainian Coat of Arms, also called the Trizub/Trident (literally 3-teeth).
However, not only has the modern Ukrainian state, and Neo-Nazi elements adopted it as their symbol, the Trizub has also been appropriated by Ukrainian schismatic churches as part of their exclusive coat of arms, even though it has had special symbolism for Orthodox Christians for centuries.
Coat of Arms of the Schismatic, Illegitimate "Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church"
Ironically, they seem to forget that the symbol actually originates from a Russian Christian Orthodox Saint.
The Trizub is actually the symbol of Saint Vladimir, High King of Kiev and All Rus’, Equal-to-the-Apostles and Baptizer of all Russia.
This symbol has been used by most of the early rulers of Rus’ (Ancient Russia), each of whom made small modifications to it. Here is a diagram of all the different Russian rulers.
The Trizub was the sigil of Kievan Rulers. Saint Vladimir (Volodymer's) trident is the Ukrainian coat of arms
The symbol was stamped on state coinage which complemented Saint Olga of Kiev's revised tax system.
By spreading the influence and dominance of Kiev, she unified the Russian lands. Using her new income, she minted their first coins, ensuring they were marked with this symbol.
A coin of her great grandson, Yaroslav the Wise which says essentially "This is Yaroslav's Silver"
Ergo: Don't forget who made it when you pay me taxes.
She would then ensure all infrastructure built was permanently associated with the state in people's hearts and minds. She ensured everyone from the nobles counting their coins, to the peasants working the land never forgot who built their walls, filled their towers with grain, and who owns everything in Russia, by putting the symbol of Kiev always before them. She established the rule of law, and the power of the state, she made sure everyone knew that everything you can see is property of the State of Rus' [See here for more information about Saint Olga]
Most historians believe that during the pre-Christian era, it originally represented a Gyrfalcon falcon in flight, which was a royal bird in many cultures, evidenced in Rus' in the 12th-century Tale of Igor's Campaign, as well as from archaeological evidence found in Old Ladoga and northwestern Russia.
After the Baptism of Rus' there is no doubt it was seen as a symbol of the Holy Trinity rather than a "Trident".
We can see in hindsight the name of three great Christian early Russian rulers reflected in it, two of them being Saints.
If one looks closely, they can see the letters B,O,Я inside of it, standing for Vladimir, Olga, and Yaroslav.
While their names were not the original intention for the design, (as Yaroslav the Wise was not even born at that time), many Russian Orthodox Christians have found the Christian meaning of this symbol for centuries.
One can see this is a symbol which had a close relation to the early days of Holy Russia and it is unfortunate, though understandable, that today many Russians associate it only with fascism in Ukraine. The fascists have appropriated this symbol in mass.
Ukrainian Neo-Nazi Organization Pravi Sektor uses this symbol with a red and black flag as they spread strife in the country. The words say "Those who don't jump are Moskal" Moskal is a derogatory word for Russian's though, in old cossack banter, it only meant a Muscovite soldier, another thing appropriated by fascists.
While Ukrainians are currently within their rights to use this symbol, it is important to understand whether or not you are of the opinion that Russians and Ukrainians are now two different people, it is a historical fact that during the times of Kievan Rus, there was only one “Rusian” nation, known to historians as Eastern Slavs.
Saint Vladimir the Baptizer of All Rus' holding a Cross on the Boat
It was from the Rulers of that State of Rus’ that the Trizub takes it's origin; it did not originate as a Ukrainian nationalist symbol representing an independent, modern Ukraine.
While an Ancient Kiev did exist, an “Ancient Ukraine” did not. The territory and people may be ancient, but separate 'Ukrainian' statehood is a recent invention.
This symbol predates modern Russia and Ukraine, originating during their shared history as the Eastern Slavic Nation, and thus belongs to both modern descendants equally.
TIt was resurrected for the first time since Kievan Rus’ in 1918 by the Ukrainian People's Republic (created in 1917), one of the major factions which emerged after the Bolshevik Revolution.
.The Great Coat of Arms of the Ukrainian People's Republic (1918)
After being granted autonomy by the Russian Republic, it (very briefly) ruled most of the territory of modern Ukraine and some parts of Russia only for it to be usurped by the “Ukrainian State” which used a modified version of the Trizub for half a year.
The variant used by the "Ukrainian State/Second Hetmanate"
After Ukraine was annexed by the Soviet Union, the symbol disappeared again, only to reappear in 1992 as the coat of arms of modern Ukraine.
The result is that “independent Ukraine” only used the Trizub as a national symbol for at most three years in the early 20th century, and now again from 1992 unto the present day.
To summarize, Trizub has no uninterrupted history as a Ukrainian Nationalist Symbol. It was an ancient symbol of Kievan Rus’ only recently adapted for a cumulative period of less than 30 years within the last century, hardly enough to constitute a national legacy.
This symbol has a much more ancient and more honorable history, and letting it be claimed completely by Ukrainian ultranationalists is equivalent to essentially surrendering the Ukraine, its culture and people, to the foreign influence that has sadly entranced far too many Ukrainians.
The swastika, for example, was once an ancient religious symbol but it is now completely defined by its Nazi connections.
Whereas before Hilter it could be reasonably used by normal people for whatever reasons, now it should never be used outside of the historical religious rites and ceremonies associated with it. It is sad when an ancient piece of history like this is lost to extremism.
Imagine if instead, the peoples of the world had prevented Hitler from claiming this symbol, or for example, used a modified variant of it in the anti-fascist partisan movement.
It would have denied the Nazis ownership of a symbol, and symbols are powerful. This is why the creation, destruction, or otherwise appropriation of symbols is so important to any ideological movement, and Ukrainian fascists should not be allowed to claim this as their own mark.
The Trizub should represent the Most Holy Trinity, Saint Vladimir, and Orthodox Christianity, not fascism.
Kievan Rus’, its culture and heritage belong to Russians, Ukrainians, and Belarusians equally, and while everyone can have their own political views, one should be careful before misusing this symbol of Saint Vladimir as a symbol of fascism.
Let’s reclaim this as a peaceful symbol of friendship between the three peoples, and Live as Bogdan Khmelnitsky and Saint Volodymyr (Vladimir) would want us to, like Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Sons and Daughter of Rus’
Famous Ukrainian painter Mikhail Khmelko's legendary work "Forever with Moscow. Forever with the Russian People" depicting the Treaty of Pereyaslav.