Russia's Flag Makes Its Debut at United Nations

Associated Press

The Russian flag flew for the first time Friday at U.N. headquarters, symbolizing the transfer of the defunct Soviet Union's Security Council seat and other powers to the Russian Federation.

A crisp winter breeze unfurled the white, blue and red banner after security guards ran it up the staff at 2 p.m.

"It is a beautiful flag," Russian Ambassador Yuli M. Vorontsov said.

There was no ceremony, and nothing aside from the presence of news photographers and U.N. staffers--most of them former Soviet citizens--to distinguish the flag-raising from the daily routine.

Flags are arrayed alphabetically outside U.N. headquarters, along First Avenue, and the change in name from the "Union of Soviet Socialist Republics" to "Russian Federation" meant that many flags in the latter part of the alphabet had to be rearranged.

The Russian banner is now between Romania's and Rwanda's; the flags of Ukraine and United Arab Emirates were moved together to fill the gap left by removal of the Soviet flag.

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