Photographer's Note

‘Kamianets-Podilskyi - National flower becomes international symbol of solidarity’

As everyone in the world knows by now, the flag of Ukraine has two horizontal bands of equal size. The bottom one is yellow and the top one blue.
Who travels through the country during the summer months will find these colours in natural elements.
Sunflower fields are found in many places and the sky is often blue in summer.
Sorry, but my two horizontal planes don’t have the same size here.

In 2017 I already showed a fairly similar photo that I took of the same field.
In the online news of VRT (Vlaamse Radio- en Televisieomroeporganisatie) of today, however, I found the following article that made me decide that a new upload was justified:

The sunflower is slowly becoming the national flower of Ukraine, a symbol of resistance against the Russian invasion and solidarity with the Ukrainian people. And that's thanks to a brave Ukrainian woman who went viral on social media.
Although the flower is also deeply rooted in Ukrainian culture.

Ukraine is the world's largest producer of sunflowers.
The sunflower has long been considered the country's national flower and is deeply rooted in local traditions.
So deep, in fact, that during Lent cooking with olive oil is not allowed in the Orthodox Church, for example, but the use of sunflower oil is possible for many believers.
The flower also appears as a motif in traditional costumes and at religious festivals.

In the 1990s, when the country said goodbye to their nuclear arsenal it had inherited from their time as part of the Soviet Union, they did so with sunflowers.
Americans, Russians and Ukrainians then planted sunflowers together at a former Soviet missile base to add luster to the moment.
The Ukrainians then gave up the third largest nuclear arsenal in the world, after the Russian and the American.
"This is how we ensure that our children and grandchildren can live in peace," said then-U.S. Secretary of Defense William J. Perry after the ceremony. Had the Ukrainians kept the nuclear weapons, Russia might not have invaded last week …

In 2014 Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine.
The aircraft with mainly Dutch passengers on board, crashed into a field full of sunflowers. The flower became a symbol of mourning for the victims. Sunflowers took center stage at the commemoration ceremonies.

After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the sunflower grew into a symbol of resistance and solidarity with Ukraine.
Just after the raid, a video went viral on social media of a Ukrainian woman brutally addressing some Russian soldiers:
"You are occupiers, you are fascists. What are you doing armed in our country?"

Then she offers the soldier sunflower seeds. "Take these seeds and put them in your pockets. At least sunflowers will grow when you're all dead," she says.
Then she tries to give him the sunflower seeds. Together with the sunflower, the woman grew into a symbol of resistance.

The VRT article (in Dutch):

Photo Information
  • Copyright: Paul VDV (PaulVDV) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6812 W: 24 N: 16074] (62978)
  • Genre: Lugares
  • Medium: Color
  • Date Taken: 2017-07-21
  • Exposición: 30 segundos
  • Versión de la foto: Versión original
  • Date Submitted: 2022-03-05 14:08
Viewed: 0
Points: 40
  • None
Additional Photos by Paul VDV (PaulVDV) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6812 W: 24 N: 16074] (62978)
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