Today is the 21st anniversary of the referendum where Lithuanians voted to demand independence from the Soviet Union, but this was not the first time that Lithuanian independence was demanded. Back in 1917, the Vilnius Conference was held to plan the creation of an independent Lithuanian state. Local artist Antanas Žmuidzinavičius decorated the conference hall with green and red flags. The colours were chosen because of their prevalence in Lithuanian folk art.
Delegates to the conference were unimpressed with the design, saying the flags looked too gloomy. The next year a yellow stripe was added to brighten things up a bit, and the modern Lithuanian flag was born. Back in 1918 this was actually a relatively rare colour combination, but nowadays it’s one of the most common in the world. Meanwhile, only Bangladesh and Morocco use gloomy old red and green.
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