A sword is not our emblem: How the seal of the USSR was designed
On the 100th anniversary of the formation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics -- the world's first workers' and socialist state -- we take a look at how the emblem and seal of the USSR was designed. The text and images are drawn from a Soviet Life article in 1972 on the 50th anniversary.
In the winter of 1918 Lenin ask the Council of People Commissars to find an artist who would make a sketch of an official seal for the world's first government of workers and peasants. The sketch, designed by artist Alexander Leo, was shown to Lenin and the People Commissars in April . A sword stood out clearly against the steel-grade background of a shield dominating a sickle and hammer joined to it. Lenin objected to the proposed state seal. He wanted the sword erased. A sword, he thought, must not become the emblem of the Soviet Republic
The change was made. In July 1918 the Fifth All - Russia Congress of Soviets adopted the First Soviet Constitution, which closed with a description of the official emblem. It read:
The arms of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic are a gold sickle and hammer depicted the red rays of the sun. They are crossed with handles downward and are surrounded by ears of grain while the inscription reads a) Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, and b) Workers of all Countries, Unite!
This is still the emblem of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, now one of the 15 republics of the USSR. On December 30, 1922, the First USSR Congress of Soviets adopted a declaration forming the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The new coat of arms of the USSR was a sickle and hammer against a globe depicted in the rays of the sun and surrounded by ears of grain. At the top was a five-pointed star. Artists of the Moscow Goznak printing press made sketches for the new emblem, and the one done by cartographer and graphic artist Vsevolod Korzun was considered the best. The present coat of arms of the USSR was adopted in 1956. Ribbons entwining the ears of grain bear the words "Workers of All Countries, Unite !” in the languages of the 15 union republics. Each constituent republic of the USSR also has its own coat of arms. So does each autonomous republic
The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics is a socialist state of workers and peasants. The political foundation of the USSR is the Soviets of Working People's Deputies, which grew and became strong as a result of the overthrow of the power of the landlords and capitalists and the attainment of the dictatorship of the proletariat. All power in the USSR is vested in the working people of town and country as represented by the Soviets of Working People's Deputies. The economic foundation of the USSR is the socialist system of economy and the socialist ownership of the instruments and means of production, firmly established as a result of abolishing the capitalist system of economy, the private ownership of the instruments and means of production , and the exploitation of man by man...
Work in the USSR is a duty and a matter of honor for every able bodied citizen, in accordance with the principle: "He who does not work, neither shall he eat."...
The principle applied in the USSR is that of socialism: " From each according to his ability, to each according to his work"...
The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics is a federal state, formed on the basis of a voluntary union of equal Soviet Socialist Republics... -- From the Constitution (Fundamental Law) of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics