The Moldova flag features three vertical blocks of color in blue, yellow and red with the country coat of arms in the center of the yellow block. The coat of arms is an eagle with a shield on it. The flag is unusual in that on the other side, the coat of arms appears in reverse. The Moldovan flag is very similar to the Romanian flag, which has the same vertical blocks of color in different shades but does not include not the coat of arms.
Because it is such a young country, its flag draws on the flags of earlier territories that included present-day Moldova. Moldova today consists of one part of what was once Moldavia, a principality that was part of the Romanian state. From the 14th to the 19th century, the flag of the Principality of Moldavia was that of an extinct wild ox known as an auroch or wisent against a red background. The shield on the eagle of the flag today is also an auroch or wisent and is the old Moldavian coat of arms. This coat of arms itself is associated with the 15th century Prince Stephen the Great. The significance of the auroch or wisent is that it is said the first ruler of Moldavia and its founder was chasing one over the Carpathian Mountains when he arrived at the Moldova River.
From 1917-1918, the flag of the Moldavian Democratic Republic used different shades of blue, yellow and red. Later, when the territory that includes Moldova today became part of the USSR, a green stripe broke the traditional red background with a hammer and sickle that was said to represent the country’s agriculture.
The country of Moldova has only been independent since 1991, and its flag was adopted on April 27, 1990 by the Supreme Soviet of the Moldovian SSR. This date is annually celebrated as Flag Day in the country. In 2010, the specifications for the flag were refined by a new law that requires the colors to be Berlin blue, chrome yellow and vermilion red. The width-to-length ratio of the Moldova flag is 1:2.