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Galicia (Ukraine and Poland)

Last modified: 2022-03-19 by rob raeside
Keywords: galicia | ukraine | europe | bukovina | galicja | halychchyna | lodomeria | poland | lviv | lamberg | ruthenia | little poland | malopolska | cracow | schwarz gelb | poland |
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History of Ukrainian Galicia

In the 19th century, the area inhabited by Ruthenians, as the Ukrainians were then known, was divided between Russia and the Austrian Empire. Austria got Galicia after the partition of Poland in 1772. Territory was later added, including the Duchy of Bukovina. From 1815, the former Polish possessions of Austria were known as the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria. Ukrainians were a majority only in the eastern parts of this kingdom.
Jan Oskar Engene, 7 September 1996

The area known as Galicia (Polish: Halicz ,Russian: Galich or Galitsiya) is a former Austrian crownland in East central Europe; 30,645 square miles; included Northern slopes of Carpathian mountains and the valleys of upper Vistula and upper Dniester, Bug, and Seret rivers.
History: From 6th century A.D. inhabited by Slavs; medieval principalities of Halicz and Lodomeria emerged about 12th century and were united in 13th century; Eastern part, once attached to principality of Kiev, separated from Russian territory by Mongol invasion; ultimately became part of Poland 386; partitions of Poland 1772 and 1795, annexed to Austria; Western Galicia included in grand duchy of Warsaw 1809; scene of rising after which Krakow returned to Austria (1846); in World War I scene of fighting between Russians and Austrians and Germans; ceded by Austria 1919; after the war Poland conquered Eastern part which had joined Ukraine, and in 1923, was confirmed in her possession of it; became Polish departments of Krakow, Lwow, Stanislawow, and Ternopol; divided between Germany and USSR 1939 until outbreak of German war against USSR 1941 (World War II); Eastern half returned to USSR and made part of Ukrainian SSR after World War II; Western half to Poland.
(Source: Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, 1988)
See also: Encyclopaedia of Ukraine: (no images of flags).
Jarig Bakker, 23 April 1999

Polish word for Galicia is Galicja, not Halicz, which refers to a small town, a capital of a Ruthenian Duchy in early Middle Ages. As far as I know the Ukrainian for Galicia is Halychchyna (in rough English transcription)
Jacek Wesolowski, 26 September 1999

My source (Webster's Geographical Dictionary) was at fault. On the same page mention is made of Lodomeria, which is a latinized form of 'Vladimir-in-Volhynia' or Vladimir Volhynsky. Lodomeria was a term invented by the Habsburgs of Austria when they founded the 'Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria' in 1772 after another partition of Poland.
Jarig Bakker, 26 September 1999

The Medieval term was 'Halicz' Ruthenia' or 'Red Ruthenia', since 14C it was rather referred to simply as 'Ruthenia' (the first Ruthenian province incorporated into the Polish Kingdom) - cf.official 'wojewodztwo ruskie' (Province of Ruthenia) of whom Lemberg was a capital. In late 18C it became Eastern Galicia, in 1919-1939 the Poles wanted to have it as Malopolska Wschodnia (Eastern Little Poland) . Nowadays it is Western Ukraine rather (especially in Ukrainian sources), which inevitably tends to comprise Volhynia as well. I think Red Ruthenia is the best still, though sounds a bit awkward today. Let me have another observation. I think Galicia (Galizien, Galicja, Halychchyna) is an Austrian time phenomenon, being equally part of Polish and Ukrainian tradition . It is only the name that was derived from a God's forgotten Ruthenian town of Halicz. (On Polono-Ruthenian border sounds 'g' and 'h' tend to be the same, a 'hard' h, contrary to Franco-Spanish incapability of pronoucing it at all.) Galicia in its actual form seems to have been invented when the Habsburgs claimed their rights to the Southern part of the Kingdom of Poland (1772), additionally consuming by the occasion a great deal of Malopolska (Little Poland) up to what was the closest vicinity of the thenofficial Polish capital of Cracow.'Lodomeria' was as even more sophisticated composition, referring to another sleepy town of Vladimir (Wlodzimierz) Volynskij, which actually remained outside Galicia, within the borders of Poland, then Russia (now Ukraine). A good starting point for another claim, I suppose. As we see, tricky names did not refer to both major towns of Lemberg (Lviv, Lvow, Lwow) and Cracow which, with its outskirts, eventually became part of Galicia in 1846 (or 1848) as a 'Grand Principality of Cracow'. As for the 'schwarz-gelb' flag of the Danubian Monarchy: I don't think theyever got rid of it before 1918. But maybe only in Austria, whom Galicia was part of.
Jacek Wesolowski, 29 September 1999

Three crowns on blue has been used in Galicia and Lodomeria, which was created in 1772 (first partition of Poland), when Austria took what is today southern Poland and western Ukraine. Until 1772, the area had no coat of arms, so the Austrians invented one.
Ole Andersen, 27 November 1999

In [neu79], on page 90-91, Galizia and Lodomeria is represented by the bird-over-bar-over-crowns. The illustration has this caption roughly translates to: "At the partition of Poland in 1772, Austria took Halicz with the Vladimir area, naming this territory the kingdom of Galizia and Lodomeria. Since there were no old arms, the new kingdom was granted three crowns in ancient heraldic style."
Ole Andersen, 10 June 2001

This (the part regarding the arms) is quite imprecise. As we all know three crowns are (and were) the coat of arms of Sweden. It must have been differentiated somehow. I don't have any firm sources by hand, but since 1772 till the end of 18 century the region was twice again partitioned, with the borders also changing names (and including Bukowina). In any case, we should know that we are dealing with 20 century post card, and the attributions might as well be anachronistic. The coat of arms of Lodomeria "azure two counter-compony bars Gules and Argent" is found on a 1843 chart, well after the "need" for such kingdom passed. The same chart has no coat of arms representing Galicia, though. Lodomeria is Latinization of Slavic name "Vladimir".
Željko Heimer, 10 June 2001

There is one thing that still can make a casual visitor a bit confused. Galicia in its original meaning was an Austrian Crownland, which ultimately is divided between Poland and Ukraine. Therefore if the title 'Galicia' refers to the historical term, it definitely should be "Galicia (Poland, Ukraine) or otherwise if you like. Please consider Cracow is a historical Galicia as everybody in Poland is supposed to know, as is Lemberg/Lviv. This is not a matter of any revisionism that makes me write it, but a pure geography. It's a joint Polish and Ukrainia legacy in many ways. Since my last post in 1999 I have learnt the Ukrainians tend to use 'Galicia' nowadays ('Halychchyna') although they mean the Eastern part of the former Cisleithanian (=Austrian) Crownland only.
Jacek Wesolowski, 17 June 2001

I have some new information about landesfarben out of MEYER (1897). In the entry "Galizien" (Königreich Galizien und Lodomerien) they say: The landesfarben are corresponding to the arms blue and red; but the Poles fly dark-red and white, the Ruthens yellow and blue. This is quite interesting because of the colours of modern Ukraine.
Dr. Andreas Birken, 15 November 2003

Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria Flags

[First Galician Flag] image by Jan Oskar Engene, 7 September 1996

As a kingdom, Galicia had three flags. The first was blue over red over yellow.
by Jan Oskar Engene, 7 September 1996

[Second Galician Flag] image by Jan Oskar Engene, 7 September 1996

The second flag was blue over red (the flag of the Duchy of Bukovina was also blue over red).
by Jan Oskar Engene, 7 September 1996

[Third Galician Flag] image by Jan Oskar Engene, 7 September 1996

Finally a red over blue was used.

No dates are given for these flags.
Source: 'Flag', Encyclopedia of Ukraine.
Jan Oskar Engene, 7 September 1996

At, located by Dov Gutterman, there is an article of well-known ukrainian vexillologist and heraldist A. Grechilo. He describes national symbols of Ukraine. Article is written still in communist period (1989). Flag of Ukraine in that time was the Soviet red flag with a blue stripe at the bottom. The author proves, that the national symbolics is not "bad".
In this article he describe, between other things, those flags:
Blue-red bicolor - flag of "Kingdom of Galizia and Lodomeria" in Austro-Hungary
Red-blue bicolor - the same but after 1849 (in 1849 blue-red flag became flag of Bukowina).
Victor Lomantsov, 1 July 2002