By Andrew Andersen




Decades of peasants' slavery in Russia resulted in an attempt to overthrow Empress Catherine the Great. In 1773, EMELIAN PUGACHEV, led a rebellion of Ural Cossacks in order to end both autocracy and slavery.

Pugachev and his cossacks were joined by peasant slaves (many historians call them serfs but that is wrong), miners, brigands and military deserters. The rebellion spread rapidly over a large area of East European Russia and moved towards Moscow. Military forts were seized. Villages and manor houses went up in flames. Entire towns were looted and destroyed. Fortunately for Catherine, her troops remained loyal and did not join the rebellion. They captured Pugachev and put down the rebellion.



Flags of “the Pugachevians”:



Many years ago (ca. 1978) I saw this flag in Russian Historical Museum in Moscow.



It was labeled as “The Pugachov’s flag”. I have just reconstructed this kind of “nazi-looking flag” using Corel Draw.

Keeping in mind that the shade of the red color could have changed as the time was running by, I dare assuming that in 1773 the red flag bearing the black Russian Orthodox cross with silver outline, could have looked like this:



I also reconstructed one more possible flag of the Pugachov’s rebellion:



This flag has been clearly displayed in an old Russian movie called “The Captain’s Daughter” based on the classical novel by Alexander Pushkin. The novel and the movie were describing some events that took place during that rebellion. I dare reconstructing that flag as well due to the fact that in communist Russia the movie industry was not sparing money on historical consultants (at least in the cases when they were allowed to make historical movies =).