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George Orwell’s novella ‘Animal Farm’ is a satirical allegory and has many symbols that represent elements and ideas of our world. In this lesson, we will discuss one of them, the Animal Farm flag.

What Is the Animal Farm Flag?

The Animal Farm flag is adopted by the critters in George Orwell’s allegorical novella Animal Farm.

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After a successful rebellion against Mr. Jones, their incompetent, drunken farmer, the animals celebrate in true revolutionary spirit by coming up with a set of commandments to live by, singing their revolutionary song ‘Beasts of England’, and adopting their own flag. Snowball, one of the pigs who leads the animals, designs and creates the flag after the rebellion. It is bright green (made out of an old tablecloth) with a white hoof and horn in the corner.

The Flag’s Role

Like any flag, the flag of Animal Farm is symbolic of its citizens. According to Snowball, it represents the goals of the rebellion: equality for all animals all over England. Snowball hopes the flag will fly over every farm in Britain someday, showing that all animals are free to reign over themselves.

He tells the other animals that the green background represents the green fields of England, while the hoof and horn symbolize the Republic of Animals.The animals have a very enthusiastic flag-raising ceremony every Sunday, which precedes the weekly meetings that are held in the early days of Animal Farm. At these meetings, discussions and debates are held about various policies of the farm. The animals adore the flag, and are quite taken with the idea that they could overthrow all the humans in England.

Real World Symbolism

The hoof and horn in the corner of the Animal Farm flag look very similar to the hammer and sickle insignia on the Soviet Union flag (until it was changed in 1991). George Orwell made this novella an allegory for the Soviet Union and its history. He wanted to satirize not only the Soviet Union as a whole, but the idea of revolution.

As Orwell saw it, the majority of revolutions (like the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917) end up failing because the leaders of them simply take power for themselves, manipulating the people they pretend to help.Many of the story’s elements are recognizable as symbolic of specific events, people, or things in the history of the Soviet Union. The hoof and horn represent the animals, just as the hammer and sickle represented the union between workers and peasants. The star on the Russian flag represented an ultimate Communist victory over the world.

Likewise, the green background of Animal Farm’s flag symbolizes the fields of England, the new dominion of the animals.This Russian flag was used from 1923-1991. It came as a result of the Russian Revolution, although it didn’t have the hammer and sickle until 1955, many years later. These symbols reflect the ‘power to the people’ theme of the revolution, just as the Animal Farm flag speaks of the animals’ rebellion against the farmer, Mr. Jones.

Lesson Summary

In George Orwell’s novella Animal Farm, the Animal Farm flag is adopted by the animals after their rebellion against the farmer, Mr. Jones.

It is bright green, made from an old tablecloth, and symbolizes the green fields of England. A hoof and horn in the upper corner represents the Republic of Animals that will come to power once the humans are overthrown. The hoof and horn looks very similar to the hammer and sickle insignia on the Soviet Union flag (until it was changed in 1991). And just as the hammer and sickle represented the power of the workers and peasants during the Russian Revolution, so the hoof and horn speaks to the rebellion of the animals.

Many of the story’s elements are recognizable as symbolic of specific events, people, or things in the history of the Soviet Union.

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