Moscow; Leningrad: Iskusstvo, 1950. 3 pp., 17 pp. of ill. 29x20 cm. In original publisher’s red cloth with gilt lettering on the front board. Near fine. Spine is slightly rubbed.
Scarce. First edition.
Published in 1950, this beautiful piece of Soviet print contains 17 chromolithograph images of the state emblems of the Union republics and the emblem of the USSR.
Apparently, the edition intended to document recent changes in the emblems of the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic and Ukrainian SSR. Both emblems were modified in 1950, and minor changes were applied to their original appearance (Byelorussian - Flax began to be depicted with flowers instead of boxes. Ukrainian - a red five-pointed star was added; instead of a motto at the bottom of the emblem the name of the republic in Ukrainian was placed, and the slogan in Ukrainian and Russian was transferred to the side of the red ribbon).
Importantly, the book includes the emblem of the Karelo-Finnish Soviet Socialist Republic. Only six years after this edition came out, the KFSSR was abolished and incorporated into the Russian SFSR. This was the only case in the history of the USSR of merging a member republic of the Soviet Union into another republic. As a result of this change, the state emblem of the Soviet Union was modified, with one of the 16 ribbons symbolizing constituent republics removed. The emblems of other Soviet republics underwent minor changes over the course of time. Currently, three former republics of the USSR use modified versions of their Soviet emblems: Belarus (since 1995), Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. The emblem of Turkmenistan was also designed based on the Soviet coat of arms, but only cotton and ears of corn remained from the original. The unrecognized Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic uses a modified version of the state emblem of the Moldavian SSR.