Written records of the red-white-red Latvian flag have existed since the second half of the 13th century. Bearing a red flag with a white stripe ancient Latvian tribes went to war against ancient Estonian tribes. This historical evidence would place the Latvian flag among the oldest flags of the world.
At the end of the 1860s Latvian student, folklore researcher and later, professor Jekabs Lautenbahs-Jusmins found reference to the use of a red-white-red flag in The Oldest Rhyming Verse Chronicles of the Livonian Order. The Chronicles depicted events in Latvia in the second half of the 13th century (till 1290) and glorified the feats of the crusaders in converting the pagan inhabitants of the Latvian region to the Christian faith.
Based on the aforementioned historical record, the present day flag design was adapted by artist Ansis Cirulis in May 1917. The red colour of the Latvian flag is a particular dark red tone that is referred to as «Latvian red» in the rest of the world. The flag's colour proportions are 2:1:2 (the upper and lower red bands are always twice as wide as the white band in the middle), and the correlation of the width and length of the flag is fixed as 1:2. The Latvian national flag, together with the national coat of arms was affirmed in this format by a special parliamentary decree of the Republic of Latvia that was passed on June 15, 1921.
The correlation of the width and length of the flag is fixed as 1:2.
The flag's colour proportions are 2:1:2 (the upper and lower red bands are always twice as wide as the white band in the middle).
Colour proportions of the red colour of the flag: Pantone "1807C".
Colour proportions of the white colour of the flag: Pantone "White".