The slogan “Glory to Ukraine – Glory to heroes” (Slava Ukraini – Heroiam Slava) now is commonly used by Ukrainians and foreigners. Now this slogan is a synonymous with the Russo-Ukrainian war.
But where did it come from?
Let’s take a look at the history of this slogan.
Kharkiv student’s association originally said, “Glory to Ukraine! – All over the world glory!” (Slava Ukraini! – Po vsii zemli slava!) at the end of the 19th century. At that time, this phrase was a catchword that helped to recognize like-minded people.
This phrase might also be connected with the words from the national anthem: “Never perished is Ukraine, Nor her glory and freedom!”
In September 1916, in Detroit, Michigan (USA), Ukrainian immigrants at a meeting of 12 000 people unfolded a big Ukrainian flag and exclaimed: “Glory to Ukraine! Long live Ukraine!” (Слава Україні! Хай живе Україна!). This means that Ukrainians of the first wave of the diaspora were already very familiar with the slogan.
In March 1917, the revolution only started in Kyiv, but in the different areas, the answer to “Long live the autonomy of Ukraine!” was unanimous: “Glory! Glory to Ukraine!”.
It was usual to hear slogans like: “Long live a democratic republic! Glory to Ukraine!”
Even during the demonstrations in Russia, the Ukrainian workers exclaimed: “Long live the autonomy of Ukraine! Glory to Ukraine! Glory to all nations!”
During the proclaiming of the Universals of the Central Council of Ukraine (1917-1918), which declared the independence of Ukraine, the delegates thew their hats to the sky and loudly exclaimed:
“Long live Independent Ukraine! Long live the Ukrainian National Guards!”
And as an answer, the soldiers replied:
“Glory to Ukraine!”
The heroes of the battle of Kruty (1918) were going to the front line with happy exclamations: “Glory to Ukraine!” And many of them were dying singing the national anthem.
The slogan “Glory to Ukraine!” was widely used in the Ukrainian People’s Republic’s army during the training and battles.
During the rebellions against the bolsheviks in the Kholodny Yar Republic (1919–1922) the partisans used slogans:
“Glory to Ukraine! Glory! Glory! Glory!”
From the middle of the 1920s, the members of the Ukrainian scout organization “Plast” started to use the slogan “Glory to Ukraine!”
Former Ukrainian scouts often became members of the Organization of the Ukrainian Nationalists and Ukrainian Insurgent Army (rebel organizations that fought for freedom for all residents).
1939 Nazists forbid this slogan on the Ukrainian radio in Vienna.
In 1941 the Ukrainian rebellions officially added the answer to the greeting “Glory to Ukraine! Glory to Heroes!”.
Since then, all of the generations of the Ukrainian warriors have had this slogan as a motto and reminded of what we are standing for.
This slogan is not used as a motto of aggression as the Ukrainian army always protected its land and never occupied others. Another motto of our fight was and is now: “For your freedom and ours!”.