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Russia Now Has A Flag To Celebrate "Real Families" And Warn Against "Gay-Fever"

The United Russia party introduced the flag on Russia's Day of Family, Love and Fidelity as "our response to same-sex marriage."

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July 8 is Russia's Day of Family, Love and Fidelity, which celebrates heterosexual marriage and child-rearing with billboards, balloons and flowers.

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It's been a national holiday since 2008, part of the government's push to tap into nostalgia for a folksy Russian Orthodox past built on traditional family values.

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According to Russian legend, on July 8, 1228, Saints Peter and Fevronia of Murom both died and were buried separately. This couple took "until death do us part" to the next level, as the following day, their bodies were found miraculously reunited in the same coffin.

This July 8, Russian President Vladimir Putin's United Russia party introduced a new symbol for the holiday, a pride flag for straight people.

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The logo depicts a man, woman and three children, because "Russians traditionally have big families," United Russia party official Aleksei Lisovenko said. Underneath the image is the Russian hashtag "RealFamily."

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In recent years, the government has aimed to incentivize having larger families, offering subsidies to women who bear second and third children and awarding the Order of Parental Glory to families with seven kids or more.

The "Real Family" flag made its debut at Moscow's Sokolniki park Wednesday at a "family walk" featuring appearances by politicians and movie stars.

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“This is our response to same-sex marriage, to this mockery of the concept of the family," Lisovenko said. "We have to warn against gay-fever at home and support traditional values in our country."

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The U.S. Supreme Court's June ruling in favor of nationwide marriage equality sparked a backlash in Russia, with some people applying a Russian flag filter to their social media profiles rather than Facebook's rainbow one.

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"#proudtobestraight #proudtoberussian #anti-gay #straight #family #morality"

Some pointed out the flag looks a lot like one used by a French group that opposes marriage equality, though Lisovenko said United Russia had obtained permission to use it.

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But the French group, La Manif Pour Tous, told BuzzFeed News it had not given United Russia permission to use or adapt its logo.

"We just discovered it in the press," the group's president Ludovine de la Rochère told BuzzFeed News. "Our logo has been used without our permission. The person who is in charge of the partnerships works directly for me so I would know for sure if there was any partnership between United Russia and the Manif pour Tous."

"Since it is a political party, we would never have agreed to make a partnership with it," she said. "Also, we disagree with the way they use our flag. For us, it is the flag of children's rights."

Susie Armitage is the Global Managing Editor and is based in New York.

Contact Susie Armitage at susie.armitage@buzzfeed.com.

Adrien Sénécat est journaliste chez BuzzFeed News France et travaille depuis Paris.

Contact Adrien Sénécat at adrien.senecat@buzzfeed.com.

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