The national flag of Belarus is a red and green flag with a white and red ornament pattern placed at the staff (hoist) end. The current design was introduced in 2012 by the State Committee for Standardisation of the Republic of Belarus and is adapted from a design approved in a referendum in May 1995. It is a modification of the 1951 flag used while the country was a republic of the Soviet Union. Changes made to the Soviet-era flag were the removal of symbols of communism (the hammer and sickle and the red star) and the reversal of the colors of the ornament pattern, from white-on-red to red-on-white. Since the 1995 referendum, several flags used by Belarusian government officials and agencies have been modeled on this national flag.