By Judy Woodward

Every month, the reference librarians at the Roseville Library receive dozens of questions from the public. Here are a couple of interesting queries we received recently:

Q. Which came first—the Rolling Stones band or Rolling Stone magazine? Did one take its name from the other?

A. You might say that it was a case of one inspired composition giving birth to multiple brilliant offspring.

The British rock band founded by Mick Jagger and friends began in 1962. The magazine of almost the same name was founded in 1967 in San Francisco. Although the founders of the magazine certainly knew about the band, they didn’t take its name from them.

According to accounts from the era, the inspiration for both names came from a 1950 recording by legendary blues singer Muddy Waters of a song called “Rollin’ Stone.”

Meanwhile, in a parallel development, Minnesota’s own Bob Dylan released his famous song “Like a Rollin’ Stone” in 1965.

Q. What is the history of the Ukrainian flag? I can’t help but notice that the colors of the Ukrainian flag are very similar to Swedish national colors. Is there any historical connection there?

A. Hang the Swedish and the Ukrainian flags side-by-side and their shades of blue and yellow seem almost identical. Of course, it’s easy to tell them apart, because the Ukrainian flag (as we have all learned in the past few months) consists of two simple blocks of yellow and blue, whereas the Swedish flag features a yellow cross on a blue background.

There doesn’t seem to be any connection between the flags of Sweden and the Ukraine. The history of the bi-color Ukrainian flag begins with the revolutionary year of 1848, when a flag of that design was hoisted briefly over the Town Hall in the city of Lvov.

The flag did not return as a national symbol until the short-lived independent Ukrainian republic, which came into being at the end of World War I, during the collapse of the Russian Czarist regime.

By 1922, Ukraine was under Soviet domination, and the blue and yellow flag was suppressed for the next 70 years. After the fall of the Soviet Union, Ukraine declared itself an independent state in 1991, and on January 28, 1992, the flag returned as the symbol of the nation whose citizens are now fighting so hard to preserve. (Sources: Internet Resources)

Judy Woodward, who lives in St. Anthony Park, is a reference librarian at the Roseville Library, 2180 N. Hamline Ave. The library’s general phone number is 651-724-6001.

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