The five-pointed red star which is based on the outer shape of the Pentagram has become the globally recognised symbol of Communism. Its origin as a Communist sign can be traced to Karl Marx (1818 – 1883) and Friedrich Engels (1820 – 1895) who were drawn to this symbol for various reasons but allegedly believed in its mystical representation of the human body and its inherent strength.
The red colour is supposed to represent the “blood” of those who had struggled for their rights and freedom. Its transformation from a little known ideological sign to a mass political symbol originated during the Russian Civil War (c1917 – c1923). One story suggests that the local Moscow garrison were given tin stars to wear on their hats. They later painted these tins stars Red to symbolise their joining of the Red Army.
Following its adoption as an emblem of the Soviet Union, the red star became a symbol for communism in a larger sense. The Russian military continues to use the Red Star to this day even though the ideal of Russian Communism no longer dominates the nation. Once feared throughout the Capitalist West, it is apparently still illegal to display the symbol in Hungary.