Flag of Bohemia
The Flag of Bohemia is a historic flag, which now forms part of the design in the modern flag of the Czech Republic. The flag, a horizontal bicolour, was based on the colours of the former monarchs of Bohemia.
History and use
The colors of the flag, white and red, were derived from the coat of arms of the King of Bohemia (silver lion on a red field) which was granted to the king Vladislaus I in 13th century. This quickly became tho coat of arm of the whole kingdom. The oldest surviving full color depiction of the arms of Bohemia appears in the manuscript of abbes Kunigunde from the 1310s.
The bicolor white-red banners where threfore carried to battles by the armies of the Bohemian kings and in the 19th century the colors were adopted by the Czech national movement. But when the goals of the movement were fullfilled in 1918 by the restoration of the independent Czech state the need for the significant symbols, including the flag which is not identical to this of the neighbouring Poland, led to to the approval of the new flag of Czechoslovakia in 1920. This new flag however included the white and red horizontal stripes from the flag of Bohemia.
In 1990, the Bohemian flag was adopted as the official flag of the Czech Republic, then part of the Czech and Slovak Federative Republic (ČSFR, 1990–1992). The flag was adopted in reaction to the adoption of separate Slovak symbols. However, the Czech flag was used much less than the wider flag of Czechoslovakia, whereas the flag of Slovakia (then without coat of arms and thus identical to flag of the World War II Slovak Republic) was widely used in Slovak part. This difference mirrored prevailing separatist tendencies in the Slovak Republic and federalist tendencies in the Czech Republic. Another problem, again, was the Bohemian flag's similarity to the flag of neighbouring Poland, because the only difference was the proportion 2:3 (Polish flag is 5:8). For this reasons the Czech politicians decided to preserve the flag of Czechoslovakia as the symbol of the state with which most of the Czech society was identified.
Since 1993, the flag of Bohemia has no legal status and is only rarely seen today in the Czech Republic.
- "Sbírka Národní knihovny ČR". ces.mkcr.cz. Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic: Central Registry of Museum-type Collections. Archived from the original on 20 January 2015. Retrieved 12 January 2015.
- Constitutional act on the state symbols of the Czech Republic 67/1990 Coll.
- Constitutional act on the name, coat of arms, flag, seal and anthem of the Slovak Republic 50/1990 Coll.
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