The national flag of Slovenia features three equal horizontal bands of white (top), blue, and red, with the Slovenian coat of arms located in the upper hoist side of the flag centred in the white and blue bands. The coat of arms is a shield with the image of Mount Triglav, Slovenia's highest peak, in white against a blue background at the centre; beneath it are two wavy blue lines representing the Adriatic Sea and local rivers, and above it are three six-pointed golden stars arranged in an inverted triangle which are taken from the coat of arms of the Counts of Celje, the great Slovenian dynastic house of the late 14th and early 15th centuries.
The civil and state ensign for ships has the same design as the national flag, but a different shape (2:3 instead of 1:2). (Boats up to 24 metres use the national flag as an ensign.) The naval jack uses colours of the coat of arms, a white, blue, and yellow horizontal tricolor.
The white-blue-red Slovenian flag was first exposed on April 7, 1848, on a building between Congress Square and Prešeren Square in Ljubljana, by a group of nationally minded students led by the renowned national conservative activist and poet Lovro Toman. Despite opposition from the local Ethnic Germans it was subsequently recognized by the Austrian Government as the official flag of Carniola. This formal recognition, albeit on a regional level, was an exception to the policy of the Austrian Government which tended to persecute national symbols of the non-German nationalities in the Empire. In addition, Austrian authorities saw all tricolours as basically nationalist and potentially revolutionary symbols, so Austrian provinces (as the Empire itself) were only allowed to use bicolours (the only exception being the flag of the Kingdom of Croatia and Slavonia, since it was interpreted to be a combination of the Croatian and Slavonian bicolours). So the official recognition of the Carniolan white-blue-red tricolour instead of the traditional white-blue bicolour was seen as a major achievement by the Slovenes and it quickly became the symbol representing the idea of United Slovenia. In the second half of the 19th century, the Slovenian national tricolour became the only truly all-Slovenian symbol, representing all Slovenes, regardless of the historical region in which they lived.
The tricolour flag continued to be associated with Slovenia during the country's incorporation into Yugoslavia, Although officially the whole kingdom including Slovenia had the same flag, in this case, the blue-white-red. In the interwar period, it was also used by the Slovenes of the Julian March that were annexed to Italy, where it was prohibited and persecuted by the fascist regime.
Following Slovenian independence from Yugoslavia, the red star was removed and the new coat of arms, designed by Marko Pogačnik, was added. The flag was officially adopted on June 27, 1991, following a long and controversial dispute about the coat of arms of the new Republic.
In 2003, a campaign started to partially or completely alter the flag in order to enhance Slovenia's international recognition, and especially to differentiate it from those of Russia and Slovakia. An eleven-striped design won the official contest. Public opinion seems to be strongly against changing the flag at the moment.