Flag of Slovakia

Flag of Slovakia
Country Slovakia
Population 5,795,199 (2023)
Area (Km²) 48,088 (2023)
Сontinent Europe
Emoji 🇸🇰
  hex rgb
#FFFFFF 255, 255, 255
#0B4EA2 11, 78, 162
#EE1C25 238, 28, 37

The official flag of Slovakia consists of three typical Slavic colors. These are horizontal stripes of white, blue, and red. It is complemented by the Slovak coat of arms, which depicts a white double cross with three blue peaks on a red background.

What does the flag of Slovakia mean?

  • The white color symbolizes peace and honesty;
  • the blue stripe stands for loyalty and vigilance, indicating the steadfastness of the Slovak people to their nation and culture. Traditionally, blue also symbolizes trust and stability;
  • the red stripe stands for bravery and strength. This color emphasizes the courage and resilience of Slovakia, highlighting its history of overcoming problems and challenges. Red is also associated with valor and sacrifice, emphasizing the nation's willingness to defend its independence and territorial integrity.

Why did Slovakia stop using the white, blue and red tricolor?

In 1992, the Russian Federation restored the old, almost forgotten flag of Russia, the same flag that Slovakia had at the time. Attempts to resolve the identity of the flags through negotiations with the Russian side failed. The Russian Federation replied that "the flag will be the same as yours". Joint work with the Russian Federation to find and codify any differences also gave no chance to reach an agreement. Then it was decided to add the national emblem to the flag. It was moved closer to the shaft, the side of the flag that is considered more important in vexillology (the science of flags).

Meaning of the coat of arms of Slovakia

The modern coat of arms is the work of the authors Ladislav Vrtel (heraldist) and Ladislav Cisarik (artist), who respected the historical theme. They updated it by slightly raising the trident.

The coat of arms itself consists of:

  • a double white cross;
  • three blue hills.

Originally, the coat of arms did not have triple hills, but only a silver cross on a red background. It was the coat of arms of the Hungarian King Bela III (1173-1196). Starting in the 14th century, the modern form of triple humps, first silver, later green, and since 1848 - blue, became established. What are these hills? They used to symbolize the hill of Golgotha, where Jesus Christ was crucified. Since the 16th century, the meaning of the triple peak in the Hungarian coat of arms has been interpreted as Tatra, Matra, Fatra, i.e. the three hills of Upper Hungary, where mostly Slovaks lived. The triple peak and the cross were adopted from the Hungarian coat of arms and declared the coat of arms of Slovakia and the Slovaks. In heraldic terms, the cross stands on the highest peak of the Tatras.

The double cross symbolizes the tradition of Cyril and Methodius. They probably brought it to the territory of Great Moravia from the Byzantine Empire, where it appeared on coins from the 7th century.

History of the Slovak flag

In the Middle Ages, the original Slovak flag consisted of red and white stripes (the red one was usually at the top). The oldest record of the Slovak flag is on the seal of the city of Nitra from the time of Bela IV (1235-1270), which depicts a white cross on a red background. The modern form of the flag was created during the revolution of 1848-1849, when Slovaks fought against the Hungarians. Initially, a red and white flag without a coat of arms was used, but in September 1848, a blue stripe was added and the flag became red, blue and white. Some flags also bore the Hungarian national coat of arms, but the color of the wreaths was often changed to blue, which corresponds to the modern colors of the Slovak coat of arms. The use of the Hungarian coat of arms showed the desire of Slovaks to have their nation recognized within Hungary. The order of the stripes remained the same until 1868, and this flag was actively used by Slovak associations in the United States.

History of the Slovak flag

After the creation of Czechoslovakia in 1920, a new flag was created, consisting of the standard Czech white and red flag with a blue triangle. By law, the modern Czech Republic uses this flag, although this violates the 1992 Czechoslovakia Partition Act, which prohibits the use of Czechoslovakian symbols by successor states.

However, the Slovaks also used their three-striped flag after 1918, and in 1919 the use of this flag was officially authorized in Czechoslovakia. After Slovakia declared its autonomy in 1938, this three-striped flag became official. At the same time, the Slovaks temporarily used a flag with a red double cross in a white circle on a blue background as a symbol of the struggle for autonomy and sovereignty.

History of the Slovak flag

The First Slovak Republic used the modern national flag without the Slovak coat of arms between 1939 and 1945. The coat of arms was first added to the flag in 1991 to avoid confusion with the flags of Russia and Slovenia. However, due to existing political problems, the new flag with the coat of arms was introduced only in 1992. Some details of the shape of the Slovak national flag were determined only by the Act of the National Assembly of the Slovak Republic of February 18, 1993. According to it, the height of the shield with the coat of arms is equal to half the width of the flag, and the shield is surrounded by a white stripe whose width is equal to one hundredth of the flag's length.