National Flag

Slovak Republic National Flag:

The official flag of the Slovak Republic is composed of three equal horizontal bands of white (top), blue (middle), and red (red) superimposed with the Slovak emblem centered on the hoist side.

Slovak Republic National Emblem:

The official Slovak Republic emblem consists of a cross Lorraine atop 3 hills in a shield; the cross is white centered on a background of red and blue. The Cross of Lorraine is a Latin cross with a second, longer horizontal bar intersecting end of the vertical bar.

Vexillology

Slovakia adopted the present flag on September 1, 1992 and it was first hoisted two days later.

Almost two years before the separation of Slovakia and the Czech Republic, a resolution was passed by the former Czech and Slovak Federation government that neither of the two states compromising the Czech and Slovak Federation could continue to use the red white and blue flag of historic Czechoslovakia. Upon separation, Slovakia adopted the present design. The Czech Republic adopted the flag of former Czechoslovakia, in direct violation of the resolution mentioned above. The Czech officials made a rather specious argument that since the Czech and Slovak Federation did not exists after the separation, all edicts agreed to were now void. Although the Czechs violated the spirit of the agreement and also brought on confusion in the international community the Slovaks did not pursue any international legal remedies.

A similar design of the flag was used during the inter-war years 1939-1945 when the Slovak Republic was nominally independent.

It is widely recognized that L'udovit Stur created the national symbol of the Slovak people in the 19th Century from symbols that were in use almost a thousand years. Although similar designs were used by the Greater Moravian Empire and other duchies and regions, the Slovak people did not identify with the flag as whole until the time of Stur. The Cross of Lorraine was employed by St. Cyril and Methodius during their campaigns to Christianize the people of the Danube. The three hills are said to represent the three ranges of the Carpathian basin: Small Tatras, High Tatras and Small Fatras. Thus the emblems represents both the spiritual and geographic history of the Slovak people. It is interesting to note that a very similar emblem is also used as part of the Hungarian coat of arms. It was adopted after Hungary incorporated present day Slovakia as "Upper Hungary" into Greater Hungary during the 13th Century.

The horizontal white, blue and red stripes of the Slovak Republic flag are similar to the Russian design. In reality, numerous Slavic nations also adopted a variation of this flag which was originally influenced by the flag of the Netherlands which was created in the 16th Century. There is no official symbolism for the colors on the flag.