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Czechoslovakian naval flags

Last modified: 2017-11-11 by andrew weeks
Keywords: czech republic | czechoslovakia | slovakia | navy |
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Czechoslovak Ensign (1955-1960)

[Czechoslovak ensign] image by Miles Li, 11 Sep 2008

Image after Kannik's 'Vlaggen, Standaarden en Wapens', c. 1959.
Jarig Bakker, 9 Mar 2001

Used 1955-1960

  • Jan Zrzavý, 20 July 2000


  • Czechoslovak Ensign 1935-1939 and 1945-1955.

    [old Czechoslovak ensign] image by Miles Li, 11 Sep 2008

    Used 1935-1939 and 1945-1955.
    Jan Zrzavý, 20 July 2000

    I was unable to find data on a certain Czechoslovak flag that is supposed to have been a naval ensign. It looked like the simple flag of the CSSR, with the addition of a five-pointed red star with hammer and sickle (silver?) on the border of the blue and the white fields. I found this design in a small German encyclopedia from the 50s or 60s, but I'm afraid I don't have it at hand any more, so I can neither provide further information about the source, nor can I attach the image. Can anybody recall, whether this flag really has existed and if yes, when it has been in use?
    Marco Pribilla, 9 Nov 1999

    Czechoslovakia had two naval ensigns, one in 1935-1939 and 1945-1955, the other in 1955-1960. In the former, the Czechoslovak WRB flag was defaced by the small Coat of Arms in the canton (silver two-tailed crowned lion on the red shield, bearing a small heart red shield with the silver double cross raising from three blue mountains). The latter ensign has the emblem of the Czechoslovak People's Army in the canton: red five-pointed star with white fimbriation and with the same Czechoslovak lion as described above in the center of the star. (Note that the CPA star was somewhat 'circular', similar to that of the old Vietnamese flag in 1945-1954.) No hammer and sickle in any Czechoslovak symbols, even the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia used (after WWII) only golden initials 'KŠC" on a red field!
    Jan Zrzavý, 20 Jul 2000

    The ensign was used before introducing the "hussite" (in fact, not hussite but foot-soldiers') pavis long-shield (in 1960). The Czechoslovak coat of arms in 1920-1960 includes shields of the "traditional" shapes, the same as are used in the present Czech coat of arms.
    Jan Zrzavý, 9 Nov 1999

    As far as I remember Czechoslovakia had naval facilities (well, in reality the mere right for CS navy to use foreign harbours as bases) in former Yugoslavia (Rijeka) or/and in Szczecin. Am I correct?
    Francois-Jean Blanc, 9 Nov 1999

    Minister of Defense proposed war ensign in May 1930. Czech flag with arms in the center of the white over red part, but external affairs minister is opposed. New designs were made: same but with arms in the vertix of the triangle; and same but with arms in canton. The last one was adopted 20 August 1930. Between 1938 and 1945 Czechoslovakia didn't exist. 1945-55 national flag is used as naval ensign. 10 June 1955 an ensign was adopted for the Armed Forces (supposedly for land, sea and air branches). Abolished 17-11-1960
    Jaume Ollé, 27 Nov 1999

    The Pre-War military ensign of Czechoslovakia with original shield of arms is from Crampton's 'The World of Flags', 1990. The scan shows dimly the cross on the mountains. According to Crampton the arms were altered in 1960, although they still retain the lion of Bohemia. The slovak shield is the main thing that has been altered. The old slovak shield is the same as the shield of the Republic of Slovakia nowadays, while the new one has a four-tongued flame against the background of the three-mountain.
    Jarig Bakker, 20 Jul 2000

    If I understand it well, Crampton is not right. Since 1960, *no* ensigns were used and the Czechoslovak national flag was used for all purposes (xxx/xxx). Once again: naval ensign #1 (1935-1939, 1945-1955) included red shield with the Czechoslovak lion (including Slovak shield), naval ensign #2 (1955-1960) included red star with *the same* Czechoslovak lion.
    Jan Zrzavý, 20 Jul 2000


    Czechoslovakian merchant ensign? (1981)

    [Czechoslovakian merchant ensign] image by Grzegorz Skrukwa, 7 Jan 2001

    In the Polish book "Maly Leksykon Morski" ("Small Marine Lexicon" ) from 1981, I found another version of a Czechoslovakian ensign. It is Czechoslovakian flag with red star. As far as I know Czechoslovakia in communist era had its own merchant navy, with home port in Szczecin (Poland).
    Grzegorz Skrukwa, 7 Jan 2001

    Czechoslovakia had no merchant/civil ensigns but two *naval* ensigns (one with COA, the other with Czechoslovak People's Army's emblem).
    Jan Zrzavy, 8 Jan 2001