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Slovenská Republika

Last modified: 2023-10-07 by rob raeside
Keywords: slovakia | lorraine cross | czechoslovakia | vertical flag |
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[Slovakian Flag] [Variant] 2:3~ image by Željko Heimer, 18 Jan 2003

See also:

National Flag. CSW/--- 2:3

Regarding the usage, our task regarding the Slovakian flag would be to find legislation regarding the use of the flag at sea (rivers etc.) As Slovakia is a Danubian country, it must maintain at least some river police boats on the river, and probably some military ones as well. There must exist a regulation for the military ensign, and certainly for a state ensign (for use on river police boats). I have no doubt that these are the same as the national flag, but... Also, there must be some regulation regarding the privately owned ships/boats of the Slovak register. They would be navigating the Danube, but also I would expect to find them on pleasure boats (yachts etc.) in Adriatic and elsewhere. I do remember seeing yachts and speed-boats bearing Czech ensign on Adriatic, and while I have not yet seen a Slovak one, I am sure that there should be one. Also, as a party that signed the Danube Convention, Slovakia would probably use similar signaling pennant on their river authorities boats as used by other Danube countries, typically white pennant with blue voided lozenge. Can we find any reference to it in SK legislation.
Željko Heimer, 18 Jan 2003

This is indeed regulated by law, namely "Vyhlaska 220/2001 Z. z." which states that:
1) A naval ship shall use the state flag with the dimensions of 1.5 x 1 meters.
2) Boats belonging to a ship shall use a state flag with the dimensions of 0.75 x 0.5 meters.

Here is a link to the full text of the law but unfortunately I couldn't find any English translation. Maybe you'll have some luck with the online translator:

Regarding the flag itself, its design is described in the Slovak Constitution (part 2, article 9):

In printed versions of the Constitution, there seems to be a "construction sheet" for both the state flag and the coat of arms. There are two versions in use, one vertical and one horizontal. The idea is that the coat of arms must never appear rotated or tilted.
Milos Bazelides, 25 May 2018


The protocol manual for the London 2012 Olympics (Flags and Anthems Manual London 2012 ) provides recommendations for national flag designs. Each NOC was sent an image of the flag, including the PMS shades, for their approval by LOCOG. Once this was obtained, LOCOG produced a 60 x 90 cm version of the flag for further approval. So, while these specs may not be the official, government, version of each flag, they are certainly what the NOC believed the flag to be.

For Slovakia: PMS 293 blue, 032 red. The vertical flag is the horizontal version turned 90 degrees anti-clockwise, but the shield remains upright towards the top
Ian Sumner, 11 Oct 2012

Flag construction sheet

[Flag construction sheet] image by Željko Heimer, 18 Jan 2003

White over blue over red tricolour with the coat of arms off-set to the hoist fimbriated white. The Album2000 gives construction details as (15~+5~+20+5~+15~):(27+63), that I shall show are quite correct, and even the ~ could be removed altogether. The construction of the flag is simply but efficiently described in the legislation on the State Symbols of the Slovak Republic ("Zákon o štátnych symboloch Slovenskej republiky a ich používaní", Zbierka zákonov č. 63/1993; relevant extract available, also Pascal Vagnat's translation present at FOTW). The size of the Coat of Arms is key here, and it is not expressly stated in the legislation (maybe it is in the annexes? can anyone confirm?). However, from several official images of the Coat of Arms I have seen, it seems that it fits well in square 4x5 (also, note that the width is maximal around the middle of the height).

To avoid any quotient in the construction sheet, and because of the requirement that the fimbriation around the shield is 1/100 of the flag length, one needs to make flag consisting of 600 x 900 units. The height of the Coat of Arms is half the hoist, i.e. 300, the width 4/5 of it, i.e. 240. The law determines that the distance of the Coat of Arms from top, bottom and hoist edge is equal, that would make it 150. The white fimbriation in the blue and red stripes is 9 units wide. As these units are exactly 10 times smaller then those used in Album, the analogy is obvious, however I decided to show different parts on my sheet. And as it is shown, there is no need for ~ in the sheet in the Album.
Željko Heimer, 18 Jan 2003

Law on national symbols

Document here, supplied by Linda Boudová, Chancellory of the National Council, 15 February 2016

Vertical hanging Slovakian flag

[Vertical hanging Slovakian flag] image by Željko Heimer 18 Jan 2003

A vertical flag/banner is also prescribed in the legislation mentioned above. This is understandably not included in Album (that concentrates primarily on naval usage, however wide). The height of the flag is prescribed as maximally triple the width, while minimum is not prescribed at all. I guess that 2:3 would somehow be reasonable minimum and that vertical flags would rarely reach that short sizes anyway. The vertical banner should always be hoisted hanging on a crossbar. Distance of the shield from left, top and right edges is still to be equal.
Željko Heimer, 18 Jan 2003

Short banner

[Short banner] image by Željko Heimer, 29 Aug 2007

In fact, in front of the Slovak Embassy in Belgrade, a vertical 2:3 flag with rotated arms is hung from a crossbar, (looking a bit short).
Ivan Sarajcic, 29 Aug 2007

History of the Slovakian flag

The first Slovak flag was white-red bicolor and was waved on 23rd April 1848 in Brezová during a theatre performance. A petition signed on 10th May 1848 in Liptovský Sv. Mikulaš demanded not only constitutional or educational rights for Slovaks but also permission for using red and white Slovak flags. This was rejected by the Hungarians as well as the other demands. In August 1848 the blue color was added and in 18th September 1848 in Velká nad Veličkou on the Hungarian-Moravian border the Slovak revolutionaries hoisted various Slovak and Slav flags combining red, white and blue in many variations. Some of them depicted the original Hungarian coat of arms, only the green colour of the three hills was replaced by blue. The present order of the three stripes of Slovak flag was established after 1868. These three colors were often used by the Slovak associations in the United States. They were also used on the Czechoslovak flag adopted on 30th March 1920, where the blue triangle at the hoist represented Slovakia. After the puppet Slovak Republic was established, the law of 23rd June 1939 enacted the white-blue-red tricolore as the state flag. The same flag was enacted after the Velvet Revolution on 1st March 1990 by the Slovak National Council. The constitution of September 1992 added the coat of arms because the flag could be mistaken for the one of Russia.

The present-day state flag of the Slovak Republic is described in article 9, paragraph 2 of the Slovak Constitution, which was enacted on 1st September 1992. It was hoisted for the first time on 3rd September 1992 at 20:22 CET in front of the Bratislava Castle. But its exact form was determined by law of 18th February 1993, enacted by the National Council of the Slovak Republic. According to this law, height of the shield with Slovak state coat of arms is equal to half of width of the flag. The shield is separated from the blue and red stripes by the white stripe. Its width is equal to the one hundredth of the flag's length.
Source: Ales Brozek - Lexikon vlajek a znaku sveta, Kartografie Praha 1998
Jan Kravcik, 6 June 2000

The Czechoslovak split

Slovakia adopted its triband with arms shifted to the hoist officially on 1 September 1992 and it was first hoisted two days later.
Mark Sensen, 2 July 1996

Before the separation of Slovakia and the Czech Republic, a resolution was passed by the Czechoslovak government that neither of the two "new" states could continue to use the red white and blue flag of Czechoslovakia. Upon separation, Slovakia adopted the White/Blue/Red flag with the shield of arms in the upper hoist. The "new" Czech Republic adopted the flag of former Czechoslovakia, in direct violation of the resolution mentioned above. Slovakia was ticked off over this, but the Czech folks said "The country that made that rule doesn't exist any more" and refused to change.
Nick Artimovich 31 October 1996

The Constitution of 1990 set up the Czech Lands and Slovakia as two equal nations. Each was to have its own arms, seal, flag and anthem, and these were laid down in laws of 1990. The Czech Republic adopted a greater and lesser coat of arms and the flag of white over red on 13 March 1990. The Slovak Republic legislation was dated 1 March 1990, and laid down the arms (almost identical with those of pre-Communist era), the flag (the plain tricolor), seal and anthem. The flag of the state was unchanged. As indicated before, the agreement was made by two countries upon separation not to adopt the previous state's emblems, but the Czech Republic adopted flag with blue triangle as its flag on 17 December 1992.
Željko Heimer, 1 November 1996