Culture & Society Czech Republic News

Czech Republic to celebrate 100th anniversary of its flag

Prague, Czech Republic – The Czech flag will celebrate 100 years of existence on March 30, the Czech News Agency (CTK) reported.

According to vexillologist Ales Brozek, who has been studying the origins of the Czech flag for over 50 years, next month will mark exactly 100 years since the Czech Republic’s flag was created in 1920.

Although the newly-independent Czechoslovakia initially adopted a more standard two-striped horizontal white and red flag in 1918, the state soon came up with a new design – including due to its strong similarity with Poland’s own flag created around the same time.

That’s how a blue triangle was added at the helm and the flag that we now know, collectively designed by Jaroslav Kursa, Antonin Valsik and Frantisek Kysela, became the state symbol of Czechoslovakia in 1920.

A design with five stars – symbolizing the lands of Bohemia, Moravia, Slovakia, Silesia and Carpathian Ruthenia (now part of Ukraine) – was also considered at some point.

Talking to CTK, Brozek said the flag of Czechoslovakia/Czech Republic, whose colours refer to the history of Bohemia and Slavic culture and are shared among others by Russia, Slovenia and Slovakia, was recognized as “one of the most successful ones” in the world by experts in the history of flags and symbolism.

Contrary to some misconceptions, red, white and blue don’t symbolize bloodshed, purity or the sky. The first two were the colours of the Kingdom of Bohemia, while blue is a specific reference to Slavic unity and Slovakia.

A hundred years after its creation, controversy continues to surround the Czech Republic’s flag. When Czechoslovakia split in 1993, both sides agreed to come up with an alternative design for the two newly-formed republics. And while Slovakia kept its side of the bargain, Czechs kept the former flag of Czechoslovakia as their own.

For more information, you can read our feature pieces exploring the complete story of how the Czech, Slovak and Polish flags came into existence.

Headed by Kafkadesk's chief-editor Jules Eisenchteter, our Prague office gathers over half a dozen reporters, editors and contributors, as well as our social media team. It covers everything Czech and Slovak-related, and oversees operations from our other Central European desks in Krakow and Budapest.