Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Republic of Slovenia

The National Flag of Slovenia

The horizontal tricolour of white, blue, and red was seen first in 1848, in use by nationally minded students and intellectuals, and was adopted by the Austrian Empire as a regional flag. This was quite a large step, as up till then, the Austrians had only recognised bicolours.

People see the flag as using the pan-Slavic colours. However, the colours originate from the coat of arms of the Duchy of Carniola. Students then took the colours, and arranged them in the horizontal tricolour pattern during the Spring of Nations, in 1848.

With the birth of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, Slovenia kept its tricolour, then during WWII, the tricolour was in use by both Communist anti-Nazi forces, and the Slovene Home Guard, a pro-Nazi, anti-Communist militia. The tricolour used by the Communists took the tricolour, and defaced it with a red star bordered in gold. 

The Slovene Home Guard used the tricolour, but defaced it with the old Carniola Coat of arms.

In 1945, the Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia was born, and the red star Slovenian flag was adopted as the flag of the Slovenian Socialist Republic.

In 1991, with independence, the newly independent Slovenian republic removed the red star, and placed the new coat of arms in the upper hoist canton. The new shield lies on the line between the blue, and the white. The shield was designed by Marko Pogacnik. The shield is blue, edged in red. On the shield is a white mountain with three peaks. This is a representation of Mt Triglav, Slovenia's highest peak. Under the peaks are 2 wavy blue lines, representing the Adriatic, and the rivers. Above the mountains are 3 6-pointed stars in gold. These are taken from the arms of the Counts of Celje, a great Slovenian house in the 14th and 15th centuries.

However, before this flag was adopted, one other serious option was to replace the red star, with a gold star. A proposal in 1991 from the Party for Democratic Reform.

In 2003, a competition was instituted to create a new flag for Slovenia. There has been calls for a new flag in order to differentiate Slovenia more clearly from Slovakia, and Russia, who all have similar flags. 

One such design was to take the flag, and turn it 90 degrees. Going from a horizontal tricolour, to vertical. Going white, blue, and red from the hoist. The national shield was kept on the flag, still in the upper hoist.

Another design was very similar, with a white, blue, and red tricolour, but this time, taking the mountain and wavy lines, and placing them on the central blue stripe.

However, the winner was an 11 stripe proposal, split blue, white, and red. The three central white stripes feature little triangle patterns on them, alluding to the 3 mountains, and the rivers.

Whilst this design was picked as a possible successor to the current flag, there is little appetite amongst the people or a change in the flag at the moment. 

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