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Czech Regions and municipalities

Last modified: 2001-09-06 by jarig bakker
Keywords: czech republic | europe | moravia | silesia | bohemia | regions |
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Czech Regions

Just now, the Parliament of the Czech Republic has accepted a new constitutional law according to which 14 self-governing regions will be created 1 January 2000. No details are available and the possible use of regional COAs and flags should be regulated by succeeding laws. The regions will be (also their names are yet unofficial and will be corrected by regional assemblies after their formation):

1. Prague (Praha) = Hlavní město Praha  (capital)
2. Central Bohemia (capital Prague) = Středočeský kraj
3. South Bohemia (Ceske Budejovice = Budweis) = Budějovický kraj
4. Pilsen region (Plzen = Pilsen) = Plzeňský kraj
5. Carlsbad region (Karlovy Vary = Carlsbad) = Karlovarský kraj
6. Usti region (Usti nad Labem) = Ústecký kraj
7. Liberec region (Liberec) = Liberecký kraj
8. Hradec region (Hradec Kralove) = Královéhradecký kraj
9. Pardubice region (Pardubice) = Pardubický kraj
10. Jihlava region (Jihlava) = Jihlavský kraj
11. Brno region (Brno) = Brněnský kraj
12. Zlin region (Zlin = formerly Gottwaldov) = Zlínský kraj
13. Olomouc region (Olomouc) = Olomoucký kraj
14. Ostrava region (Ostrava) = Ostravský kraj

Jan Zrzavy, 23 Oct 1997

In november 2000 there will be elections in new regional parliaments. After that regional parliaments can pass laws about flags of the region (except Prague, which uses from 1st January city flag as a regional flag too). Okresy will exist in the future too. Good map of new czech regions is on this website.
Information about subnational flags:
Historical lands (Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia, Sudetenland) have unofficial flags:
Bohemia - horizontal white-red (used as a flag of Czechoslovakia in 1918-1920 and flag of Czech republic in 1990-1992).
Silesia - horizontal black-yellow.
Jiri Martinek, 26 Jan 2000.

Region (kraj) flags

Today, the first regional councillors are elected in the Czech Republic. It is interesting for us that regional COAs and flags are becoming to be an important topic (TV, radio). They will probably come soon. So far there are flags or proposals for:
Stredoceský kraj
Karlovarský kraj
and a proposed CoA for Liberecký kraj
Jan Zrzavy, 12 Nov 2000

Okres abolished

The districts ("okres") are going to be dismissed. They were replaced by regions ("kraj") and some of the present district qualifications will be transferred to about 180-200 "qualified cities" in January 1, 2003. Moreover, the districts are not
self-governing entities while the regions are (therefore the districts had, have and will have *no* symbols). Consequently, I believe that the Czech municipalities should be classified according to regions only, with no references to the decaying districts.
Jan Zrzavy, 30 Aug 2001

New regional organization

The newly formed Czech regions ("kraje") are going to change their names:
Budejovice Region ("Budějovický kraj") to South Bohemian Region ("Jihočeský kraj"),
Brno Region ("Brněnský kraj") to South Moravian Region ("Jihomoravský kraj"),
Ostrava Region ("Ostravský kraj") to Moravian-Silesian Region ("Moravskoslezský kraj"), and
Jihlava Region ("Jihlavský kraj") to Highlands Region ("Kraj Vysočina").

Some further changes are also possible. As the regional names are mentioned in the constitutional law, all changes must be approved by the Parliament of the Czech Republic. It is probable that the first-round changes will be completed in April 2001.

To my best knowledge, no regional CoA and flag exist so far. In most regions, accepting the symbols is processed (at least in Central Bohemian Region, South Bohemian Region, Karlovy Vary Region, Liberec Region, South Moravian Region). All CoAs should be quartered shields including CoA(s) of the historical lands (Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia), CoA of the regional capital (or some of its element), and some newly formed "regional symbols" (surprisingly, some important mountains are often mentioned). The flags will probably be also quartered, perhaps pure BOAs. We'll see ...
Jan Zrzavy, 1 Apr 2001

Four Krajs are going to change their names. We are only waiting for the president's signature on the Constitutional law about it. So Ostravský kraj will be MORAVSKOSLEZSKÝ (MORAVIAN-SILESIAN), Jihlavský kraj will be KRAJ VYSOČINA ("Higland" - ČESKOMORAVSKÁ VYSOČINA is the name of the Bohemian - Moravian border mountain), Brněnský kraj and Budějovický kraj will return to old names JIHOMORAVSKÝ KRAJ (SOUTH MORAVIAN) and JIHOČESKÝ KRAJ (SOUTH - BOHEMIAN).

And on 13 April the newspaper Mladá fronta DNES wrote, that Karlovarský kraj has finished the work on its Symbols - the Coat of arms will be (following the recommendation of the Heraldic Subcommittee of the Parliament) a quartered shied of the French shape. In this case it would be the quarterly Gules and Azure,. first a Bohemian Lion, second a Fountain Or with a Spring Argent (not heraldical Fountain, which is a ball barry wavy, but the real one!), third Miner tools Argent over in base two crossed Branches Or (of unknown tree) and fourth the Arms of Karlovy Vary.

The description of the ceremonial flag (prapor) and of the flag for daily use (vlajka) is a bit unclear. After mentioned recommendation it should be the field which repeats the fieldsof the shield and it should be a rectangle (Banner of Arms with ratio 2:3). But this article speaks about colours of the field AND THE COA IN THE CENTER OF THE FIELD (so the "prapor") and about these colours in diagonal order (per saltire?) for the "vlajka".These symbols are still only proposal, since they are not approved by the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament Chairman.
Aleš Křížan, 17 Apr 2001

The President has recently signed the law and the changes of names of the four Czech regions are definitely approved:
Former Budejovice Region (Budejovicky kraj) is the South Bohemian Region (Jihocesky kraj);
Former Brno Region (Brnensky kraj) is the South Moravian Region (Jihomoravsky kraj);
Former Ostrava Region (Ostravsky kraj) is the Moravian-Silesian Region (Moravskoslezsky kraj);
Former Jihlava Region (Jihlavsky kraj) is the Region of the Highlands (Kraj Vysocina).

The flags will be approved, like the municipal flags, by the heraldic-vexillological subcommitee of the House of Representatives and officially signed by its chairman (Vaclav Klaus at present). AFAIK, the symbols of the Karlovy Vary Region are already accepted by the regional legislature, symbols of the South Bohemia, Liberec Region, Moravia-Silesia, and Pardubice Region are near to be accepting.
All regional flags will be banner-of arms, derived from the quartered COAs' shields. All will include the arms of historical lands (Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia, or sometimes two of them), some symbol of the regional capital, plus some purely regional symbols.
Jan Zrzavy, 25 May 2001

It seems that at least two regional flags are accepted (Karlovy Vary Region and Liberec Region). Moreover, the Moravia-Silesia Region is close to finish the symbol-making activity: the first quarter of the COA/flag will include the Silesian eagle, the second Moravian eagle, the third Ostrava horse, the fourth remains open to additional proposals.
Also the symbols of the South Bohemia should be known in near future - June 15 is a deadline for sending the proposals.
Jan Zrzavy, 27 May 2001