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Slovenija - Republic of Slovenia, Republika Slovenija

Last modified: 2006-05-06 by ivan sache
Keywords: slovenia | europe | triglav | mountain (white) | star: 6 points (yellow) | stars: 3 (yellow) | coat of arms: slovenia | civil ensign | administrative signal | anchors: 2 crossed (white) |
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[Flag of Slovenia]

National flag of Slovenia - Image by Željko Heimer, 17 September 2002

Flag adopted 27 June 1991, coat of arms adopted 20 July 1994.
Proportion: 1:2
Description: Horizontally divided white-blue-red flag with the national coat ot arms in the upper left corner.
Use: on land, as the civil, state and war flag; at sea, as the war ensign.

Colour approximate specifications (as given in Album des Pavillons [pay00]):

  • Blue: Pantone 293 c / CMYK 100-65-0 -0
  • Red: Pantone 199 c / CMYK 0-100-65-0
  • Yellow: Pantone 116c / CMYK 0-10-95-0

On this page:

See also:

Other link of interest:

Modern use of the Slovene flag

On 25 June 1991 Slovenia proclaimed independence from Yugoslavia and the flag was hoisted officially and for the first time on the Republic Square in front of the Slovenian parliament in Ljubljana. At the same time the flag of the Socialist Republic of Slovenia, bearing the red star, was lowered. Since there was not enough new flags, a lot of plain (without the coat of arms) Slovene tricolour flags were hoisted together with the new flag. The flag was officially adopted on 20 0ctober 1994 by the Law on the national symbols.

Uroš Žižmund & Željko Heimer, 17 September 2002

The Slovene flag that can be bought in shops is officially in ratio 1:2. De facto, many flags are used in ratio 2:5 to match the municipal flags when they are hoisted together. There are also flags, intended for vertical hoisting, in ratio 1:4, especially popular for hoisting at border crossings or in front of official buildings.

Valt Jurečič & Željko Heimer, 26 January 2002

On the vertical flags, the coat of arms shall not be rotated vertically, as erroneously reported by Znamierowski [zna99]. This is an evident confusion of Slovenia and Slovakia, the latter having the special vertical (rotated) version of the flag prescribed by the Law.
However, slovene flags with the coat of arms uncorrectly rotated are sometimes used, as shown for instance by the newspaper Dobro Jutro (picture taken in Kranj, 4 July 2005).

Jan Zrzavy & Eugene Ipavec, 6 November 2005

History of the Slovene flag

[Plain flag of Slovenia]

Historical Slovene flag - Image by Željko Heimer, 17 September 2002

The historical Slovene colours also appear on the flags of Slovakia and Russia flags. However, the origin of the colours in Slovene flag is a bit different.

Modern Slovenia is constituted of the entire historic province of Kranjska (Carniola), a part of Stajerska (Styria), a tiny part of Koroška (Carinthia), a part of Istria and some other parts.
The central region of Slovenia is Carniola, and its original coat of arms had a golden eagle with red claws on a blue background (cf. the coat of arms of the city of Kranj). Later, Vienna demanded that the golden beast was replaced by a silver one. When these colours were transfered into colours on a flag we got the white-blue-red flag. A flag with these three plain horizontal stripes was also the official flag of Slovenia (also Dravska banovina in the pre-Second World War Yugoslav Kingdom) up to 1945. In fact, it was used also by emigrants abroad after this time.

The tricolor flag was used:

  • in 1848-1918, to represent the Slovene nation, but it was hardly ever recognized by the Austrian rulers. In the same time it was the landesfarben of Carniola, not a flag in the modern sense;
  • in 1918, adopted by the Slovene nation that joined the State of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (1918-1929) but the State was too short of duration to have the flag officialized. Soon after the formation of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (later the Kingdom of Yugoslavia) it was banned, or at least at times rarely tolerated;
  • in 1941-1945, used by Slovene nationalists formations on Axis side, usually defaced with the coat of arms of Carniola. On the other side, by Slovene partisans it was used defaced with a red five-pointed star or with OF emblem (zig-zag triple mountain line flanked with the letters OF)
  • 1945-1990, not used without the five-pointed star.

Andrej Brodnik & Zoran Obradović & Željko Heimer, 24 May 2001

Slovene flag day

Joče Lajevec, the current chairman of the Slovene vexillological association Heraldica Slovenica explains that the Heraldical Genealogical and Vexillological Association Heraldica Slovenica (as the full name of the association is) has been celebrating the Slovene flag day every year in the last ten years. The celebration is held in the geometrical center of Slovenia, a point known as GEOSS located in Spodnja Slivna pri Vačah in Litija municipality. The Slovene flag day is held every year on 7th April, in remembrance to the 7 April 1848, when the first Slovene tricolour flag was hoisted publicly in Ljubljana.

In the center of Ljubljana, just some 200 m from the main square, a commemorative plaque says something like this: "It was in this house that the first Slovene tricolour was hoisted in the revolutionary year of 1848.
Unfortunately, there is no exact date of this historical hoisting, but I was lucky to join a group of tourists with a guide, who explained that there was a pub in the house at the time (as well as in all other houses in the street, named Wolfova), and that it took several beers before the group of insurgents gathered guts to hoist the flag. The flag hoisted was, of course, the white-blue-red tricolour flag. The Austrian police reacted immediatly and there was some blood shed, and some dozen of insurgents ended in jail.

In 2001, the celebration was particularly solemn since the tenth anniversary of the state flag was celebrated. The celebration included a religious service by the Slovene Metropolit and Archbishop of Ljubljana Rode Franc; in the civil part of the celebration, the Speaker of the Parliament Borut Pahor was present, among other high dignitaries.

Željko Heimer, 3 September 2002

Coat of arms

[Coat of arms of Slovenia]

Coat of arms of Slovenia - Image by Željko Heimer, 17 September 2002

The coat of arms of Slovenia was designed by Marko Pogačnik. Its main elements are the three-peaked Triglav mountain and three yellow stars.

The Triglav mountain

In year 1943 the Liberation Front (Osvobodilna fronta) was already issuing money, with various designs all picturing a triple peak, a five pointed star, the letters OF and the rising sun.
On money issued in 1944, there was a coat of arms in Socialist style: a round shield with short rays with a triple peak and three wavy lines. The wavy lines represent the sea whereas the mountain represents inland Slovenia. On top of the shield was a five-pointed star. That was the base for later design of the coat of arms of the People's (later Socialist) Republic of Slovenia in Yugoslavia, with corn, linden and a band added around the round shield. When liberation movements became stronger in the late 1980s, they also took the sign of triple peak and lines, in various designs, and it is not surprising that the newly formed state has it now in the arms.
It is worth mentioning that a golden leaf of linden was widely used also as a badge by supporters of liberation ideas. However, the linden didn't find its place on the new arms.

The three stars

The other element of the arms are three stars. They are from the coat of arms of the old Slovenian family of Counts of Celje. The Celje coat of arms was blue with three golden, six-pointed stars placed 2 and 1, and is still used as a coat of arms by the town of Celje. The family of Celje was a main competitor of the Hapsburgs before the Empire was formed, until the violent death of the last of Count of Celje. When the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, and later Yugoslavia was formed, the coat of arms adopted by the state consisted of a shield tierced, with the arms of Serbia, Croatia, and a third one representing Slovenia. This third was: Azure, a crescent argent below three stars or per fess. This must be connected with the "Illyrian" (Old Croatian - see on Croatian arms first right) coat of arms: Azure, a crescent argent below the stars or, and the arms of Celje.

The crescent was also used on the arms of Provinz Laibach - Province of Ljubljana, formed of parts of Slovenia annexed by the Third Reich. The coat of arms was a crowned eagle bearing a checkered crescent.

Željko Heimer, 7 November 1995

After the First World War, Slovenia or better said Slovene lands (not all) became part of the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs (Drzava SHS), later Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes/Yugoslavia (Kraljevina SHS/Jugoslavija). For the first time the Slovene territory was partly united under one name, one authority and one coat of arms. But a lot of Slovenes were not pleased with the coat of arms that was created by Belgrade politicians: A blue shield with a white five-pointed star above a white crescent. This coat of arms was in use from 1919 to 1929. Then the white five-pointed star was replaced with three yellow six-pointed stars, which are originally from the coat of arms of the town of Celje. The position of stars was 2 and 1 or 1 and 2. At that time Slovenia also became the Bannate of Drava (Dravska Banovina). The latter coat of arms was in use from 1929 to 1941.

Uroš Žižmund, 13 July 1997