Flag of Slovenia

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The national flag of Slovenia features three equal horizontal bands of white (top), blue, and red, with the Slovenian coat of arms located in the upper hoist side of the flag centered in the white and blue bands. The coat of arms is a shield with the image of Mount Triglav, Slovenia's highest peak, in white against a blue background at the centre; beneath it are two wavy blue lines representing the Adriatic Sea and local rivers, and above it are three six-pointed golden stars arranged in an inverted triangle which are taken from the coat of arms of the Counts of Celje, the great Slovenian dynastic house of the late 14th and early 15th centuries[1].

The flag's colours are considered to be Pan-Slavic, but they actually come from the medieval coat of arms of the Duchy of Carniola, consisting of a blue eagle on a white background with a red-and-gold crescent.[2] The existing tricolour was created during the Spring of Nations in 1848[3], when a group of students from Ljubljana took the colours[citation needed] from the Carniolan coat of arms, arranging them in such a way that it resembled the Russian national flag.

The civil and state ensign for ships has the same design as the national flag, but a different shape (2:3 instead of 1:2). (Boats up to 24 meters use the national flag as an ensign.[4]) The naval jack is a white, blue, and yellow horizontal tricolor[5].

Contents

Historical development

Origins

The white-blue-red Slovenian flag was first exposed on April 7, 1848, on a building between the Congress Square and the Prešeren Square in Ljubljana, by a group of nationally minded students led by the renowned national conservative activist and poet Lovro Toman. Despite opposition from the local Ethnic Germans it was subsequently recognized by the Austrian Government as the official flag of Carniola. This formal recognition, albeit on a regional level, was an exception to the policy of the Austrian Government which tended to persecute national symbols of the non-German nationalities in the Empire. In addition, Austrian authorities saw all tricolours as basically nationalist and potentially revolutionary symbols, so Austrian provinces (as the Empire itself) were only allowed to use bicolours (the only exception being the flag of the Kingdom of Croatia and Slavonia, since it was interpreted to be a combination of the Croatian and Slavonian bicolours). So the official recognition of the Carniolan white-blue-red tricolour instead of the traditional white-blue bicolour was seen as a major achievement by the Slovenes and it quickly became the symbol representing the idea of United Slovenia. In the second half of the 19th century, the Slovenian national tricolour became the only truly all-Slovenian symbol, representing all Slovenes, regardless of the historical region in which they lived.

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