What are the Slovak National Symbols? The Four State Symbols


What are the Slovak National Symbols?

Every country in the world has its own traditional symbols. Equally, Slovakia has them. These symbols express the Slovak statehood and they are a reflection of Slovak history. In short, national symbols of Slovakia are:

  • The National Flag of Slovak Republic
  • Coat of Arms of the Slovak Republic
  • State Seal of the Slovak Republic
  • National Anthem of the Slovak Republic

I will tell you more about interesting facts and history of these national symbols it this post. So take your seat and enjoy reading!

National Symbols of Slovakia

These symbols represent the country and reflecting its history.

The flag, the emblem, the seal and the anthem play an important role in the meetings of the highest officials and are an integral part of many institutions. For decades they have been honored in society.

The Ministry of the Interior and District Authorities supervise compliance with the provisions of the State Symbols Act.

Description of current national symbols of Slovakia is down bellow.

The National Flag of Slovak Republic

The National Flag of the Slovak Republic (source)

When you see the Slovak national flag, you might find it familiar. A lot of national flags use the same colors like this one.

Yes, you’re right. Countries like Russia, Serbia or Slovenia use the same or very similar structure of their flags as Slovakia does. They use the same colors as a background but different national emblem.

These same colors are known as pan-Slavic colors. Blue, white and red are traditional Slavic colors that represent Slavic harmony and independence.

The national flag of the Slovak Republic dates from the revolutionary years of 1848 – 1849.

The national flag maintains a 2:3 aspect ratio and consists of equally wide longitudinal stripes – white, blue, red, the so-called, as you already know, pan-Slavic colors.

The tricolor is complemented by the national emblem, placed on the front half of the national flag and it is equidistant from the top, front and bottom edges of the national flag. Its height is equal to half the height of the flag.

Interesting fact: Since 1 May 2004, the European Union flag has been used in Slovakia along with the national flag.

Coat of Arms of the Slovak Republic

Coat of Arms of the Slovak Republic (source)

Like the Slovak flag, the coat of arms comes from the revolutionary years of 1848 – 1849.

The three hills symbolize the three Carpathian mountains Tatry, Fatra and Matra (currently located in Hungary).

By Double Cross, Slovakia is committed to Christianity and the tradition of St. Cyril and Methodius, who brought here Christianity during the Great Moravia (9th century).

Interesting fact: The Double Cross began to be used around the 7th century, and its origins date back to Byzantium. It is, therefore, a combination of two crosses, the cross of the Resurrection of Jesus and the cross of the God’s Victory.

The national emblem is shown in color. Exceptionally, where this is not possible or appropriate for objective reasons, the color representation may be omitted.

State Seal of the Slovak Republic

State Seal of the Slovak Republic (source)

The state seal is used for the original instrument of the constitution and constitutional laws of the Slovak Republic, international treaties, credentials of diplomatic agents and in other cases in which its use is usual.

The national emblem is depicted in its center. The inscription Slovak Republic is placed in a circle around the national emblem. There is a linden leaf at the bottom of the state seal circle.

The diameter of the seal is 45 mm and The seal is kept by the President of the Slovak Republic.

Interesting fact: Do you know why there is a linden leaf in the seal? Because the linden is the national tree of the Slovak Republic.

National Anthem of the Slovak Republic

The national anthem consists of the first two styles of a song by Janko Matúška “Nad Tatrou sa blýska” from 1844.

It arose as a protest of students against the deposition of Ľudovít Štúr from the professorship at the Lyceum in Bratislava and on the occasion of their departure from Bratislava to Levoča in 1844.

This poem (song) played an important role in the life of the Slovak nation and later became part of the Czechoslovak national anthem.

Original Slovak Version

Nad Tatrou sa blýska

Nad Tatrou sa blýska
Hromy divo bijú
Zastavme ich, bratia
Veď sa ony stratia Slováci ožijú

To Slovensko naše
Posiaľ tvrdo spalo
Ale blesky hromu
Vzbudzujú ho k tomu
Aby sa prebralo

English translation

Lightning over the Tatras

There is lightning over the Tatras
Thunders loudly sound
Let us stop them, brothers
After all they will disappear The Slovaks will revive

That Slovakia of ours
Had been sleeping by now
But the thunder’s lightnings
Are rousing the land
To wake it up

You can find official audio version of National Anthem of Slovakia below:

The melody of Anthem comes from the folk song “Kopala studienku”.

The first sheet music for the song “Nad Tatrou sa blýska” was written by A. H. Krčméry on 16 March 1843, and in 1864 it was first musically harmonized by the composer Ján Levoslav Bella.

The national anthem is played or sung especially on public holidays, commemorative days, anniversaries and other important occasions.

Interesting fact: The original song (Nad Tatrou sa blýska) was published anonymously and its authorship was subject to disputes which were resolved only after the First World War.

History of Slovak State Symbols

The first three state symbols (flag, coat of arms and seal) are based on a symbol of the double-cross on the triple (three hills). The history of this traditional symbol is described in the next sections.

The origin of this symbol (double-cross on the triple) dates back to the 9th century.

In the Middle Ages, the double-cross occurred on many urban coats of arms of central Slovakia, and later began to be understood as a symbol of Upper Hungary (today’s Slovakia).

In the 14th century, a double-cross was added to the three crosses depicting the Tatra, Matra and Fatra mountains.

The transformation from the sovereign to the national symbol was completed in 1848 when the Sturts declared the double cross on three hills as the emblem of Slovakia and the Slovaks.

The double cross became part of the symbolism of the Czechoslovak resistance and especially the Czechoslovak legions in 1914 during the First World War.

Then in 1920, two years after the establishment of Czechoslovakia, it became a part of the national emblem of the Czechoslovak Republic (together with Czech Lion).

Coat of arms of the Czechoslovakia (source)

Interesting fact: In the years 1960 – 1990 the Communists banned the use of the symbol of the double-cross on the triple hills in Slovakia.

The state symbols of the current Slovak Republic were codified by its Constitution on 1 January 1993 and are still in use.

Conclusion

I hope you find this information helpful and you already know and understand the meaning of the Slovak national symbols.

Almost every official country in the world has its own national symbols and they are proud of them. I, as a Slovak, am also proud of our Slovak national state symbols and I really like them!

Final challenge: can you sing the Slovak national anthem? At least some part? If you can, you will make a great impression on every Slovak!

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Jano

The Slovakian guy who loves his little big home country.

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