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Slovakian Coat of Arms

Last modified: 2018-12-19 by rob raeside
Keywords: coa | lorraine cross |
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[Slovakian Coat of Arms] by Željko Heimer, 19 Jan 2003

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The Slovakian Coat of Arms

The Slovak Coat of Arms and the dexter half of the Hungarian Coat of Arms are remarkably similar. Only differences:  Slovak Coat of Arms is a white cross of Lorraine on a blue mount composed of three hills, on a red background. The Hungarian Coat of Arms is a white cross of Lorraine with a crown at the base on a green hill composed of three hills on a red background. Where did the Crest originate?  Slovakia or Hungary?

There is no doubt about the use of the arms with the Lorraine cross by Arpad and further dynasties ruling the Hungarian territories. But there is archaelogical evidence that this symbol was used in the area inhabited by Slav (later Slovak) population before the Hungarians conquered the Carpatian Basin. This old Christian symbol was brought to Great Moravia by the Byzantine priests Constantine (Cyrill) and Method. This doesn't refute the theory that the pope donated the cross to king Stephen but shows that Slovaks have certain rights to consider this cross as theirs. In Hungarian history this cross is first noticed on the shield of king Bela III. in 1189 and it is a frequent symbol in Slovak municipal heraldry. Ludovit Stur (1815 - 1856) took the Hungarian royal coat af arms and used it with an appropriate change of colours as a Slovak national symbol. The main fact why Slovaks used Hungarian coat of arms was that they simply felt a historical bond with the Hungarian state - the coat of arms belonged to them as well as to Hungarians or for example Serbians who lived within the boundaries of Hungarian kingdom. They only painted it with the colours they liked more because they represented the pan-Slav or Austro-Slav idea.

The present-day form of the Slovak state coat of arms was enacted on 1st March 1990 in the constitutional law of Slovak National Council and was confirmed by the law from 18th February 1993. It's author is the painter Ladislav Cisarik, jr. The official interpretation is that the Lorraine cross symbolizes three important saints - St. Benedict, St. Constantine and St. Method. Three hills are taken from the arms of Hungarian kings, where it was green and was interpreted as three mountains Tatra, Matra and Fatra. Since 1920 this coat of arms was depicted on the small Czechoslovak state coat of arm on the chest of Czech lion rampant to express respect and importance of Slovakia in the newly formed multi-national state. In 1960 the Slovak coat of arms in the arms of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic was changed with an inappropriate, newly created emblem - golden fire in front of the silhouette of Mt. Krivan.
Jan Kravčík, 6 June 2000

Socialist Slovakia Coat of Arms (1960-1990)

[Socialist Slovakia Coat of Arms (1960-1990)] by Martin Markovic, 10 Apr 2003

This is the Coat of Arms of the former Slovak Socialist Republic (SSR, in Slovak: Slovenská socialistická republika (SSR)) in 1960-1990. In the red field there is the blue silhouette of the Mount Krivan (Tatras). The fire on the flag is supposed to represent the campfires of the partisan (ie. Communist) resistance to the Nazis.
Martin Markovic, 10 Apr 2003

President's flag

[Slovakian President by Željko Heimer, 19 Jan 2003

President of the Republic. 1:1
Banner of the arms bordered bendy sinister white-blue-red. The banner of the arms in square form, the elements are apparently
fimbriated in silver tread. The border is formed of diagonal stripes, so that 9 fields are formed along each edge. The legislation on this flag is available on Zákon o štandarde prezidenta Slovenskej republiky, 19. januára 1993, Zbierka zákonov RS 51/1993.
Željko Heimer, 19 Jan 2003

Last week (21 January 2006), I have seen this flag hoisted over the seat of the Presidency in Bratislava, that is the former Garden Palace of Count Grassalkovich.
The FOTW website mentions a law text prescribing this text. I suppose there are provisions for the flag hoisting and I imagine that the flag is hoisted over the palace when the President is actually there.
Ivan Sache, 29 Jan 2006