The Czech flag today celebrates 100 years.
The red-white-blue flag was created as the state symbol of the Czechoslovak Republic, established in 1918. After its split in 1993, the Czech Republic kept the original flag, while Slovakia chose another one.
The designer is generally accepted to have been Jaroslav Kursa, an employee at the Interior Ministry’s archives and the most active member of a Ministry commission set up to create the new flag.
The flag was officially approved by the National Assembly of Czechoslovakia on 30 March 1920 and since then, it has been in continuous use, with the exception of the German occupation of Czechoslovakia during World War II.
Additionally, during a short period following the Velvet Revolution, between 1990 and 1992, the Czech part of the Czechoslovak federated state adopted the previous red and white flag.
The first two colours Kursa picked were white and red – the traditional colors of Bohemia, representing the sky and the bloodshed for the freedom of the country. But because this flag would have been almost identical with the Polish flag and had the same colors as the Austrian flag Kursa added a blue wedge on the right-hand side.
Blue is the traditional colour of Slovakia, but it is also present in the French and American flags and was thus meant to represent their role in helping to achieve the country’s independence.
The triangle was used because it resembled the Greek summa and stood for the unity of Bohemia and Slovakia.
Although promises had been made that neither state would use the symbols of former Czechoslovakia, the Czech Republic readopted the Czechoslovak flag of 1920 as its own.