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Slovenija - Republic of Slovenia, Republika Slovenija

Last modified: 2003-02-14 by ivan sache
Keywords: slovenia | europe | triglav | star: 6 points | stars: 3 (yellow) | coat of arms: slovenia | linde | panther (black) |
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[Flag of Slovenia]by Zeljko Heimer

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

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

  • Blue: Pantone 293 c / CMYK (%) C 100 - M 65 - Y 0 - K 0
  • Red: Pantone 199 c / CMYK (%) C 0 - M 100 - Y 65 - K 0

On this page:

See also:

Official hoisting of the flag

On June 25th 1991 the flag was hoisted officially and for the first time on the Republic Square in front of the Slovenian parliament. At the same time the old flag with red star was lowered in front of the parliament building. Since there was not enough new flags, a lot of plain Slovenian tricolours without coat of arms were hoisted together with the new flag. The flag was officially readopted in 1994 because of the new constitution and flag law.

Uros Zizmund, 1 April 1998

Use of the flag

The Slovenian flag which can be bought in shops is officially in ratio 1:2. De facto many flags are used in ratio 2:5 to match the local 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 Jurecic & Zeljko Heimer, 26 January 2002

The coat of arms is not rotated vertically on the Slovenian vertical flag 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 in the law.

Jan Zrzavy, 9 October 2001

Origin of the colours

[Plain flag of Slovenia]by Ivan Sache

In the center of Ljubljana, just some 200 m from the main square, there is a house on which there is an interesting memorial plaque. It says something like this: It was in this house that the first Slovenian 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, white over blue over red tricolour that is still used (without the arms). Austrian police reacted instantly and there were some blood for it, and some dozen of insurgents finished in jail.

Zeljko Heimer, 9 April 1997

Modern Slovenia is constituted of the entire historic province of Kranjska (correct English name is Carniola), a part of Stajerska (Styria in English), a tiny part of Koroska (Carinthia), a part of Istria and some other parts.

Zoran Obradovic, 5 January 1998

Historical Slovene colours in a national flag are white, blue, and red (in this order from the top to the bottom) -- note, the same order of colours is also in Slovak and Russian flags. However, the origin of colours in Slovene flag is a bit different.
The central region of Slovenia is Carniola, and its original coat of arms had a golden eagle red claws on a blue background (cf. coat of arms of Kranj). Later, Vienna demanded that the golden beast was replaced by a silver one. When these colours were transferred 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.

Andrej Brodnik, 30 June 1995

The tricolor flag was used:

  • in 1848-1918, to represent Slovene nation, but it was hardly ever recognized by Austrian rulers. In the same time it was the landesfarben of Krain, and as landesfarben not a flag in 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 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 Krain coat of arms. On the other side, by Slovene partisans it was used defaced with red five-pointed star or with OF emblem (zig-zag tripple mountain line flanked with letters OF)
  • 1945-1990, not used without the five-pointed star.

Zeljko Heimer, 24 May 2001

The coat of arms

Triglav mountain

In year 1943 the Liberation Front (Osvobodilna fronta) was already issuing money, with various designs all picturing triple peak, five pointed star, letters OF and rising sun.
On money issued in 1944, there was a coat of arms in socialist style: round shield with short rays with triple peak and tree wavy lines. Wavy lines represent actually the sea and inland Slovenia is represented by mountain. On top of the shield was a five-pointed star. That was the base for later design of coat of arms of 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 late 1980's, they also took the sign of tiple peak and lines, in various designs, and it was no wander 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 suporters of liberational ideas. However linden didn't find it's 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 old Slovenian family of counts of Celje (to be pronounced somthing like tselye - thereof adjective form Celjski). The Celjski coat of arms was blue with three golden sixpointed stars 2:1, and is still used as a coat of arms of the town of Celje. The family was a main concurrent of Habsburgs before the empire was formed, after the violent death of the last of the Celjski counts. 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 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 "Azure, a crescent Argent below the stars Or" and Celje arms.

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.

Zeljko Heimer, 7 November 1995

After First World War, Slovenia or better said Slovenian 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 Slovenian territory was partly united under one name, one authority and one coat of arms. But a lot of Slovenians were not pleased with the coat of arms which was created by Belgrade politicians: Blue shield with white 5-pointed star above white crescent. Coat of arms was in use from 1919 to 1929. Then white 5-pointed star was replaced with 3 yellow 6-pointed stars, which are originally from the coat of arms of town Celje. The position of stars was 2+1 or 1+2. At that time Slovenia also became the Bannate of Drava (Dravska Banovina). Coat of arms was in use from 1929 to 1941.

Uros Zizmund, 13 July 1997

Vertical hoisting of the flag


Changing the national symbols?

State Redesign.

Ten years after the independence the pleaders for new state symbols in Slovenia - flag, coat of arms and even the name of the state - are louder then ever. The official initiative was set in motion by the member of Parliament from the ruling LDS Jozef Skoljc. He supports the change of the flag and coat of arms so that Slovenia would gain more easily identifiable state symbols instead of the current that are similar to symbols of other countries.
Beside the name, that many in the world confuze with the name of Slovakia, the flag is problematic also because it is equal or similar to flags of large number of other countries; AIM recounts that the remarks on the coat of arms are limited to the assertion that it is similar to the coat of arms of numerous Slovenian mountaineering societies. The supportes of the state symbol changes percieve already in the chench itself a good marketing move, because that would make Slovenia identifiable at last in the world and it would separate it from the group of transition countries with monotonously similar state symbols, developed in 19th century in region from Triglav to Ural by copying of the Russian tricolour.
To persuede public that it does not go about a marketing whim, the pleaders for the state symbols changes refer to a pool made by Eurobarometar on the popularity of European Union member candidate states among the citizens of the Union. The results are shocking for Slovenians, since in last year pool their state got the penultimate position, leaving behind only Turkey, but in the pool made this year it got 12th place, in front of Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey, even if it is among the top candidates for admision, though it may not be the first in the queue.
The pleaders for the changes claim that the result is largely consequence of the unidentifiablility of Slovenia, so it would be required to change the flag, the coat of arms, and even the name of the state, so that the Europeans and Americans would not equalize it with Slovakia and other transitional countries.

Source: Croatian political weekly Feral Tribune, Split, 28 July 2001, # 828, page 65.

Translated by Zeljko Heimer, 6 August 2001

There is a relatively strong movement in Slovenia promoting the flag chage toward the old Slovenian (Karinthian) coat of arms featuring a black panther in white (silver) shield. A pather is a heraldical beast composed of parts of lion and eagle. Some examples of the panther flag proposals of Slovenia are shown on the FAME website.

Zeljko Heimer, 29 October 2001