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Bohemia (Czech Republic)

Last modified: 2013-08-03 by peter hans van den muijzenberg
Keywords: czech republic | bohemia |
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[Bohemian flag] image by Mark Sensen, 2 Jul 1996. See also:

Bohemian flag

The historical flag for the Czech countries is horizontal white over red (i.e. the Bohemian Landesfarben in the Habsburg Empire, based on the arms - white double-tailed lion on red), and was unofficially used until some years ago. This was also the first flag of Czechoslovakia when this state was born in 1918 (independence proclaimed 14 November). On 29 February 1920 a blue triangle on the hoist was added.
Mark Sensen 02 July 1996

As for (non)existence of Bohemian flags before WW1: we know, that Austrian Länder had no flags in their own right, but Armorial (or Livery) Colours (Landesfarben), sometimes used in form of flag. White over red Bohemian flag was also first flag of independent  Czechoslovakia between 1918-1920. Flag of Bohemia-Moravia Protectorate was created in autumn 1939 by Prince Karel Schwarzenberg (based on "Staatsfarben" of Czechoslovakia). In the first months of the Protectorate former Czechoslovak State Flag was used.
Aleš Křížan, 24 Jul 2002


Bohemian livery colors from dictionary

[Bohemian livery colors from dictionary] image by Juan Manuel Gabino Villascán, 20 Jul 2002

According the "Diccionario Enciclopédico Universal ESPASA, the flag used by Bohemia before 1918 was red over white in horizontal stripes.
Is this correct?
Juan Manuel Gabino Villascán, 20 Jul 2002

In Brockhaus' Kleines Konversations-Lexikon (1914) I read: Landesfarben: Rot-Weiss (Colors: red-white) - which seems to corroborate your Dictionario.
Jarig Bakker, 24 Jul 2002

During the Austro-Hungarian period, there were *no* flags of the crown lands (Bohemia, Moravia, Hungary, Galizia, Upper and Lower Austria, Carinthia etc.), only the *colors* derived from the lands' coat of arms. The Bohemian coat of arms is and was a silver lion on red, so the heraldically correct order is white over red (and this flag has actually been used in Bohemia during 19th century to 1918 when it has become a first national flag of Czechoslovakia). So, there is no indication that red-over-white flags were in use, except some encyclopedia whose sources seem to be quite ancient (from pre-vexillological epoch).
Jan Zrzavy, 24 Jul 2002

I agree that no officially approved flags existed, but maybe the colors (Landesfarben) derived from the arms were used as flags. Neubecker 1929 shows all of these Landesfarben as flags.
Santiago Dotor, 25 Jul 2002

I have a book entitled The Olympic Games, Sydney 2000 Special Edition about all the athletes, events and results from Athens to Sydney. In the chapter of 1908 there is a picture of the opening ceremony and there is a flag that looks like the one printed at the top of this page, a bicolour of white over red. I think this flag was probably used for civil purposes and for use outside of Bohemia at that time.
Daniel Malton, August 1 2002


Bohemia in Book of All Kingdoms

[Bohemia in Book of All Kingdoms] image by Eugene Ipavec, 4 Jan 2010

The 11th flag mentioned and illustrated in the Book of All Kingdoms [f0fXX] is that of Bohemia: "El rey de Boemia a por señales un penãn blanco con un leãn bermejo coronado d'esta maneraõ": The King of Bohemia has for signal a white pendon with a red crowned lion, like this.
Attached <cz_14f.gif>, as depicted in the illustrated transcription of [f0f05], in the sinister-hoisted ogival flag shape default of this source.
This design is not mentioned at <cz_bh.html>, but it is the banner of the arms Bohemia, with reversed colors.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 7 Nov 2007