Slovenian Flag Day
Slovenian Flag Day is celebrated on 7 April. The flag was first unveiled by Slovenian students in Vienna in 1848, but it was on 7 April 1848 that the Slovenian patriot and student Lovro Toman first hoisted the Slovenian tricolour on Slovenian lands, at the site of the former inn Pri Zlati Zvezdi on Wolfova Ulica in Ljubljana.
To commemorate this national-awakening act, the Heraldica Slovenica society has been taking care of the Slovenian flag that is permanently displayed at Wolfova Ulica 8 in Ljubljana since the early 1990s, and it changes it every year on 7 April at 4.30 pm at what has now become a traditional ceremony.
To mark the occasion, the Slovenian Government Communication Office set up a stand on Prešeren Square in Ljubljana in cooperation with Heraldica Slovenica where Slovenians and other visitors can obtain information on the history of the Slovenian flag. Primary- and secondary-school students were especially welcome, and of course all those interested in learning more about this Slovenian national symbol.
Attending the opening ceremony were the Minister of the Interior, Aleš Hojs, the Minister of Development and European Cohesion Policy, Zvonko Černač, the President of the National Council, Alojz Kovšca, and the representative of Heraldica Slovenica, Matija Kenda.
Kenda delivered the opening speech, saying that the society's main task is to raise Slovenians' awareness about the significance of Slovenian historical and national symbols. He added that the celebration of Slovenian Flag Day has really taken off and become popular over the past years, so they would like to extend it to the whole of April. To this end, they prepared special ribbons featuring the Slovenian flag and coat of arms, which are also promoted by the representatives of the Slovenian government and the National Assembly, the Prime Minister, and the Slovenian President. Kenda emphasised that the goal of the Slovenian Flag Month is to draw attention to the fact that this flag belongs to all of us regardless of our ethnicity, that it is not merely a symbol of the political authorities and that it can be displayed every day, not just on special occasions or on the fronts of official institutions.
The President of the National Council, Alojz Kovšca, highlighted the Slovenians' pride over the symbolic meaning expressed by their nation’s flag.
In his speech, the Minister of the Interior, Aleš Hojs, said that in its present shape the Slovenian flag was first displayed on 26 June 1991 on Republic Square in Ljubljana, and that its coat of arms symbolizes our beautiful homeland. He thanked Heraldica for its efforts to start holding the annual Slovenian flag celebration at the Geometric Centre of Slovenia some time ago. He expressed his satisfaction with the fact that Slovenians like to hang their flag on their homes. On Slovenian Flag Day, Hojs wished all Slovenians a great deal of patriotism and pride, adding that national symbols should accompany them on their travels abroad.
The Minister of Development and European Cohesion Policy, Zvonko Černač, said we are celebrating a notable anniversary. He expressed his satisfaction with the fact that increasingly more Slovenians hang the flag at various events across Slovenia, and in some places it is even permanently displayed. He highlighted the world championship ski flying event in Planica Valley, where this year the venue was covered in Slovenian flags. He emphasised that the Slovenian flag is the symbol of Slovenian independence, connectivity and statehood. It is a symbol we have respected for over 170 years and a symbol that also represents our history. "Slovenians can be proud of our past, our people and everyone that has made exceptional achievements in our long history, and of course we can all be proud of the Slovenian flag. Let's hang it not only today, but every day," Černač said.
The Slovenian national flag, the white-blue-red tricolour, was established in 1848, during the period of national awakening, when Slovenians defined its colours based on those used in Carniola's coat of arms and sent them to the Austrian administration for approval. On 23 September 1848, the Vienna Ministry of Internal Affairs approved the Carniolan provincial colours, which Emperor Ferdinand had already recognised in 1836. This is how the white-blue-red flag became the Slovenian national flag.