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Friday, 27 April 2018

Polish symbols: The White and Red Flag

Dearest sweethearts, 

I don't know if you are aware, but next week will be quite a busy one for Polish people everywhere. There are 2 great national holidays next week: on the 1st of May we celebrate May Day - Labour Day ("Swieto Pracy") and that is closely followed by the 3rd of May Constitution Day. The two dates combined usually form a long weekend - holiday called "Majowka". People often take the whole week off to travel and it is also the official start of the barbecuing season. Between these two there is also the 2nd of May - a working day - a patriotic holiday: the Day of the Polish Flag (Dzien Flagi Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej). It was introduced by a Parliamentary Act in February 20th, 2004. 
Disclaimer: picture taken from the Internet
This is why today I would like to tell you a bit more about this Polish symbol: The Polish Flag. The White and Red have been national colors since 1831 but the flag's history goes back way back in time. In the past the national colors of Poland were primarily a symbol of the fight for freedom and independence. In truth, the colors have been used as Polish identifying features since ancient times. The first national ensign was introduced in Poland in the 13th century - following the coronation of King Przemysl II. At that time a white eagle on a crimson background was the banner of the state. 
Disclaimer: I did not take this picture. I found it on the Internet
During the November Uprising in 1831, the Sejm (The Polish Parliament) officially adopted the white and red colors, proclaiming: "the national cockade shall be the colors of the coat of arms of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, which is the color white with red". During the Second World War, the red & white flag played an important role in the opposition movement activity. Today, just like the other national symbols, the national flag is protected by law. The Flag of the Republic of Poland Day falls on the 2nd of May but it is not a free day - 1st and 3rd May are so... let the Majowka start! 

#DidYouKnow that there are 2 variants of the Polish national flag? Plain white and red, and white and red with the national coat of arms placed in the middle of the white band.

Yours truly,
The Twisted Red Ladybug That Loves History