April 7 - Flag Day in Slovenia

Posted on April 7, 2020

Red, white, and blue. What kind of a color scheme is THAT for a flag?

Well, as you probably know, it's the kind of color scheme that is really familiar. It's the top color combination for flags in the world: Of the 196 world flags, 30 of them are red, white, and blue (and only red, white, and blue...6 more are R/W/B plus yellow, and a few others are R/W/B plus another color). 

And a tricolor flag - that is, a flag with three horizontal or vertical stripes, each a different color - is also the most often seen type of flag. 

On this date in 1848, the first Slovene tricolor (red, white, and blue) flag was raised in Ljubljana. The color scheme didn't come from the U.S. flag or the flag of the United Kingdom, but rather from the medieval coat of arms of the Duchy of Carniola (in the 1300s, so LONG before the U.S. or U.K. flags!). 

A poet is the guy who raised that first flag of Slovenia! Lovro Toman was not just a poet (everyone plays many roles), he was also an activist who encouraged Slovenes to rebel against the Hapsburg Austrian Empire and assert their independence. At this same time, loads of other European peoples were struggling against their own monarchies and empires, and Germany was busy unifying Prussia and Austria under one German flag.

Above, Germany's flag during the unification of 1848.
Below, Germany's current flag.
It was that German flag that was raised in April, 1848, over Ljubljana Castle. Toman and his fellow revolutionaries, mostly students, saw the flag and instantly set about countering it with a flag that was Slovenian in color scheme and symbolism.

Even though the Revolution 1848 failed to win independence for Slovenia (and almost all of the European Revolutions of the mid-1800s failed, as well!), April 7 is celebrated as Flag Day.

This is Slovenia's current version of the tricolor:

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