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Protectorate of Bohemia-Moravia 1939-1945

Protektorát Čechy a Morava; Protektorat Böhmen und Mähren

Last modified: 2011-03-19 by andrew weeks
Keywords: moravia | bohemia | third reich |
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[Flag of Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia 1939-1945] by Mark Sensen
used between 15 Mar and 6 Oct 1939

See also:


Flag of Bohemia and Moravia

On 1 October Sudetenland (the Germanophone parts of Czechia) was annexed by the Third Reich, while in November Poland annexed the Teschen area, and Hungary annexed some Magyarophone parts of Slovakia and Subcarpathian-Ruthenia. On 6 and 8 October 1938 Slovakia and Subcarpathian-Ruthenia respectively gained autonomy. On 14 March 1939 both declared their independence. The next day Germany annexed the remainder as the "Reichsprotektorat Böhmen und Mähren" (Czech: Protektorát Čechy a Morava; English: Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia), while Hungary annexed Subcarpathian Ruthenia and some more parts of Slovakia. Bohemia and Moravia used a horizontal triband white-red-blue as flag.
Mark Sensen, 2 July 1996

The Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia had a flag which was white, red, blue - quite rare pan-Slavic combination. The white over red was the traditional flag of Bohemia (same as Poland) with blue for Moravia. I wonder if this is the reason why the Czechs reneged on the agreement they had with the Slovaks not to use any Czechoslovak emblems after separation: the only alternative to the old Czechoslovakian flag was one tainted by a particularly dark episode in their history?
Roy Stilling, 8 December 1995

After the German Protektorat Böhmen und Mähren was established in 1939, people still used the Czechoslovak flag to represent the continuation of Czechoslovakia. Therefore Karl Hermann Frank, the secretary of state of the Reichsprotektor, demanded the change of the state symbols. The idea of the Czech heraldist dr. Karel Schwarzenberg of using the Slav white-blue-red tricolore (stripes ratio 2:1:2 because of the eventual interchange with the Slovak flag) was rejected. Karl Schwarzenberg then designed a new flag consisting of three horizontal stripes:  white-red-blue. The Czechoslovak flags were still used by the Czech and Slovak troops abroad until the end of WW2.
Jan Kravcík, 14 Jun 2000

Regarding Mr. Kravcik's mention of Czechoslovak flag during WWII: these flag were used (semi)officially between 15th of March and 6th of October 1939. For example there are film shots of German military parade on Wenceslas Square, where three flags are displayed - Reichsflagge, Reichskriegsflagge and Czechoslovak flag. Governmental Order (Vladni narizeni) "č.222/1939 Sb.", which changed Law "č.252/1920 Sb. z.a n from 30th of March 1920 on state flag, state coat of arms and state seal, was issued 19th of September 1939 came into force 6th of October 1939.
Aleš Křižan, 4 Dec 2002

I think that the WR flag with the blue triangle was an official first flag of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia (though it has never been declared so) - Ales himself mentioned its usage during the German military parade. The same applies to the 1920's presidential - both were used till September 1939.
Jan Zrzavy, 4 Dec 2002

Czechia in 1938 until 1939 flew R-W and Y-R in Bohemia and Moravia Protectorate: W-R-B
Source: FlagBulletin 3.
Jaume Ollé, 20 Apr 2001


President's flag

[Presidential standard of Bohemia and Moravia] by Željko Heimer, 10 Jun 2005

In the Flaggenbuch of 1939 is an image of this standard; in the 1992 reprint (annexe) is the same standard with curvilinear, flame-like triangles (see below). Caption for this flag: standard of the State President of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia.
Željko Heimer, 10 Jun 2005

As I noticed, there was nothing about the "State-President" (der Staatspräsident in German, státní president in Czech) flag in the Protectorate Bohemia - Moravia. The Presidents flag was a white square with tricolour bordure - like the contemporary one (the same pattern of blue, white and red "flames"). In central part was the Protectorate's "Major Coat of Arms".

Note: Prince Karel Schwarzenberg, designer of Protectorate's symbols, didn't use the term Great Coat of Arms, because this could use only the President of the Republic - Edvard Benes. This Major Coat of Arms was quarterly Bohemia and Moravia, without any compartment, motto, supporters (this all had the Great Coat of Arms of Czechoslovakia 1920 - 1960). Shield was french - i.e. the same shape as the Czechian (Czech) one. The Minor (Lesser) Coat of Arms was french shield (not gothical like today!) with a Bohemian Lion. This lion was a little more "hairy" than this in the present form. It was a renaissance version (like Vlaamse Leeuw).
Aleš Křižan, 20 Nov 2000

There is a quite good image of that flag in Flaggenbuch 1939. Actually two of them, one is the original one and the other is a correction by the publishers. It is not clear whether this correction was a wartime one or rather one made by Mauritius Verlag for the 1992 edition. In any event, the correction is the valid flag. I have a picture of the flag being flown over some official building beside the Reichsdienstflagge (presumably in Prague).
Santiago Dotor, 21 Nov 2000

The flag and coat of arms are shown in "Flaggenbuch". Neubecker indeed used the term Greater Coat of Arms (German: Grosses Wappen des Protektorats Böhmen und Mähren). The main field of the President's standard was white. Size of the shield was 7 x 6 for a flag of side length of 10 and the width of the red-blue-white-etc. coloured border was a tenth of the
flag's width.


Presidential standard (actually used)

[Presidential standard (actually used)] by Željko Heimer, 10 Jun 2005

Caption for this flag: standard of the State President of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, as it was probably actually.used.
Željko Heimer, 10 Jun 2005


Greater Arms of Bohemia and Moravia

[Greater Arms of Bohemia and Moravia] image from this website.

Indeed. Ales says, "Prince Karel Schwarzenberg, designer of Protectorate's symbols didn't use the term Great Coat of Arms, because this could use only the President of the Republic - Edvard Benes." There is no such thing as a "major coat-of-arms", only a "greater (coat-of-)arms". The adjectives "greater" and "lesser" do not normally refer to the importance of the person or entity represented by them, but to the complexity of the arms. On the other hand, why would the Protectorate authorities respect the emblems used by the (then) former Czechoslovak republic?
Actually two more people held the office of Reichsprotektor. From 18 March 1939 until 27 September 1941, Freiherr Konstantin von Neurath, former German Ambassador to Great Britain (1930-1932) and German Minister of Foreign Affairs (1932-1938). Heydrich's successor was Colonel-General Kurt Daluege.
And by the way, who was the Staatspraesident of Boehmen und Maehren?
Santiago Dotor, 21 Nov 2000

Emil Hácha remained Staatspräsident; after the Munich accords he became 30 Nov 1938 the successor to Edvard Benes, who went abroad. Hácha was president until 1945, when he was arrested for collaboration with the Nazis. Benes became the chief of the Czechoslovakian government in exile in July 1940 in London; in May 1945 he returned to Prague and was elected president on 28 Oct, which he remained until 7 June 1948.
Jarig Bakker, 21 Nov 2000


Lesser Arms of Bohemia and Moravia

[Lesser Arms of Bohemia and Moravia] image from this website.

Here is the picture of the Lesser Arms of Bohemia and Moravia. This is the same lion, which was the Provisional Czechoslovakian State Coat of Arms before the year 1920. It HAS a crown with three visible linden-leaves shaped pikes, althoug it's hard to see it. That picture is the reverse of 100 Crowns Note.
Aleš Křižan, 22 Nov 2000


Flag of the "Reichsprotektor in Böhmen und Mähren"

[Bohemia and Moravia President's flag] by Santiago Dotor, 28 Nov 2000, after image by Jaume Ollé.

The flag of the "Reichsprotektor in Böhmen und Mähren" had the same general design as the Fuehrer's standard on this page, and the following differences:
- garland around the cross in silver instead of gold
- a wing-spreading eagle in the upper left corner, in silver and head up (I mean with horizontal wings)
- no charge in the three other corners.
The Reichsprotektor was Reinhard Heydrich (1904-1942), appointed in 1941 and killed by Czech soldiers, flown in from London, in 1942.
Ivan Sache, 20 Nov 2000

There was a Standart or flag of the Reichsprotektor in Boehmen und Maehren: It was similar to Fuehrers flag. The only differences were: in the upper left corner there was only one National Eagle (white or silver, just like on the Government Authorities flag) and the oak - wreath was silver (not white).The three other eagles were missing. The black - white - black bordure, shape and the swastika like the on  (above mentioned) Fuehrers Flag. The only Protector, that used that flag not, was Reinhard Tristan Heydrich. He was "only" Deputy Protector (Der Stellvertetende Reichsprotektor in Böhmen und Mähren und General der Polizei), so he used the Government Authorites Flag.
Aleš Křižan, 22 Nov 2000

I purchased and now own the opera banner shown in Ulrich of England's book on Heydrich. You stated that that flag was not used by Reinhard Heydrich. It actually was used by him and you can see the same banner in front of Heydrich at  the opera house box he used the night before he was wounded. It came out of the  Eastern bloc countries in a diplomatic pouch.
There was only one opera banner. I think there was a flag and car pennant  as well, but I have been unable to locate either one of them, so far. I thought you would like to know where it was (the banner) located.
Mark Paul, 23 Jul 2005


Flag of the Military Representative to the Reichsprotektor of Bohemia and Moravia

[Military Representative's flag] by Miles Li, 4 Mar 2004

Here is the flag for the Representative of the regular army (Wehrmacht) to the Reichsprotektor of Bohemia and Moravia. (Nazi Germany-Czechoslovakia) - only used as car-flag.
Source: Flaggenbuch 1939.
Miles Li, 4 Mar 2004