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People's Republic of Bulgaria, 1971-1990

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Last modified: 2013-07-24 by rob raeside
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[Flag of Bulgaria of 1971] by Željko Heimer

The white over green over red Bulgarian flag with the state's coat of arms in the white stripe toward the hoist. According to W. Smith, this flag was officially hoisted on 21 May 1971. The proportions are 3:5. It was used by government on land and sea and by the army on land. The flag was abandoned with the end of socialism (1990), when the socialist arms were removed. On civil vessels the flag without arms was (and still is) used.
Željko Heimer,
07 June 1997

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In 1947 a new coat of arms was adopted, and the state flag with the coat of arms in the canton changed, too. The civil ensign became a simple tricolour. Regarding the background colour of the shield -- it seems that the adopted version was gradually changed to blue without any regulation about it. Without entering the discussion of "socialist heraldry" in depth, I believe that the change was influenced by other socialist emblems of this style where the "field" was always "felt" to represent the sky and tended to be represented in blue. A similar tendency might be seen in Yugoslav coat of arms, as well as those of the Yugoslav republics and, I guess, among SSR coats of arms as well.
Željko Heimer, 09 September 2001

The #88 Decree of the Grand National Assembly on 27 January 1948 approved the plastic and the graphic pattern of the coat of arms. According to that, the coat of arms was a golden lion on a red background; surrounded by corn-ears, fixed by a red ribbon with inscription 9 IX 1944 on it, and a red five-pointed star above. Later, the coat of arms was changed. The official explanation of the symbols on the coat of arms, given by #431 Decree on 14 June 1967, Section 3, already talked about a sky-blue background, cogwheel and tricolour ribbon. The last changes of the coat of arms were regulated by #954 Decree on 07 December 1967.
Stoyan Antonov, 10 September 2001

The third Bulgarian constitution (valid since 18 May 1971) states in its 141st article: "The flag of the People's Republic of Bulgaria contains three colors, placed horizontally in the following order from up to down: white, green and red. In the left upper corner over the white stripe is placed the coat of arms of the People's Republic."
Ivan Marinov, 20 March 2001

Coat of Arms (1971)

[Coat of arms of Bulgaria of 1971] by Željko Heimer, based on Corel Clipart

The arms are: golden lion rampant tongued red in blue oval shield bordered golden, surrounded with wheat. Beneath the lion is white cogwheel, a red band with yellow dates 681 and  1944 and a tricolour band on both sides. There is a yellow-bordered red star over it. The dates represent important years in Bulgarian history. In 681 Bulgarians settled the region. 1944 was the year of the liberation of Bulgaria from Nazism. 
Željko Heimer, 07 June 1997

The last variation of the P.R. of Bulgaria coat of arms introduced two dates in the lower red ribbon. For that purpose the ribbon was somewhat differently arranged, and as a result the cogwheel was also rotated.
Željko Heimer, 20 September 2001

Civil Ensign

[Civil ensign of Bulgaria of 1948] 2:3, by Željko Heimer

Chairman of the Council of Ministers

[Chairman, Council of Ministers] 2:3, by Željko Heimer

Ivanov (1998) does not mention this change, but certainly it was adapted in 1971 with the new coat of arms and used as such until the end of the communist period.
Željko Heimer, 20 September 2001

Chairman of the Presidium of the People's Assembly

[Chairman, Presidium] 2:3, by Željko Heimer

This function should have been abolished in 1971 (Was it? Or was it only "replaced" as the head of state by another function, but remained as high dignitary of "second order"? It is not quite clear from Ivanov (1998). In any case, such a flag is shown in several vex-books, for this title or the Chairman of State Council.)
Željko Heimer, 20 September 2001

Chairman of the State Council

[Chairman, Presidium] 2:3, by Željko Heimer

Chairman of the State Council (Flag na predsedatelya na Drzhavniya s'vet).

National tricolour with the coat of arms set in the middle. Ivanov (1998) does not give any hint as to what the size of the coat of arms might be, although it says that the difference from the national flag is that the coat of arms was in the middle instead of in the canton. That might imply that the size was the same as the size of the coat of arms in the national flag, although this conclusion is far from being firm.

In 1971 constitutional changes were made that introduced a new function of the head of state - Chairman of the State Council, instead of Chairman of the Presidium of the People's Assembly. In Ivanov (1998) is stated that "unfortunately it is not found with which document the flag was introduced", but it was obviously adopted and used. 1971 is also the year when the coat of arms was changed again (to the pattern with two dates on ribbons), and it may be that this flag above was actually never used, not even in theory.
Željko Heimer, 19 September 2001

International Workers' Movement

International Workers' Movement by Ivan Marinov

Flag of the International Workers' Movement. The national flag could not be used without this in the period of the people's republic.

Ivan Marinov, 20 June 2001