Last modified: 2017-11-11 by andrew weeks
Keywords: czech republic | kraj | praha |
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The flag is
a simple derivation of the Coat of Arms. When hoisted
vertically, the yellow stripe must be on the left side of the viewer (right
side in heraldic sense).
Jan Kravčik, 10 July 2000.
The Coat of Arms and the Flag of the Capital of Prague.
Until 1784 when the four Prague cities were united (Staré Město, Nové Město, Hradčany and Malá Strana), each of them used its own coat of arms. United Prague adopted the coat of arms of Staré Město as the seat of the Magistrate. Through the years it was changed a bit. After 1918, after a long discussions a new design of the arms agreed upon. It was modified in 1964. The present form is from 1991.
Coat of Arms
In the middle of the coat of arms is a red shield depicting a golden wall with
open gate. In the gate is an arm armed in silver and holding a silver sword.
The three golden towers made of bricks are raised from the wall. The amount
of the bricks is equal to the amount of Prague districts. This shield can
be used alone as a small coat of arms of Prague. There are three helmets on the
shield; the central one carries a two-tailed (Czech) lion rampant with
the golden crown. Each of the edge helmets holds 12 flags of the cities
or districts that make up Greater Prague and have got a historical flag.
(Quite important because nowadays every Prague district has got its flag
and coat of arms).
From the (heraldic) right side towards the center it is: Nové Město, Hradčany, Vyšehrad, Libeň, Bubeneč, Košíře, Smíchov, Vršovice, Žižkov, Uhříněvěs, Horní Počernice and Zbraslav.
From the (heraldic) left side towards the center it is: Staré Město, Malá Strana, Josefov, Holešovice-Bubny, Břevnov, Karlín, Nusle, Královské Vinohrady, Vysočany, Modřany, Radotín, Dubeč.
The whole composition is carried by two double-tailed (Czech) lions with the golden crown. The lions are standing on a lime-tree branch. The slogan is PRAGA CAPUT REI PUBLICAE - Prague Capital of the Republic - (in the past it used to be PRAGA CAPUT REGNI - Prague Capital of the Realm - as is depicted on the Prague Town Hall building).
Author of the coat of arms is Karel Pánek.
During the Socialist era the amount of flags was 18 (9 on the each side),
the "main" lion was taken from the socialist coat of arms of Czechoslovakia and
the slogan was PRAHA MATKA MEST (PRAGA MATER URBIUM - Prague Mother of
Translated and adapted from this site by Jan Kravčik, 10 July 2000.
No regions ("kraj") and no district ("okres") have their
own coats of arms and flags. The only exception is the region-city of Prague - the
city coat of arms and flag are (unofficially) also regional.
Jan Zrzavy, 1 July 2000.
During the Hussite Wars when the City of Prague was attacked by "Crusader" and mercenary forces, the city militia fought bravely under this banner. It was later captured by Swedish troops on their raid in 1649 and eventually placed in the Royal Military Museum in Stockholm; today it is simply called the "Prague Banner." The flag still exists, but is in very poor condition.
The swallow-tailed banner was approximately 4 by 6 feet, with a red field sprinkled with small white fleurs-de-lis, and a silver old Town Coat-of-Arms in the center. The words "PAN BUT POMOC NASSE" (The Lord is our Relief) appeared above the coat-of-arms, with a Hussite chalice centered on the top. Near the swallow-tails is a crescent shaped golden sun with rays protruding.
A monochrome drawing of the Prague Banner was done by the Swedish painter Olaf
Hoffmann in the late 1600s.
Pete Loeser, 1 July 2012