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Slovenia: Towards a new national flag

Last modified: 2005-01-22 by ivan sache
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Changing the national symbols?

State Redesign.

Ten years after the independence the pleaders for new state symbols in Slovenia - flag, coat of arms and even the name of the state - are louder then ever. The official initiative was set in motion by the member of Parliament from the ruling LDS Jožef Skoljc. He supports the change of the flag and coat of arms so that Slovenia would gain more easily identifiable state symbols instead of the current that are similar to symbols of other countries.
Beside the name, that many in the world confuse with the name of Slovakia, the flag is problematic also because it is equal or similar to flags of large number of other countries. The supporters of the state symbol changes percieve already in the change itself a good marketing move, because that would make Slovenia identifiable at last in the world and it would separate it from the group of transition countries with monotonously similar state symbols, developed in XIXth century in region from Triglav to Ural by copying of the Russian tricolour.
To persuade public that it does not go about a marketing whim, the pleaders for the state symbols changes refer to a pool made by Eurobarometar on the popularity of European Union member candidate states among the citizens of the Union. The results are shocking for Slovenians, since in last year pool their state got the penultimate position, leaving behind only Turkey, but in the pool made this year it got 12th place, in front of Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey, even if it is among the top candidates for admision, though it may not be the first in the queue.
The pleaders for the changes claim that the result is largely a consequence of the unidentifiablility of Slovenia, so it would be required to change the flag, the coat of arms, and even the name of the state, so that the Europeans and Americans would not equalize it with Slovakia and other transitional countries.

Source: Croatian political weekly Feral Tribune, Split, 28 July 2001, # 828, page 65.

Translated by Željko Heimer, 6 August 2001

There is a relatively strong movement in Slovenia promoting the flag change towards the old Slovenian (Carinthian) coat of arms featuring a black panther in a white (silver) shield. A panther is a heraldical beast composed of parts of lion and eagle. Some examples of the panther flag proposals of Slovenia are shown on the FAME website.

Željko Heimer, 29 October 2001

Official competition for new national symbols


Proclamation of a public anonymous survey competition for design of possible elements of the new state symbols of the Republic of Slovenia (the coat of arms, the flag and the emblem)

Ljubljana, 9 June 2003.

Proclaimer: the Republic of Slovenia, the Parliament of the Republic of Slovenia
Based on: the Parliament of the Republic of Slovenia Consitutional Commission Decision nr. 001-02/89-2/181, dated 9 May 2003
Originating in: Proposal for the initiation of the proces to amend the Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia by adoption of a constitutional law, EPA 389-III


The aim of the competition is to find the best and harmonic design solution of the following symbols of the state identity:

1. Coat of arms of the Republic of Slovenia,
2. Flag of the Republic of Slovenia
3. Emblem of the Republic of Slovenia.

The eventual change of the state symbols might provide more recognizable and among other countries more differentiable with the entrance of Slovenia to European Union.

The author may freely choose to provide a complete solution or individual solutions of the above symbols. The complete solution shall have priority in the choice.

Competition items

1. Coat of arm of the Republic of Slovenia: proposed coloured, black-white and relief simulation version. Each version should be made in variants with the longest dimension 200 mm, 100 mm, 15 mm and 5 mm. The geometric, artistic and colour rules for coat of arms design should be observed.

2. The flag of the Republic of Slovenia: the longest side should be 250 mm; observing the geometric, artistic and colour rules for flag design; it should be proposed also a reduced sample of the flag, with the longest side 100 cm, suitable for hoisting.

3. Emblem of the Republic of Slovenia: proposed coloured, black- white and relief simulation version. Each version should be made in variants with the longest dimension 200 mm, 100 mm, 15 mm and 5 mm. The geometric, artistic and colour rules for emblem design should be observed.

4. Written explanation and argumentation.

Submission format

All the required items should be shown on landscape format A3 (297 x 420 mm) back lined with paper on solid background. All produced design solutions should be made professionally. All the sheets and the covers of the items should be marked with a five-digit author's code in right top corner.
The items should be attached with a content list and a sealed envelope containing the author's personal data (name, surname, address, bank account number, tax number) that should be marked on the outside only with the five-digit author's code in right top corner and the word Avtor. (Author)

In a separate envelop the author should include the address for the items to be returned to and agreement for the public presentation of his competition items that shall be exhibited under the code.
The envelop should be marked with the code in right top corner and inscribed Naslov za vrazilo. (Return Address)

Also, it should be included an envelope with author's statement that he agrees with the terms of this competition.

It should be included also an envelope with statement that the items are the sending author's work.

Proposer's eligibility

The competition is opened to the citizens of the Republic of Slovenia, physical and legal persons that have their seat in the Republic of Slovenia.

The named representatives of the competition proclaimer, members of jury and their immediate familly members cannot take part ot the competition.

Deadlines for submission

The proposals should be submited to the following address:

Drzavni zbor Republike Slovenije
Subičeva 4, Ljubljana

not later than 30 September 2003, at noon, the deadline being also valid for postal delivery.


Representatives of the proclaimer:

  • France Cukjati, MP
  • Jožef Skolc, MP

Representatives of the profession:

  • Prof. Dr. Stane Bernik, Ljubljana University, Fine Arts Academy
  • Dr. Peter Pavel Klasinc, Prof., Heraldica Slovenica Society, Ljubljana
  • Prof. Mag. Boris Podrecca, Association of Designers of Slovenia, Ljubljana.

The chairman shall be prof. dr. Stane Bernik.

Public notary office shall be performed by Cveta Stepančič, u.d.i.a.

The jury may invite individual professionals for advice.

Result announcement

The jury shall publish the results not later than 30 days after the submission dead-line, i.e. before 30 November 2003.

The proclaimer shall use the rewarded proposals as professional basis for further discussion and decision on the proposal for the initiation of amendment of the article 6 of the Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia.

The designs proposed during the competition shall be publicly presented. The schedule of this presentation shall be determined later. The proposals that shall not be rewarded shall be returned to the participants 15 days after the end of the public presentation.

The proclaimer shall provide information on the proclaimed competition each working day from 15 July 2003 between 9:00 and 16:00 on phone number 01/478-94-44.


The proclaimer shall deal out:

1st prise in amount of 3,900,000 SIT (ca. 16,000 EUR) for the complete set (coat of arms, flag, emblem), i.e. a third of that amount for each individual element.

2nd prise in amount of 1,800,000 SIT (ca. 8,000 EUR) for the complete set (coat of arms, flag, emblem), i.e. a third of that amount for each individual element.

3rd prise in amount of 900,000, SIT (ca. 4,000 EUR) for the complete set (coat of arms, flag, emblem), i.e. a third of that amount for each individual element.

The proclaimer shall deal also four honorary awards.

The proclaimer is obliged, if there shall be at least twice more contibutions than the awards, to deal out all the prescribed awards. He reserves the right to deal the prices differently if no solution is deemed of sufficient quality to gain the first prise.

The proclaimer reserve the right to, in eventual second round of the competition among the chosen authors, require additions to the proposals according to the objections of the jury.

With the dealing out of the three prizes to the competitors the proclaimer buys out all the author's material rights for all the time of authorship duration.

Evaluation criteria:

The evaluation of the materials shall take care of the basis and designer originality and message unambiguity of the solution, as much as in regard to the current and historical state and national symbolic identificational heritage as in evaluation of the newer nationally aware visual symbolic language. Just as much shall be counted effective relationship with multifunctional use. The creteria shall also be based on sense of usage of the modern design guidelines and rules for coat of arms, flags and emblems in the ceremonial, protocolar, special and everyday usage. The proposed new state symbols with their design must ensure unmistakable identification of the Slovenian state, with the contextual message just as well as with designwise clear determination of the artistic pillars of the national identification. Therefore it shall especially be counted their semantic and syntactical base for the further design of the all-encompassing effective multlayer visual commuicational dynamics of the Slovenian state with its citizens and with European and world public.


Nr: 001-02/89-2/181-JN

Ljubljana, 9 June 2003

for the proclaimer:
Jozica Velizcek
Secretary General, Parliament of the Republic of Slovenia

Trnaslated by Željko Heimer, 19 June 2003

Awarded designs

The jury announced the result of the contest during a press conference held in the parliament on 28 October at 12:00. An article by Mateja Hrastar, entitled Ne Triglav, le panter bo naz znak, published in Mladina on 3 November, included short extracts of the author's self citations explaining the idea behind the proposals.

First prize

[First prize, flag]by Željko Heimer

[First prize, coat of arms]by Željko Heimer

The jury awarded the first prize to the proposals by Dušan Jovanovič, a designer from Koper, who explained it as follows: "Blue, white and red stripes in the middle form the traditional pattern of Triglav, mirrored in a river underneath as a metaphore of the Slovenian waters".

Second prize

[Second prize, flag]by Željko Heimer

[Second prize, coat of arms]by Željko Heimer

The second prize was awarded to Klemen Rodman, from Žirovnica, who explained it as follows: "A ring in the middle of a blue flag symbolises the general values like eternity, unending and unity". The coat of arms is also containing the ring, but there it is combined with the Triglav emblem.

Third prize

[Third prize, flag]by Željko Heimer

The third prize for the flag was awarded to Igor Rehar, who described his design as: "with red colour entering the white as a hint of life and prosperity on horizon".

[Third prize, coat of arms]by Željko Heimer

The coat of arms awarded with the third prize was designed by Valt Jurečič, who described it as: "vexillologically correct and designwise well suited".

Honoured designs

[Honour prize, flag]by Željko Heimer

[Honour prize, coat of arms]by Željko Heimer

A honourary prise was awarded to Karin Košak, Grega Košak and Simonida Koželj for their design of a "dynamic horisontal line turning into vertical rythmic wave".

[Honour prize, flag]by Željko Heimer

[Honour prize, coat of arms]by Željko Heimer

A honourary prize was awarded to Miha Dobrovoljc for his design that "reaches identificationabilty and breaks of with similarity with flags of Russia and Slovakia". The flag consists of rising white, blue and red diagonal stripes repeated three times. The coat of arms is similar but over the stripes is added a rosette (the "compass sixpointed rose") in the national colours. This nice and simple symbol has one big disadvantage: it is already used, though in different colours) by the Northern Italian (Padania) secessionists, and therefore has "restricted usage".

[Honour prize, flag]by Željko Heimer

[Honour prize, coat of arms]by Željko Heimer

A honourary prize was awarded to Zoran Kovačevič for a variation of the "cleared and symbolically balanced traditional symbol". That is a blue flag with a white-blue-red "twice broken chevron", i.e. the Triglav shape in the national colours. The coat of arms is of the same design, though there the blue background is pictured as chainging tone from white to dark blue radially (though this may only be an artistical effect in the presentation).

[Honour prize, coat of arms]by Željko Heimer

A honourary prize was awarded to Dominika Batista for "a proposal rejecting any unnecesserily symbolic". The flag proposal is not shown by Mladina and is possibly a banner of the proposed arms. The coat of arms is a silver shield with a blue map of Slovenia.

Željko Heimer, 25 November 2003

Members of Heraldica Slovenica voted against the proposals. President Jožef Lajevec said that proposals were judged only from the design point of view and not also from the historical and cultural point of view. Parliamentary representative Zmago Jelincič was also very critical about the decision of the jury. He said that the selected proposals were only good for a trade mark or chocolate wrap and not as a symbols of a country and nation.

Uroš Žižmund, 29 October 2003

An initiative against the change

There is an initiative not to change the current Slovenian flag and coat of arms. They say that 2/3 of Slovenians are against the change and they also collect signatures against the change of the current flag. I don't know if the percentage of people who are against the change is so high but it is possible. Some poles showed more balanced results near 50:50. Last December there was a TV show about the Slovenian symbols and the result of the televoting (48.769 calls) was 49% for the change and 51% against.

Uroš Žižmund, 30 September 2003