June 18, 2017

0136, 3090 SLOVAKIA - The map and the flag of the country

3090 The flag of Slovakia, with its map and coat of arms
(from the series Flags of the World)

Posted on 03.03.2012, 18.06.2017
Slovakia is a landlocked country in Central Europe, bordered by the Czech Republic, Austria, Poland, Ukraine and Hungary. Its population is over 5 million and comprises mostly ethnic Slovaks. The capital and largest city is Bratislava, which occupies both banks of the River Danube and the left bank of the River Morava. The Slovak landscape is noted primarily for its mountainous nature, with the Carpathian Mountains extending across most of the northern half of the country. The largest lowland is the fertile Danubian Lowland in the southwest, followed by the Eastern Slovak Lowland in the southeast.

0136 The flag of Slovakia

Even though the Slavic tribes have settled in the territory of present-day Slovakia in the 5th century, a state only of the Slovaks there only from 1993, after the peaceful dissolution of Czechoslovakia (if we don't take into consideration the puppet state dependent of Nazi Germany, that existed from 1939 to 1945). In the rest of history, various parts of today's Slovakia belonged to Samo's Empire, Principality of Nitra, Great Moravia, Kingdom of Hungary, the Austro-Hungarian Empire or Habsburg Empire, and Czechoslovakia.

As a result of Yalta Conference, Czechoslovakia came under the influence and later under direct occupation of the Soviet Union, after a coup in 1948. The country was invaded by the Warsaw Pact forces (with the exception of Romania and Albania) in 1968, ending a period of liberalisation. The end of Communist rule in Czechoslovakia in 1989, during the peaceful Velvet Revolution, was followed once again by the country's dissolution, this time into two successor states. Slovakia is subdivided into 8 krajov (usually translated as "region"), each of which is named after its principal city.

The Slovakia flag, officially acquired on 1st January 1992, is comprised from three equal horizontal bands of color, white, blue and red, and a shield with a design in the same colors placed to left of center. Actually the flag in its current form can be dated back to the revolutionary year 1848, and it was used semi-officially in Czechoslovakia before WWII, by the Slovak Republic during WWII, and finally adopted on 1 March 1990 as the flag of the Slovak Republic within Czechoslovakia. The coat of arms was added on 3 September 1992 because without it the Slovakian's flag would be identical to the modern flag of Russia.

The coat of arms consists of a red (gules) shield charged with a silver double cross standing on the middle peak of a dark blue mountain consisting of 3 peaks (Tatra, Mátra and Fatra). The double cross (known also as patriarchal cross) originated in the Byzantine Empire in the 9th century, but its meaning isn't well understood, one interpretation being that the first horizontal line symbolized the secular power and the other horizontal line the ecclesiastic power of Byzantine emperors, and another being that the first cross represents the death and the second cross the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

It was brought probably in the territory of current-day Slovakia by the missionaries Cyril and Methodius, during the 9th century. It was frequently used in Great Moravia, and because was adopted by Zwentibold, the ruler of Lorraine, is known also as the cross of Lorraine. It was used also by many kings of Kingdom of Hungary (which included the current Slovakia) in coins and coat of arms or as royal symbol. The three mountains below the double cross were used by King Ladislaus (1301-1305), who was king of Hungary, but was a Czech from the house of the Přemyslids.

About the stamps
On the postcard 0136

The stamp, Europa 2009 - Astronomy, designed by Marián Komáček, was issued on May 28, 2009, with the occasion of International Year of Astronomy, which celebrates the first astronomical use of the telescope by Galileo Galilei in 1609, an event which had global implications.

On the postcard 3090

The stamp, XXXI. Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, designed by Karol Felix, was issued on July 8, 2016 to mark XXXI Olympics, which held from August 5 to 21, 2016 in Rio and six other Brazilian cities.

Slovakia - Wikipedia
Flag of Slovakia - Wikipedia
Coat of arms of Slovakia - Wikipedia

Sender 0136: Ľubomír Jalovičiar (direct swap)
Sent from Trenčín (Trenčín / Slovakia), on 06.02.2012 
Sender 3090: Jarmila Kršková (Postcrossing Lottery)
Sent from Pezinok (Bratislava / Slovakia), on 10.06.2017
Concept by Postcardsmarket - Flags of the World series

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