Symbols of the Slovaks

A symbol from the early Middle Ages, linked to Saints Cyril and Methodius, the Byzantine Empire, Great Moravia, ancient Slovak town Nitra, King Svätopluk and Sloveni-protoSlovaks (9.-10. cent.). Later, again from the 13. cent., double-cross symbolized the territory of present-day Slovakia (Upland, Windish Land in sources) in the coat of arms of the Kingdom of Hungary. In 1848 double-cross became a symbol of the Slovak national council (in its stamp that was confirmed by emperor Franz Joseph I). 1918-38 : state symbol of Slovakia in the first Czechoslovak republic. 1938-45 : symbol of the first Slovak republic. 1945-60 : renewed symbols of the first Czechoslovak republic. 1960-90 : ‡ was removed from the flag by communists as “a fascist symbol”. 1990- : renewed ‡, that is the official symbol of Slovakia till now.

Alternative version : ‡ is a rune of the Goddess Morena (Mara), whose cult is deep rooted in mind of the Slovaks. Every child knows who is Morena or Muriena/Marmuriena and celebration Burning of the Morena as a tradition is wide-spread in the whole country (even the media deals with it every year). After all, Christian system adapted many Pagan things.

Double-cross on Slovak euro-coins (1€; 2 € – received the Best Trade Coin Award 2011)

Ancient Slovak town Nitra has its ancient white double-cross on the red background up to this day. Nitra was a seat of our rulers as Prince Pribina (the Nitrian Principality) or King Svätopluk (Regnum Slavorum).

Tatry and orol tatranský

The Slovaks are identified with the Tatra mountains for many years. Mountains mean for the Slovaks a protection (majority of Slovakia is created by mountains). Orol tatranský (eagle from the Tatra) is an integral part of the Tatra.

Peak Kriváň

Slovak symbol, it is said that it’s a symbol of impregnability. From a legend, a guardian of Kriváň is Modroň and an incurve of the peak means that the truth is only one, although someones try to distort the truth. Pity, that many people don’t know this.

The Valaška and broad belt

Typical equipment of every true man.

The Fujara

The fujara originated in central Slovakia as a large sophisticated folk shepherd’s fipple flute of unique design. It is technically a contrabass instrument in the tabor pipe class. “The Fujara and its Music” belongs to the UNESCO heritage.

River Dunaj

Although Danube flows through Slovakia only in its southwestern part, the Slovaks identify with the river very strong. After all, present-day state is a remnant of much larger territory settled by Sloveni (proto-Slovaks) that is supported also by Nestor – ‘Sloveni that resides along the Danube’. Older name for Danube is Ister. It’s interesting, that the Roman empire had never conquered the land northerly from the Danube which became the Limes Romanus.

Castle Devín

Another very important place located in the point, where the river Morava joins the river Danube and the main route of the Amber road meets the Danube route (linked up to the Silk road). Hrad Devín or Devingrad (now the ruins – destroyed by Napoleon) was and still is perceived by the Slovaks as one of their greatest national symbol. The location of Devín makes clear that it was ,as well as Bratislava, important trade centres long time ago the Magna Moravia was ever established (in Bratislava was found the only ‘Celtic’ monetagium in the world, in some places in Slovakia were found around 3000 ‘Celtic’ coins). Later it was a seat of Prince Rastislav and King Svätopluk, the centre of Byzantium mission and place of probable Methodius’s grave.

King Svätopluk

Described by one word, King Svätopluk is a tradition. Slovak people remember his message about 3 twigs and 3 sons. The legend was even recorded by the enlightened Byzantine emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitos around the 10th century. It says that the powerful King Svätopluk asked his sons Mojmír II, Svätopluk II and Predslav to come to him before his death. He gave a twig to each of them and asked them to break it. The young noblemen could easily do it. Then he asked them to tie together three twigs and asked the sons again to break them. This task appeared to be more difficult. Thus the king demonstrated how it is necessary to be united. That only the strength of a united kingdom guarantees the country its power and prosperity.

Sources :
PhDr. Dušan Škvarna, PhD. – Začiatky moderných slovenských symbolov
Milan Igor Chovan – Strážcovia hôr

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