Slovakia flag 10 x 15 cm
Slovakia (long form: Slovak Republic; Slovak: Slovensko ), long form Slovenská republika, is a landlocked country in Central and Danubian Europe with a population of over five million and an area of about 49,000 square kilometres (almost 19,000 square miles). The Slovak Republic borders the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south. The largest city is its capital, Bratislava. Slovakia is a member state of the European Union, NATO, UN, OECD, WTO, UNESCO and other international organizations.
The Slavic people arrived in the territory of present day Slovakia between the 5th and 6th centuries AD during the Migration Period. In the course of history, various parts of Slovakia belonged to Samo's Empire (the first known political unit of Slavs), Great Moravia, the Kingdom of Hungary, Habsburg (Austrian) monarchy, Austria-Hungary and Czechoslovakia. The present-day Slovak Republic became an independent state on January 1, 1993 with the peaceful division of Czechoslovakia in the Velvet Divorce; it was, with Czech Republic, the last European country to gain independence in the 20th century.
Slovakia is a high-income economy with one of the fastest growth rates in the EU and OECD. It joined the European Union in 2004 and joined the Eurozone on the 1st of January, 2009.
The current form of the flag of Slovakia was adopted by Slovakia's Constitution, which came into force on September 3, 1992. The flag, in common with other Slavic nations, uses the red, white and blue colours.
Slovakia's flag in its current form (but with another seal on it or without any seal) can be dated back to the revolutionary year 1848 (see: The Revolutions of 1848 in the Habsburg areas). It was also used semi-officially in Czechoslovakia before World War II, by the Slovak Republic during WWII, and finally adopted (without the seal) on March 1, 1990 as the flag of the Slovak Republic within Czechoslovakia. The seal was added on September 3, 1992 and a special law describing the details of the flag followed in February 1993.
The blue triangle in the current flag of the Czech Republic, with which Slovakia formed Czechoslovakia up to the Dissolution of Czechoslovakia, was taken over from the blue strip of Slovakia's flag in 1920 into the flag of Czechoslovakia. The flag of Czechoslovakia was taken over by the Czech Republic in late 1992 in direct violation of the 1992 Act on the Division of Czechoslovakia explicitly forbidding state symbols to be used by the two successor states.
Since the Slovak flag without the seal is identical to that of the modern Flag of Russia and it can also be compared to the modern Flag of Slovenia, the Constitution of Slovakia added the seal in September 1992. The seal is Slovakia's coat of arms. For a description of the seal (a double cross and three hills), see Coat of Arms of Slovakia.