The flag of the Czech Republic was adopted on March 30, 1920, shortly after the formation of the Czech Republic. It is a rectangular flag with a blue isosceles triangle on the left side and two horizontal stripes covering the remaining area. The top stripe is white and the bottom is red. The Czech flag is identical to the flag of former Czechoslovakia.
Like many European nations, the colors of the flag of the Czech Republic originated from its coat of arms. The coat of arms of the Czech Republic displays shield from the three regions that make up the nation: Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia. The Bohemian coat of arms consists of a white lion with two tails on a red background. The Moravian coat of arms features a red and silver eagle on a blue background, and the flag of Silesia features a black eagle on a gold background.
The original flag of Czechoslovakia is based on the Bohemian coat of arms and was identical to the Bohemian flag. The first flag of Czechoslovakia consisted of a white horizontal band on the top and a red band on the bottom. Since this flag was nearly identical to the flag of Poland and very similar to the Austrian flag in its choice of colors, a blue isosceles triangle was added to the left side.
During World War II, the Nazi regime banned the flag of Czechoslovakia. The central region of Czechoslovakia—including parts of Bohemia, Moravia, and Czech Silesia—was named the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia by Hitler and considered part of the Third Reich. During this region’s formal existence from 1939-1945, the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia flew a rectangular flag with three horizontal stripes of equal width: the top stripe was white, the middle stripe was red, and the bottom stripe was blue.
At the end of World War II, the flag of Czechoslovakia was restored. From 1990 until 1992, during the formation of the Czech and Slovak Republics, the Czechs briefly used the original red and white flag of Bohemia. Eventually, however, the Czech government decided to continue using the Czechoslovakian flag established in 1920.