If the proposal of Radek Vondráček (ANO) and other MPs were to pass, Moravia would officially receive its coat of arms and flag. The very first meeting on the floor of the Chamber of Deputies on Thursday showed that the supporters of Moravia have not yet won. Deputies will have to clarify several fundamental things, for example, which colors to choose for the coat of arms and flag, or how to actually determine the borders between Moravia and Silesia.
Supporters of the official recognition of the Moravian coat of arms and flag remain divided. As it became clear at Thursday’s expert round table in the Chamber of Deputies, they cannot agree on what the symbols should look like.
One part claims that the body of the Moravian eagle on insignia and banners must have silver dice in addition to the red ones. However, the flag must have a blue background. But the second part prefers that the red cubes complement the yellow and that the background of the flag be yellow-red. The seemingly small difference is absolutely crucial for both camps.
One of the variants of the Moravian and Silesian coat of arms and flag | Photo: Aktuálně.cz
“Don’t be angry, but the yellow-red variant makes a mess. Yellow is a sign of absolutism and subordination to Austria, subordination to a foreign power,” argued Jiří Zvoníček, a member of the non-parliamentary Moravian party.
According to him, the only acceptable option is a silver-red eagle and a blue flag background. “This variant is historically undisputed and recognized by the overwhelming majority of people. I don’t see a single reason why to give the yellow-red, which the Moravian Germans used to walk around Brno. On the contrary, the silver on the coat of arms and the blue background on the flag is a return to historical justice,” said Zvoníček.
Among the MPs who listened to him was the former Speaker of the Chamber Radek Vondráček (ANO) and the People’s Party MP Jiří Smetana, who are the main drivers of the effort to approve the law granting Moravia an official state coat of arms and flag. They have already received the support of several dozen MPs from all political parties. The Moravian effort was already discussed by the government and took a neutral position on it. The matter should now be discussed in the House of Representatives.
Two main supporters of the law, Radek Vondráček from ANO and Jiří Smetana from KDU-ČSL, at the round table meeting. | Photo: Radek Bartoníček
“What matters most to me is that the law is approved. In what exact form is no longer so important,” Vondráček said. He also believes in a greater chance of success for the reason that the constitutional and legal committee, which he chairs, will be the committee that will submit non-binding recommendations to the entire chamber on how to vote.
In addition, Vondráček was given a compromise option in the draft law, so that it would be possible to use both mentioned color variants of the coat of arms and flags of Moravia. He believes this can increase the chances of the bill being passed. However, the experts at Thursday’s round table agreed that such a thing is not possible and that there must be only one Moravian coat of arms and flag in the law.
Although the effort to officially recognize Moravian symbols is supported by dozens of deputies, the law also has its opponents, who claim that the state does not need such a thing. Among them is MP Matěj Havel (TOP 09), who is the chairman of the parliamentary subcommittee on heraldry.
The bill also envisages that the country’s borders will be marked with signs that will inform people that they have entered Moravia. “When the law proposes to mark the crossing from the Czech Land to the Moravian-Silesian Land with a sign, why is the crossing between Moravia and Silesia not remembered? Is there a reason for that?” it was Havel who asked about the negotiations.
The debate subsequently showed that it is not easy to determine the historical border of Silesia. While in earlier times Moravia and Silesia were separate entities, the law of 1928 united them into one Moravian-Silesian Land during the first Czechoslovak Republic.
“So it is possible that we would remove the mention of signs from the law,” finally admitted Vondráček, for whom the provision of emblems and flags is particularly important. “I feel that there is a chance for approval, but it will not be easy,” the ANO vice-chairman said after the meeting.
Vondráček believes in success this time, some time ago he failed to “divide” Bohemia and Moravia. That was when he tried to grant two constituencies from the Czech Republic, one in Bohemia and one in Moravia and Silesia. His effort didn’t come off right away.
Video: Round table discussions on the Moravian coat of arms and flag
Video: Radek Bartoníček
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