Liechtenstein is a micro-state situated in the alpine region of Central Europe. It is a double land-locked state meaning the two countries that border Liechtenstein – Switzerland and Austria – are also land-locked countries. It is one of Europe’s smallest nations. Liechtenstein got its name from the Prince Karl I of Liechtenstein who bought the County of Vaduz and the County of Schellenberg in the early 18th century. In 1718, the Prince who reigned over the Holy Roman Empire united the two regions to form the Principality of Liechtenstein. For a century, the prince and his family never visited the principality despite owning it. Liechtenstein attained independence from the Holy Roman Empire in 1866. Since its establishment, Liechtenstein has retained the monarch.
History of the Flag of Liechtenstein
In 1719 when the Principality of Liechtenstein was formed, its authorities designed the country’s first national flag. The flag had two horizontal bands of gold at the top and a red stripe at the bottom. The colorful flag borrowed from the colors on Liechtenstein’s coat of arms. The flag was used until 1852.
In 1852, Liechtenstein became part of the German Confederation, and as a result, the country adopted a new flag that had the colors from the Prince’s banner. The new flag had two bands just like the original flag. However, the stripes were blue and red and were positioned vertically unlike in the first flag where they had run horizontally.
In 1921, the nation created its first constitution and adopted the flag as part of the constitution. The design of the nation’s flag changed from vertical red and blue bands to horizontal bands.
Once again, in 1937 Liechtenstein changed its flag. The change was influenced by the summer Olympics in Berlin in 1936 when Liechtenstein realized it had an identical national flag with Haiti. In an attempt to differentiate the flags, Liechtenstein added a golden crown on the upper left corner of the flag. The new flag was unveiled at a colorful event on June 24th, 1937. The new flag remains as the national flag of Liechtenstein.
Description of Liechtenstein’s National Flag
The flag has a width to length ratio of 3 to 5. It consists of two horizontal bands of equal width and length. The top band is blue while the bottom band is red. A golden crown sits at the top left corner of the flag.
Meaning of the Colors and Symbols of the Flag
The blue color on the top side of the flag signifies the beautiful blue sky in Liechtenstein. The red color at the bottom signifies the embers from the fires lit in most homes in the country. The golden crown on the upper left corner represents the Prince’s crown. It signifies the unity among the citizens of Liechtenstein and their unity with the royal family.
Importance of the National Flag
The flag often has colors and symbols that hold special meaning for the country that owns the flag. Therefore, a flag represents the nation’s values and identity. A flag is also used to show respect to national heroes. For instance, the coffins of fallen soldiers are usually draped with the nation’s flag.