28 October 2018 marks the one hundredth anniversary of the Czechoslovak Republic – something that would never come to existence without the founding ideas of a couple of politicians and the fighting of almost one hundred thousand Czechoslovak Legionnaires on the fronts of WWI, and something that would never be safeguarded its democratic establishment without the soldiers and civilians who proactively revolted against the Nazi occupation in 1939, or those who resisted the Communist regime after 1948 with the same effort.
Over the past hundred years, Czech history has been accompanied by a number of symbols. To many, the first Czechoslovak president Tomáš Garrique Masaryk became of one of them; the same applies to the first Czech President Václav Havel. For any independent state, however, its national symbols are of the utmost importance, here mostly based on ancient historical traditions. The Czechoslovak Republic was no exception. The national emblem was obtained by combining the land’s coats of arms emanating from those of its medieval rulers, while the national flag was formed by associating colours of the same basis. The Presidential Standard – as well as the state seal – was derived from the national coat of arms. The Czechoslovak national anthem came from the 19th century when both of the songs were created – the Czech Kde domov můj?, and the Slovak Nad Tatrou sa blýska. The independent state of Czechs and Slovaks existed until 1992. The national symbols of the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic stem from the same roots, as was the case during the establishment of the joint state in 1918.
Entitled Founded in 1918 – Touches of Statehood, the exhibit presents the development which national symbols have undergone from the early days of the efforts to create an independent state until now, along with items which in the past hundred years co-produced the key.