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People's Republic of Bulgaria, 1946-1990

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Last modified: 2023-07-03 by rob raeside
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[Flag of Bulgaria of 1971] by Zeljko Heimer

See also:

Flag of the People's Republic, 1971-1990

The white over green over red Bulgarian flag with the states coat of arms in white stripe towards hoist.

The arms are: golden lion rampant tongued red in blue oval shield bordered golden, surrounded with wheat. Beneath the lion is white cog wheel, a red band with yellow dates 681 - 1944 and a tricolour band on both sides. Yellow bordered red star over it.

The dates represent important years in Bulgarian history. In 681 Bulgarians settled the region, and 1944 is the year of the liberation of Bulgaria from Nazism.

According to W. Smith this flag was officially hoisted on 21 May 1971. The proportions are 3:5, and was used by government on land and sea and by army on land.

The flag was abandoned with the end of socialism (1990), when the socialist arms were removed.

On civil vessels the flag without arms was (and still is) used.

Zeljko Heimer, 07 June 1997

Flag of the People's Republic, 1946-1971

[Flag of Bulgaria before 1971] by Zeljko Heimer

The socialist arms used by Bulgaria prior to 1971 were similar to 1971 version, except that the ribbon at the base of the arms bore a single date: 9 IX 44 referring only to the date of liberation. I understand that there was a minor change in these 1947-1971 arms during the 1960's but I have never found any description of the change, nor have I found authentic drawings of the either design that I could compare (all the drawings I see seem to suffer somewhat from "artistic license" and it may indeed only be a different artistic rendition that was adopted in the '60's.)
Nick Artimovich
10 June 1997

Naval flag of the People's Republic

[Flag of Bulgaria of 1971]

The Navy of Peoples Republic of Bulgaria used a flag based on Soviet Navy design, white over green over red in proportions 4:1:1 with big five-pointed red star in white towards the hoist.

I believe that this flag was used also before 1971 (probably since 1945), and I presume that it was abandoned now.

W. Smith shows two other flags in his book:

The flag of the President of the State Council - white green red flag with 4:1:1 flag in canton with arms in the place of the star.

The flag of the President of the Council of Ministers - same as naval flag but with arms in place of star.

Zeljko Heimer, 1 June 1997


On p.46, Crampton (1989) describes the Communist era Bulgarian jack as "Red with an outline white star (like Albania)."

Randy Young, 10 February 1999


The flag images are at a ratio of 2:3 and my notes show that it is illustrated in Smith (1975), page 218 [some one may wish to confirm it], but I have no other references and no dates regarding adoption or abandonment. I would be pleased to get any additional information you would be kind enough to post.

There is also the "sister" flag of Chairman of the Presidium that is in the same category. This one has been revised [based on the FOTW color palette], drawn at a 2:3 ratio and has the same notes as the above flag.

C. Eugene Baldwin, 27 September 1998

Chairman of the Council of Ministers

[Chairman, Council of Ministers] by C. Eugene Baldwin

Chairman of the Presidium

[Chairman, Presidium] by C. Eugene Baldwin

International Workers' Movement

International Workers' Movement by Ivan Marinov

Flag of the International Workers' Movement. The national flag could not be used without this in the period of the People's Republic.

Ivan Marinov, 20 June 2001

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