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People's Republic of Bulgaria, 1946-1967

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Last modified: 2004-12-29 by rob raeside
Keywords: bulgaria | peoples republic | lion |
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[Flag of Bulgaria of 1948] by Željko Heimer


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Introduction

In 1947 a new coat of arms was adopted, and the state flag with the coat of arms in the canton changed too, as well as the civil ensign becoming a simple tricolour. Regarding the background colour of the shield - it seems that the adopted version was gradually changed to blue without any regulation about it. Not to enter into the discussion on "socialist heraldry" in depth, but I believe that the change was influenced by other socialist emblems of this style where the "field" was always "felt" to represent the sky and was tended to be represented in blue. A similar tendency might be seen in Yugoslav coat of arms as well as those of the Yugoslav republics, and I guess among SSR coats of arms as well).
Željko Heimer, 9 September 2001

The second Bulgarian Constitution (adopted on 6 December, 1947) says in its 97th article: "The flag of the People's Republic of Bulgaria is of three colors - white, green, red, placed horizontally. In the left upper corner over the white stripe is placed the coat of arms of the People's Republic.
Ivan Marinov, 20 March 2001

The #88 Decree of the Grand National Assembly from 27 Jan 1948 approved the plastic and the graphic pattern of the coat of arms. According to that, the coat of arms was a golden lion on a red background; surrounded by corn-ears, fixed by a red ribbon with inscription 9.XI.1944 on it, and a red five-pointed star above. Later the coat of arms was changed. The official explanation of the symbols on coat of arms, given by #431 Decree of National Assembly from 14 June 1967, Section 3, already talked about a sky-blue background, cog-wheel and tricolor ribbon. The last changes of the coat of arms were regulated by #954 Decree from 7 Dec 1967.
Stoyan Antonov, 10 September 2001

Although I did not find the legislative text (in the article from 1968 about the Bulgarian coat of arems by Hristo Dermendjiev), this information must be right. In the book Gerbat (The Coat-of-Arms) by Borislav Nikolov & Maria Cherneva (Sofia, 2000, ISBN 954-90599-2-8) I found the following:

The graphic and plastic image of the coat of arms, adopted [Jan 1948] after the Constitution was retained for 2 months only. On the recommendation of Georgi Dimitrov considerable amendments were introduced. Below the lion was placed a cogwheel, the wheat ears were wrapped in red ribbon with tricolor ends. The background became blue. The changes were regulated by decrees the same year - 1948?? I will continue to search for this decree in the 1948 Official Gazette issues.
Stoyan Antonov, 23 September 2001


Coat of arms (1946?-1948)

[Coat of arms of Bulgaria of 1948] by Željko Heimer

Before 1948, the coat or arms had a white background (shield), as seen on a number of photos in Ivanov (1998).
Stoyan Antonov, 10 September 2001

Possible flag using pre-1948 coat of arms

[Flag of Bulgaria of 1947] by Željko Heimer


Coat of arms (1948)

[Coat of arms of Bulgaria of 1948] by Željko Heimer

The source of the image of the 1948 Bulgarian coat of arms is an article: Dermendzhiev, H. B'lgarskiyat gerb [The Bulgarian Coat of Arms], in Voennoistoricheski sbornik [Military-historical Miscellany], Vol. 5, 1968, p.55.
Stoyan Antonov, 26 January 2004


Civil Ensign

[Civil ensign of Bulgaria of 1948] by Željko Heimer


Chairman of the Council of Ministers

[Chairman, Council of Ministers] 2:3 by Željko Heimer

Chairman of the Ministry Council. (Flag na predsedatelya na Ministerskiya s'vet). A flag in the pattern of the naval ensign, in which the red star is replaced with the state coat of arms.
Željko Heimer, 19 January 2004


Chairman of the Presidium

[Chairman, Presidium] 2:3 by Željko Heimer

Chairman of the Presidium of the People's Assembly (Flag na predsedatelya na Prezidiuma na Narodnoto s'branie).
The national tricolour of white over green over red and in canton the naval ensign in which the red star is replaced with the state coat of arms.
The most natural tendency for the interpreter of this flag would be to match the upper edge of the green stripe in the canton with the upper edge of the green stripe in the field - but it is not so as clearly the picture in Ivanov (1998) shows. The constitutional changes in 1971 changed the ruling structure in Bulgaria, and the position of the Presidium of the People's Assembly as the chief of the state was replaced with the Chairman of the State Council. The new flag was adopted for it with a new design that also included by that time the slightly modified coat of arms.
Željko Heimer, 19 January 2004

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