Flag of the Republic of Bulgaria
Знаме на България
UseCivil and state flag, civil ensign Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flag Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flag
Adopted1879 (first adoption)
27 November 1990 (readoption)[1]
DesignA horizontal tricolour of white, green and red.

The flag of Bulgaria (Bulgarian: знаме на България, romanizedzname na Bǎlgariya) is a tricolour consisting of three equal-sized horizontal bands of (from top to bottom) white, green, and red. The flag was first adopted after the 1877–1878 Russo-Turkish War, when Bulgaria gained de facto independence. The national flag at times was charged with the state emblem, especially during the communist era. The current flag was re-established with the 1991 Constitution of Bulgaria and was confirmed in a 1998 law.


First Bulgarian Empire

In 866, Pope Nicholas I advised Prince Boris who had recently Christianised his people to switch from the practice of using a horse tail as a banner to adopting the Holy Cross.[2]

Later illuminated versions of the chronicles of John Skylitzes and Constantine Manasses depict the army of Khan Krum carrying flags either in monotone red,[3] or red with a black border.[4] The army of Simeon the Great is also depicted carrying red banners of varying shape.[4] The Radziwiłł Chronicle also depicts Tzar Simeon I's army under a red flag in the 921-922 campaign against Byzantium, but the depiction of the Hungarian invasion of 894 featured the Bulgarian fortress of Drastar under a white flag with a crescent and a six-pointed star. Any pictorial representations of flags in the manuscripts mentioned above, regardless of the faction or time depicted, conform strongly to the overall illustration style used in each manuscript. In addition, none of those manuscripts dates to the time of the First Bulgarian Empire. The historicity of those flags is thus impossible to verify.

Second Bulgarian Empire

Depictions of Bulgarian flags can be seen on various portolan maps from the 14th and 15th centuries. On those maps, the flags commonly have a white or golden[5][6] background and depict either the insignia of the ruling House of Shishman,[7] or unknown symbols[8][9] in red. Those drawings are markedly more diverse than the flags of the neighboring countries such as the Eastern Roman Empire, the Golden Horde or the Serbian Empire, which in the same maps are largely consistent.

Third Bulgarian state

After the liberation of Bulgaria following the Russo-Turkish War in 1878, the flag was described in the Tarnovo Constitution of 1879 as follows:

Art. 23. The Bulgarian people's flag is three-coloured and consists of white, green and red colours, placed horizontally.[10]

After the establishment of the People's Republic of Bulgaria in 1946, the new Dimitrov Constitution of 1947 changed the flag: the colors and their order remained the same, but the new national emblem was placed on the left side of the white stripe. The new emblem contained a lion within a wreath of wheat ears below a red star and above a ribbon bearing the date 9.IХ.1944 (9 September 1944), the day of the coup d'état of 1944 which had ended the monarchy. In 1971, the emblem (and thus the flag) was slightly modified - the ribbon was parted in two, bearing the years 681 and 1944, the former being the year of the establishment of the First Bulgarian Empire.

After the fall of Communism in 1990, the then-enforced Zhivkov Constitution was amended so the flag could be reverted to the pre-Communist era.[11] The new Constitution of Bulgaria, adopted in 1991, describes the Bulgarian flag as follows:

Art. 166. The flag of the Republic of Bulgaria shall be a tricolour: white, green and red from top, placed horizontally.[12]

A popular version of the flag, which has no official status, is also commonly known. It has the full coat of arms on the left of the flag, placed across the white and green fields only.[13]

Flag law

According to the Law for the State Seal and National Flag of the Republic of Bulgaria, promulgated on 24 April 1998:

Art. 15. (1) The national flag of the Republic of Bulgaria is a national symbol which expresses the independence and sovereignty of the Bulgarian state.

(2) The national flag of the Republic of Bulgaria is tricolour: white, green and red fields, placed horizontally from the top downwards. On fixing the national flag in a vertical situation of the carrying body the colours shall be arranged from left to right - white, green, red.

(3) The national flag is of a rectangular shape. The fields of the individual colours shall be equal in size and shall be situated along the horizontal of the rectangular.[14]


Appendix 2 to the Law for the State Seal and National Flag of the Republic of Bulgaria specifies the required colors when the flag is sewn from textiles or printed on paper:[15]

Colors of the Bulgarian flag
Colour scheme White Green Red
Pantone textile[16] Whiteness greater than 80% 17-5936 TCX[17] 18-1664 TCX[18]
Pantone[16] Whiteness greater than 80% 347 U 032 U

The law does not specify what color values should be used in digital renderings of the flag. The website of the Bulgarian civil service recommends the following approximate colors (note that the decimal RGB values are inconsistent with the hexadecimal "web-safe" values):[19]

Approximate digital colors of the Bulgarian flag
Colour scheme White Green Red
CMYK[16] 0/0/0/0 100/0/100/0 0/100/0/0
Web colors #FFFFFF #009900 #CC0000
RGB 255,255,255 0,128,0[16] 200,0,0[16]


Flags of the Second Bulgarian Empire

Flags of the modern Bulgarian state

See also


  1. ^ Whitney Smith. "Flag of Bulgaria". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2017-12-08.
  2. ^ "The Responses of Pope Nicholas I to the Questions of the Bulgars A.D. 866 (Letter 99)". Internet Medieval Sourcebook. Fordham University Center for Medieval Studies.
  3. ^ "Madrid Skylitzes" (PDF) (in Ancient Greek). World Digital Library. Retrieved 2019-06-30.
  4. ^ a b "Vatican copy of the Manasses Chronicle" (in Church Slavic). Vatican Library. Retrieved 2019-06-30.
  5. ^ "Map Guillem Soler, c. 1380". French National Library. Retrieved 2019-06-30.
  6. ^ "Map of Battista Beccario, 1426". Bavarian State Library. Retrieved 2019-09-23.
  7. ^ "Map by Angelino Dalorto, c. 1325". Retrieved 2019-10-25.
  8. ^ "Map by Pietro Vesconte, c.1325". Vatican Library. Retrieved 2019-06-30.
  9. ^ "Map by the Pizzigani brothers, c.1367". Retrieved 2019-06-30.
  10. ^ "Tarnovo Constitution of 1879" (in Bulgarian). Juridical Encyclopedia. Archived from the original on 2007-09-11. Retrieved 2007-09-15.
  11. ^ "Understanding the Bulgarian Flag". Information Bulgaria. Retrieved 2017-12-08.
  12. ^ "Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria". National Assembly of the Republic of Bulgaria. Retrieved 2007-09-15.
  13. ^ Unofficial flag Archived 2014-04-08 at the Wayback Machine, taken from 2013 Bulgaria Summer Protests, Darik News, 26 June 2013, and unofficial flag, taken from Protests in Bulgaria: the unnoticed uprising, TheConversation.com, 24 Jun 2013. Both retrieved 27 Jun 2013.
  14. ^ "Law for the State Seal and National Flag of the Republic of Bulgaria". National Assembly of the Republic. Retrieved 2007-09-15.
  15. ^ https://lex.bg/laws/ldoc/2134401024
  16. ^ a b c d e Знаме. "Институционална идентичност на българската дъжавна администрачия". identity.egov.bg. Archived from the original on January 22, 2020. Retrieved 17 November 2019.
  17. ^ PANTONE. "PANTONE 17-5936 TCX Simply Green - Find a Pantone Color - Quick Online Color Tool". Pantone.com. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
  18. ^ PANTONE. "PANTONE 18-1664 TCX Fiery Red - Find a Pantone Color - Quick Online Color Tool". Pantone.com. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
  19. ^ https://identity.egov.bg/wps/portal/identity/government-symbols/flag/flag