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Bulgarian Military Flags

Last modified: 2009-12-26 by rob raeside
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Naval Ensign

[Bulgarian naval ensign] by Željko Heimer

White over green over red 4-1-1 flag with yellow lion near the hoist in the white stripe. This flag, as well as all other Bulgarian flags including the lion symbol, was adopted after the coat of arms was adopted after long discussions (i.e. after 1997; do we know exactly when?). BTW, the green stripe in album in this, and all other flags based on this design, is slightly larger than the red stripe. I believe that this may be an effect of the printing process and that I am being over-picky again -- but can we confirm the 4-1-1 scheme?

Željko Heimer, 16 April 2001


Naval Jack

[Bulgarian naval jack] by Željko Heimer

White flag with green saltire and over it a red cross throughout. Again, the influence of Russian naval practice is apparent, even if such designs could have come from other sources too. The jack was introduced after the 1990's changes, but if it is an entirely new one or a reintroduction of some older pattern, I am not sure. Also, I am not sure when exactly was it introduced (possibly before the 1997 coat of arms decision). Based on my approximation of the album image, it seems that the width of the cross and saltire arms is 1/6 of the hoist. Incidentally, I believe it could be mathematically proven that if so, then the size of the green edges of the flag would be 1/10 of the flag hoist vertically near each corner, and 1/10 of flag length horizontally near each corner. Anyone care for the proof?

Željko Heimer, 16 April 2001


Auxiliary Vessels and Coast Guard Ensign

[Coast Guard Ensign] by Željko Heimer

Green flag with naval ensign in canton. I believe that this is influenced by Russian (Soviet) green ensigns, however I don't remember similar flags in the socialist era. Did I miss something?

Željko Heimer, 16 April 2001


Commander in Chief of the Navy

[Commander in Chief of the Navy] by Željko Heimer

Red flag with the naval ensign in canton, fimbriated from the red field with a white line and with three white anchors set one each in the remaining quarters of the red field.

Željko Heimer, 18 April 2001


Navy Chief of Staff

[Bulgarian naval jack] by Željko Heimer

Red flag with the canton equal to the Minister of Defence flag, fimbriated from the red field with a white line and with three white stars set one each in the remaining quarters of the red field. As I am expected  to raise weird questions, I would like to know if it can be confirmed that the flag in the canton used on this flag is indeed the same as the Min-Def, and not the naval ensign which is apparently used in all other naval flags (the difference is, of course, in the wreath around the lion). If it is confirmed (I have no doubt it shall be so), it may be a good idea to point out this "irregularity" on FOTW.

Željko Heimer, 18 April 2001


Naval Group Commander

[Naval Group Commander] by Željko Heimer

Red flag with the naval ensign in canton, fimbriated from the red field with a white line and with two white stars set one each in the fly quarters.

Željko Heimer, 18 April 2001


Day of Flag Rescue

Quoting "The Sofia Echo", 26 May 2009:
"Bulgarian army reserve officers have requested that the Defence Ministry consider reintroducing two traditional army holidays that are no longer celebrated. The request was submitted to Defence Minister Nikolay Tsonev, as reported by the Focus news agency on May 26.
The Day of Flag Rescue was first proclaimed after the end of the Great War in 1919, and it was consecrated to the battle banners of the 18 Bulgarian infantry regiments that were besieged west of Skopje, Macedonia in October 1918. The benevolent stance of Bulgarian troops, officers and NCO's (non-commissioned officers) ensured that not a single Bulgarian battle banner was captured by the enemy. With all 18 flags brought safely back to Bulgaria after the end of hostilities, the Day of the Flag holiday was inaugurated and celebrated each year on October 2 until 1946 when it was abolished. [...]"
http://www.sofiaecho.com/2009/05/26/724945_the-day-of-the-flag

Quoting the original article by Focus, 26 May 2009:
"Reserve officers have called on Defense Minister Nikolay Tsonev to introduce two official holidays of Bulgarian Armed Forces, Focus News Agency informs.
The chairman of the Union of Reserve Officers and Sergeants reserve lieutenant general Stoyan Topalov has submitted letters, asking that the Day of Flag Rescue is restored and a Day of Bulgarian Military Song is introduced. The Day of Flag Rescue was introduced in 1919 and was dedicated to the flags of 18 Bulgarian infantry regiments held hostage west of Skopje meridian in October 1918. The selfless actions of the regimentsí officers and non-commissioned officers prevented the enemies from seizing the 18 flags. The holiday was observed each year on October 2nd till 1946 when it was cancelled.[...]"
http://www.focus-fen.net/index.php?id=n182269

Ivan Sache, 28 May 2009