The banner o Poland consists o twa horizontal stripes o equal width, the upper ane white an the lawer ane reid. The twa colors are defined in the Polish constitution as the naitional colors. A variant o the banner wi the naitional coat o airms in the middle o the white stripe is legally reserved for offeecial uise abroad an at sea. A seemilar banner wi the addition o a swallow-tail is uised as the naval ensign o Poland.
White an reid wur offeecially adoptit as naitional colors in 1831. Thay are o heraldic oreegin an derive frae the tinctures (colors) o the coats o airms o the twa constituent naitions o the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, i.e. the White Eagle o Poland an the Pursuer (Lithuanie: Vytis, Pols: Pogoń) o Lithuanie, a white knight ridin a white horse, baith on a reid shield. Prior tae that, Polish sodgers wore cockades o various colour combinations. The naitional banner wis offeecially adoptit in 1919. Syne 2004, Pols Banner Day is celebratit on Mey 2.
The banner is flewn continuously on the biggins o the heichest naitional authorities, sic as the parliament an the presidential palace. Ither institutions an mony Polish fowk flee the naitional banner on naitional holidays an ither special occasions o naitional significance. Current Polish law daes no restrict the uise o the naitional banner athoot the coat o airms as lang as the banner is no disrespectit.
Horizontal bicolor o white an reid bein a relatively widespread design, thare are several flags that are seemilar but unrelatit tae the Polish ane, maist notably those o Bohemie in the Czech Republic an Tyrol in Austrick, an twa naitional banners wi the reid stripe abuin the white ane: those o Indonesie an Monaco. In Poland, mony banners based on the naitional design an aa featur the naitional colors.
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