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People's Republic of Bulgaria, 1967-1971

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Last modified: 2012-01-14 by rob raeside
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[Flag of Bulgaria of 1967] 2:3, by Željko Heimer

The white over green over red Bulgarian flag with the state's coat of arms in the white stripe toward the hoist.
Željko Heimer,
07 June 1997

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In 1947 a new coat of arms was adopted, and the state flag with the coat of arms in the canton changed, too. The civil ensign became 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. Without entering the discussion of "socialist heraldry" in depth, 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 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, 0 9 September 2001

The #88 Decree of the Grand National Assembly on 27 January 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 IX 1944 on it, and a red five-pointed star above. Later, the coat of arms was changed. The official explanation of the symbols on the coat of arms, given by #431 Decree on 14 June 1967, Section 3, already talked about a sky-blue background, cogwheel and tricolour ribbon. The last changes of the coat of arms were regulated by #954 Decree on 07 December 1967.
Stoyan Antonov, 10 September 2001

Although I did not find the legislative text (in the article from 1968 about the Bulgarian coat of arms 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 [January 1948] after the constitution was retained for two 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 tricolour 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 (1967)

[Coat of arms of Bulgaria of 1967] by Željko Heimer, based on Corel Clipart


The arms are: golden lion rampant tongued red in blue oval shield bordered golden, surrounded with wheat. Beneath the lion is a white cogwheel, a red band with yellow dates 9 IX 1944 and a tricolour band on both sides. There is a yellow bordered red star over it. 1944 is the year of the liberation of Bulgaria from Nazism. On civil vessels the flag without arms was (and still is) used.
Željko Heimer, 07 June 1997

[The change in the colour of the coat of arms] was made at the end of 1947 after Georgi Dimitrov's intervention. The meaning of the sky blue background was defined as "participation of the Bulgarians in the worldwide struggle for peace" (after the 1967 Flag and Coat of Arms Law). If I may speculate --  if there is a reason, it may be to distinguish the coat of arms from the "Old Regime".
Stoyan Antonov, 12 February 2006

Civil Ensign

[Civil ensign of Bulgaria of 1948] 2:3, by Željko Heimer

Chairman of the Council of Ministers

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

The national tricolour with the naval ensign in the canton in which the red star is replaced with the coat of arms.
Željko Heimer, 19 September 2001

Chairman of the Presidium

[Chairman, Presidium] 2:3, by Željko Heimer

The naval ensign in which the red star is replaced with the coat of arms.
Željko Heimer, 19 September 2001

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