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Today Poles celebrate Flag Day! Flag Day (Dzień Flagi) in Poland has been celebrated annually on May 2 since 2004. Flag Day, it is also celebrated as a day of Polish immigration or Poles abroad, so called POLONIA DAY. Although May 2nd is formally not a day off from work, it is often a part of the long holiday or weekend which starts with May 1st and finishes with May 3rd. (popularly called Majówka). A lot of people in Poland take extra days off during this time and plan a mini vacation.
The Flag Day was established by a decree (dekret, zarządzenie) on February 20, 2004 when the change in Polish coat of arm, shade of colors of the flags and Polish anthem were introduced. This day is also called a Day of White Eagle (Dzień Białego Orła). Polish Eagle constitutes a Polish coat or arm.
Polish Flag Day commemorates raising of the Polish flag on the Victory Column in the city of Berlin on May 2, 1945, at the end of the Battle of Berlin. The flag was hoisted by Polish Army troops who fought alongside their Soviet allies. It was almost six years after the Nazi invasion of Poland. It was immediately noticed by Soviets. It was “abuse to the Soviet Union” to fix a flag without permission of “Red Army authorities” and even before Red Army fixed red flag. Polish soldiers were arrested and avoided to be shot only because German capitulation announcement.
The national flag of Poland is a horizontal bicolor. The upper stripe is white and the lower stripe is red. These colors has been officially considered the national colors of Poland since 1831. Both of them were present on the coats of arms of Poland and Lithuania, two constituent nations of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.
The flag of Poland was officially adopted in 1919. There is a variation of the flag that contains the national coat of arms in the middle of the upper stripe. It is used at sea and abroad. The naval ensign of Poland also has a swallow-tail.
The national flag of Poland is flown continuously on the presidential palace and the parliament. State and local government organs are legally required to fly the flag on May 1 (May Day), May 2 (Flag Day), May 3 (Constitution Day) and November 11 (Independence Day).