The Czech Republic (Czech: Česko), officially the Czech Republic (Czech: Česká republika), is a country in Central Europe. The country borders Germany to the west and northwest, Poland to the north, Slovakia to the east and Austria to the south. The Czech Republic has been an independent country since January 1, 1993, before that it was the western part of Czechoslovakia.
More than fifteen years after the split of Czechoslovakia into Slovakia and the Czech Republic, some problems remain regarding the naming of the Czech Republic. In Czech, the long form of the name (Česká republika, Czech republic) remains widely used, despite the efforts of governments, geographers and linguists to persuade people to use the short form Česko. In the Dutch language area a short name is used (Czech Republic), but the long form remains common in many other languages. The Dutch name "Czech Republic" is in fact a kind of Germanism. For example, in English Czech Republic is often used instead of Czechia and in French République tchèque instead of Tchéquie.
Until the 20th century, the name Bohemia was mainly used in Dutch to indicate the current Czech Republic. Incidentally, this name referred to Bohemia and Moravia as two distinct provinces, but referred to by the first name. The current name Czech Republic has been adapted to Czech usage. Before 1945 the population was divided into Germans and Czechs, who together could still be regarded as a multinational people until the beginning of the national struggle around the middle of the 19th century. Since the Expulsion of the Germans, the population has become uni-national and can more correctly be called Czech instead of historical Bohemian. Incidentally, this has the confusing effect that historical situations and persons are now also referred to as 'Czech', while they were then regarded as German.
In recent years, the word "Česko" has been used more and more in the Czech media. However, many Czechs are against the use of this name. Indeed, the adjective of Česko, "český", is also the adjective of Čechy (Bohemia). Thus the word means both "Czech" and "Bohemian". Thus, the use of the word "Česko" is not appreciated by the inhabitants of the two other regions of the country; Moravia and Czech Silesia. In fact, this is the same when the word "England" is used to mean the whole of the United Kingdom, and "Holland" when one means all of the Netherlands. It should be noted here that many Czechs (both in Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia) often use "Čechy" in their colloquial language to refer to the Czech Republic as a whole and therefore use a pars pro toto. Alternatively, Czechs sometimes refer to the Czech Republic as "republika" (the republic) as a shortened form of "Česká republika".
The flag of the Czech Republic is the same as that of the former Czechoslovakia. When this country was split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia on January 1, 1993, the Czech Republic continued to use the old flag, while Slovakia adopted its own flag. Like most other Slavic countries, the flag consists of the pan-Slavic colors of red, white and blue.
The coat of arms of the Czech Republic is a shield consisting of four quarters, with in each quarter the central element from the coat of arms of one of the three historical regions. In the first and fourth quarters is the lion of Bohemia, in the second quarter the eagle of Moravia and in the third quarter the eagle of Silesia (Czech-Silesia).
The national anthem of the Czech Republic is called Kde domov můj (Where is my home). The song comes from the play Fidlovačka aneb žádný hněv a žádná rvačka, written by Josef Kajetán Tyl. The music is composed by František Škrou