Flags flutter high as nation marks National Flag Day

The current Polish flag was adopted on February 9, 1990. Marcin Bielecki/PAP

Public and residential buildings flew the red and white national flag on May 2 as the country celebrated National Flag Day despite the pandemic.

Although the measures introduced to limit the spread of the coronavirus prompted the cancellation of formal public celebrations, President Andrzej Duda urged Poles to fly the flag as a symbol of patriotism, "a sense of national community and a reminder of history."

"Let's be proud of our national colours, let's be proud that we are Poles," Duda wrote.

Bartłomiej Zborowski/PAP

National Flag Day was established in 2004 to draw the attention of Poles to the importance of the flag and national symbols.

The current Polish flag was adopted on February 9, 1990. Its colours have been white and red since 1831 when the country first proclaimed independence from Russia, yet it was not until August 1, 1919 that the white and red flag was first officially adopted by a fully independent Poland.

The white symbolises peace and the red colour is believed to symbolise the blood shed in the country's fight for independence.

The Day of the Polish Diaspora and Poles living abroad also falls on May 2.