Polish Flag Day is celebrated on May 2 across Poland. Poles living at home and abroad welcome the month of May with great joy, as they celebrate May 1 as International Workers’ Day, May 3 as Constitution Day, and May 2 as Polish National Flag Day. Although May 2 is not a public holiday, it is treated as such by the Poles. After withstanding centuries of internal and external storms, Poland has emerged as one of the most important countries in the European Union. The auspicious day of May 2 celebrates the republic’s past struggles and strengthens the Poles for the challenges they face today.
History of Polish Flag Day
May is a month for celebration for the people of Poland, with three consecutive holidays from May 1 to May 3. Sandwiched between the two public holidays is Polish National Flag Day. May 2 is a special day in the history of Poland. It is on May 2, 1945, that the First Polish Army conquered the capital of Nazi Germany and placed the colors of Poland on the Berlin Victory Column. The day is also observed to immortalize the resistance against the communist regime of Poland that abolished the unfurling of the Polish flag after May 1 — effectively erasing the proof of Poland’s sovereignty on its Constitution Day.
The Poles celebrate May 2 with patriotic rigor. Various demonstrations across the country are organized and people wave a white and red flag across town. Since the 2010s, the day has largely transformed into a fashionable holiday, with the highest government official to the lowest posted clerk of the entire country wearing the national cockade.
National Polish Flag Day was declared on February 20, 2004, after years of legislation and bureaucratic dealings that included the replacement of the Polish National Flag with the Day of the White Eagle. Poland’s national flag features red and white colors, which are inspired by the Polish coat of arms. The red symbolizes fire and blood, whereas the white epitomizes purity and nobility.
Polish Flag Day timeline
German Chancellor Adolf Hitler announces the invasion of Poland.
The Polish government formally adopts the Constitution of the People's Republic of Poland.
Poland joins NATO and strengthens its position in Europe.
The Republic of Poland renews its emblem and adopts a new flag.
Polish Flag Day FAQs
Is the Polish flag upside down?
Yes. The Polish flag is upside down, as it pays an ode to the “everything in Poland is upside down” famous political stereotype of the country.
Is National Polish Flag Day a public holiday?
National Polish Flag Day is not a public holiday, but the Poles take the day off as it falls between two public holidays.
How do you greet the Polish people?
It is appropriate to greet the Polish people with their first names. The most common verbal Polish greeting is ‘Cześć’ (Hello).
Polish Flag Day Activities
Wave the flag
The pride in the Polish flag is well-earned and comes after centuries of struggle. May 2 recognizes the importance of national identity and how the colors of a flag can unite a republic. Celebrate freedom from decades of repression by waving the flag of Poland. You can make one yourself as well, with red and white colors of course.
Read all about it
Did you know that Poland is considered to be the first country that was “baptized into existence?” Poland has a rich and diverse history with a lot of global actors, including Stalin and Hitler. On May 2, and the day before and after, read all about the super interesting and somewhat surreal history of this country, starting from 966 A.D. when a Western Slavic duke adopted Christianity that led to the survival of the Poles.
Explore the world’s biggest castles, oldest salt mines, most epic beaches, and gorgeous landscapes that have been the background for some of the most famous films of the world. The months between May and October are the best time to lock in a travel trip to this gorgeous nation.
5 Distinct Facts About The History Of Poland
From hegemony to a majority
Poland’s mono-ethnic Catholic majority has evolved from centuries of peaceful co-existence between the Poles, Belarusians, Ukrainians, Jews, Lithuanians, Tatars, Germans, and Armenians.
The birthplace of democracy
Polish aristocrats developed “Nobles Democracy” in the 16th century and are one of the first major countries to give rights to a majority.
The first constitution
Poland is the first country to adopt a written constitution in 1791.
A land of many tragedies
More than six million people living in Poland lost their lives in the 1920s famine and the Second World War.
The disappeared Republic
In the aftermath of the 1795 partition, the republic of Poland was erased from the map of Europe for 123 years.
Why We Love Polish Flag Day
It’s the celebration of the Polish spirit
The Polish flag is more than red and white stripes — it represents the birth of a nation and pays respect to the exact moment when the white Polish eagle settled in front of the red eagle. The celebration also represents the yearning of years spent during and after the Second World War, when waving the flag was an act of crime.
It honors Poland’s history
Baptism, colonial expansion, Hilter’s aggression, Soviet Union’s domination — Poland’s history is one of many colors with ultimately one victor — the unity of the Polish people. The flag represents the valor and grit of the proud Polish people, who are the reason behind Poland’s prosperity and its growing influence on the rest of the developed world.
It’s the perfect holiday
Sandwiched between two public holidays, National Polish Flag Day forms the perfect tri-day celebration that is long-awaited by the people of Poland. It marks the start of the epic month of May and boasts the spirit of patriotism and unity across the republic.
Polish Flag Day dates