Ing. Petr Holas
Vexilolognet – Passion for flags and everything related to them.
It’s hard to say when my fascination with flags began, but at the age of ten I became the youngest member of the Czech Vexillological Society. An organisation whose mission is to gather knowledge about flags and to supervise their correct use. Since 2016 I have been its chairman, which involves not only overseeing the functioning of the Czech Vexillological Society, but also collecting and providing expertise on flags. Who do you think the Police of the Czech Republic will adress to when they receive a report that an unnamed city is breaking the law by displaying only selected flags?
But vexillology is not just about collecting flags. It has to be backed up by solid knowledge, which goes far beyond the designs on the flags of individual countries. Each flag has its own story based on history, local cultural and political conditions, traditions, etc. Not surprisingly, I studied Economic Policy and International Political Relations at the Prague University of Economics and Business.
Here I fully realized that deep knowledge is meaningful when shared. I started lecturing during my doctoral studies. My lectures are far from being only for students, I lecture to enthusiasts at the University of the Third Age or future diplomats at the College of International and Public Relations Prague or protocol officers at the Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic, but I also appear in children’s programmes such as Wifina on the Czech TV or Jarmark in the Theatre in Dlouhá Street.
My other passion is related to this: guiding. Forget the umbrellas and the crowds of blindly photographing Japanese. At a very early age I accompanied my father on tours and watched with admiration how he could accurately capture the interests of his clients and engage even the last bored teenager with his explanations. I try to convey the same experience to my clients, be it during one-day walks around Prague, more extensive tours around Czechia or more broadly around Europe.
Since 2001 I have been sharing my knowledge and experience through the domain Vexilolognet.cz. What started as information for fans of flags and emblems has gradually transformed into a platform offering comprehensive vexillological services: information about flags and banners, trainings and lectures, personal flag design for institutions, companies and individuals.
Flags and coats of arms: theory and practice
I spent my childhood in England. Obviously, thanks to this, English became my second mother tongue. But England is also the cradle of heraldry. I discovered the magic of coats of arms and emblems here. It is not surprising that I maintain the Personal Arms Register on the Heraldry of the World website and I am the administrator of the Flags of the World encyclopaedia for Czechia and Slovakia.
It is only a step from heraldry to vexillology, which is less bound by rules. I like the fact that flags can express the same message much more easily than traditional emblems. In modern terms, they are more sexy.
I work as a heraldist and vexillographer, which means that I design personal symbols as well as symbols of associations, municipalities etc. I am the author of about 30 Czech municipal flags and coats of arms granted by the Chairman of the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic. I also designed a number of other symbols, five of which are registered in the National Register of Flags and Banners (Czechia).