A joint statement of the Czech Geographic Society and the Civic Initative Česko/Czechia on the correct designation of the Czech state in foreign languages
Most of you are probably well informed about the successful activities of Czech ice--hockey players in international tournaments. Unfortunately, since 1993, their reputation has been marred by the fact that their shirts have never displayed the name of the country that was to be represented and publicized by their performances. Instead, for hardly conceivable reasons, their sporting outfit bears the inscription CZECH, which means the native, the language, and the adjective relating to these terms, but certainly not the name of the country.
Similarly, some producers of exprt goods (such as, most recently, the Pilsen brewery using the label "Prazdroj Plzeň.Czech") are apparently ignorant of the correct one--word name of the Czech Republic (that is to say, Česko and its equivalents in foreign languages -- Czechia in English, Tschechien in German, Tchéquie in French, etc.) and provide their products with the confusing inscription CZECH, thus exposing not only themselves but also the country and its citizens to ridicule. For this reason the Czech Geographic Society, in co--operation with the Civic Initiative Česko/Czechia, decided to hold this press conference. Experts in various fields of study will be ready to inform you about the history of designation of the Czecho-Slovak state and the Czech state, and to explain why it is necessary in all spheres of public life to use only the correct names of this country. They can also answer questions concerning the names of state formations in general. In our opinion, the apparent garbling of this country´s name is close to casting doubt on its very existence. This is all the more painful because it is pursued by those who are expected to represent the Czech state in the international forum. A faux pas like this has never occurred anywhere else. We therefore demand from the responsible officials of all sports unions as well as from the Czech Olympic Board, to have the confusing inscription CZECH (or CZECH TEAM) removed from the shirts of the national team as soon as possible and to have it replaced with one of the two standard names of this country: either a sufficiently visible inscription CZECH REPUBLIC (vhich is too long, and, moreover, does not conform to international convention) or the more convenient one--word name CZECHIA. Both names are equally correct and have been recommended by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports. We also demand that all Czech manufacturers label their products in accoradance with international convention Made in Czechia, similar to the former Made in Czechoslovakia.
(Made in the Czechoslovak Republic or even Made in Czechoslovak has never existed.)
-- The name Czechoslovakia has not been replaced by the name Czech Republic. This is the actual succesion of names: Czechoslovak Republic -- Czech Republic, Czechoslovakia -- Czechia.
-- Both names are necessary, each of them in its specific way. Examples: Germany, Poland, France, Russia, Slovakia, Czechia. The Federal Republic Germany, The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Nothern Ireland, The Russian Federation, The Czech Republic.
-- Czechia consists of three historic parts: Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia. Logically, Bohemia cannot designate the country as a whole.
-- In German--language countries the one--word name Tschechien has been adopted without problems. It is our task to help our English-speaking partners adopt the English equivalent, Czechia.
-- Whether we realize it or not, Czechia has been present in everyday life since 1993: The abbreviations CZ on motor vehicles and cz in internet and E--mail stand for Czechia. (Similar to A and/or at for Austria.)
Press conference, Prague 18 May 2001
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