The Romanian flag consists of a tricolor of three vertical stripes - dark blue one, yellow one and red one. These colors, characteristic of Moldavia and Wallachia, appeared in 1834 for the first time.
During several periods in the nation's history, there was a national coat of arms in the center of the flag. Romania was, for a long time, under the domination of the Soviet Union through the Warsaw Pact;
under the baton of the Ceausescu, the regime of the People's Republic of Romania was very close to absolute totalitarianism. Ceausescu was overthrown and executed in 1989 and people of Romania began to
prefer the flag without the coat of arms as an expression of resistance against the previous regime. Shortly after, this version of the flag [without a coat of arms] was adopted officially.
Design: Vertical Tricolor of Red, Yellow, and Blue
Adopted: 26 June 1848, 24 April 1867, 27 December 1989
Law no. 75/1994 establishes the protocol for the flag of Romania. Its provisions are extended by the Governmental Decision no. 1157/2001
which approves the Regulations regarding the display of the Romanian flag, the singing of the national anthem and the use of insignia containing
the Romanian coat of arms. Protocol for military flags and standards is fixed by internal regulation. The law contains the following provisions:
The flag of Romania is always to be hoisted on the buildings and in the headquarters of public authorities and institutions, at the headquarters
of political parties, unions, of educational and cultural institutions, on border crossings and in international airports. As ensign, it is permanently
hoisted on ships of any kind and other vessels that navigate under the Romanian flag. According to customary protocol, the flag of Romania is hoisted at
the headquarters of diplomatic missions and consular offices of Romania, as well as at the residences of the chiefs of diplomatic missions and consular offices.
Likewise, the flag of Romania is used as a standard on vehicles transporting chiefs of Romanian diplomatic missions and consular offices, in their official travels,
according to the same customs.
Temporarily, on the national day of Romania and other national holidays, the flag of Romania may be hoisted in public places decided upon by the local authorities; and for official festivals and ceremonies
with a local, national and international character, in the locations where these take place. Likewise, it must be raised for official visits undertaken in Romania by heads of state and of government, as well as
by high political personalities representing the principal international intergovernmental bodies, at airports, rail stations, ports and on their various routes. The flag is also hoisted at sporting competitions,
at stadiums and other sporting grounds, and during election campaigns, at the headquarters of electoral commissions and polling stations. During military ceremonies, the flag is hoisted according to military regulations.
The flag of Romania may be raised without restrictions by individuals at their domicile or residence, or by legal entities at their headquarters.
The Government is the only official body that fixes days of national mourning, on which the flag of Romania is lowered at half-staff.
The flags of other states may be hoisted on Romanian territory only together with the national flag and only on the occasion of visits with an official state character, international festivities and meetings, on official
buildings and in public places specified in Law no. 75/1994. In such cases, the flag of Romania is hoisted in the place of honor, that is in the center, if the number of flags is odd, or to the right of the flag with which
it occupies the center if the number of flags is even. In such cases, all flags must have the same dimensions (but not proportions, which are fixed by each respective country).
The flag of the European Union is raised next to the flag of Romania, to the left of the latter.
The raising of the flag of Romania at events that take place under the aegis of international organizations is done according to international regulations and customs.
The military colors are removed from its display case for the solemn occasion of its presentation, at the ceremony for taking the military oath, at parades of troops and reviews on the front, at the giving or taking of
command by the respective unit, at the granting of military honors during military funerals, or on other occasions if required.
When in formation and standing, the color bearer keeps the military colors near his foot, holding his right hand down on the rod and his left hand on the rod, at his chest level. The rod's low end must be in front of his
right foot. When saluting from this position, the military colors are bowed at horizontal for the Romanian President and other heads of state and at 45 degrees for the other civil and military staff. When marching, the color
bearer holds the military colors vertically. If the unit is walking more than 100 m, the rod is introduced inside the scarf's muff. When traveling by vehicle, the color bearer with the military color stands inside the unit
commander's car. During the march, the color bearer salutes by bowing the military colors at 45 degrees, regardless the person. When two military units cross each other (either one or both of them are marching in formation)
the military colors are bowed for salute at 45 degrees. In case of raining, snowing or strong winds, the military colors are protected by a transparent plastic cover.
The ensign of a Navy vessel must be raised daily on the stern flagpole at 8 a.m., and on holidays at 9 a.m. If the vessel is in motion, the ensign remains raised permanently where the boom meets the mast. Usually, the
hoisting of a vessel's ensign takes place in the presence of the entire crew, which is not the case at the lowering, daily at sunset.
According to Governmental Decision no. 1157/2001, which details the rules of hoisting the flag of Romania, the citizens must show respect to the Romanian flag and never offend it.
The hoisting of a Romanian flag of another shape, dimension, model or color than those regulated by law, or having an improper condition, is a contravention and is punishable with a fine of between 500 and 1500 lei.
Not raising the national flag by public authorities and institutions, or in the mandatory situations stated by the law, the improper hoisting of the flag and the hoisting of the flag of another country outside the situations
regulated by law, or with improper dimensions, represents contravention and is punishable with a fine of between 2500 and 5000 lei.
The contraventions are ascertained and sanctioned by mandataries of the Minister of Public Administration, by the Prefect or his mandataries, and are applied to the director of the public authority or institution, to the mayor,
to the President of the county's council, or to the private individual or juridical person that committed the contraventions.
Until 2011, article 236 of the Penal Code of Romania stated that any display of contempt against the symbols of Romania was punishable by detention between 6 months and 3 years in prison. Article 344 of the same Penal Code provided
that, in times of war, lowering the vessel's ensign during a battle in order to serve the enemy's cause is punishable by life in prison or detention between 15 and 25 years in prison and civil penalties. A new penal code adopted that
year eliminates the provisions of article 236 and reduces the punishment provided by article 344 (renamed article 420) to between 10 and 20 years' imprisonment and civil penalties.