The Czech Republic has officially been named Czechia for two years – the shorter English name was approved for submission to the United Nations for inclusion in their database of geographical names in July 2016.
Following the switch over to the supposedly catchier, English-friendlier name, the domestic foreign ministry recommended its use in virtually all cases, except in texts of official government documents, international treaties, and meetings of the highest state officials.
But despite some major wins for the Czechia camp, including its use by Google Maps, Wikipedia, and the government pages of the United Kingdom, the United States, and Germany, a number of famous Czech brands and state institutions – including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs itself – have largely ignored these recommendations, according to a new report from Aktualne.cz.
The Czech news server gives some examples of groups that have refused to fly the Czechia banner. The national hockey team for one, whose new jerseys debuted at the end of June with the inscription “Czech Republic” appearing across the front, a decision that apparently reflected a player poll.
Other groups who have not used Czechia in their corporate branding include Škoda Auto who does not use it at all, and Plzeňský Prazdroj who dropped it after a short experiment with a limited-edition label reading “Brewed in Plzeň Czechia,” as well as Czech Tourism and the Czech Olympic Committee who both say they are committed to using “Czech Republic” until at least 2020.
Members of the Civic Initiative to promote the usage of Czechia are concerned that if the name is not adopted into common usage as soon as possible, it will lead to another “denigration” of the name of the state, which they say is the case with Pilsner beer. The group has also called out the arrogance of the Czech hockey team.
Aktualne.cz cites slow-moving bureaucracy as one factor in the lack of Czechia usage, especially among government agencies.