Prague, Jan 27 (CTK) – Next Monday, February 3, will be a national mourning day in Czechia in commemoration of the late Senate chairman Jaroslav Kubera, the cabinet decided at its meeting today, PM Andrej Babiš (ANO) has told CTK.
Based on the government resolution, flags will be flown half-mast on official buildings.
According to Presidential Office Protocol Department head Vladimír Kruliš, offices should lower flags to half-mast at 16:00 on Sunday already and the measure should last until 08:00 of the day following the mourning, which is Tuesday, February 4. The state, regional and municipal authorities should refrain from staging celebrations and festivities, Kruliš said.
On February 3, two mourning gatherings will be held in remembrance of Kubera in the theatre in his home town Teplice, north Bohemia, and in Prague’s Rudolfinum Hall.
Kubera, who died suddenly on January 20 at the age of 72, was one of the most distinguished politicians of the Civic Democratic Party (ODS), which is the Czech right-wing leader now in opposition.
He was the mayor of Teplice for almost a quarter of a century and a senator for two decades. He was the upper house deputy chairman from 2016 and chairman from 2018.
Last time a national mourning day was declared in Czechia on October 12, 2019 during the funeral of pop star icon Karel Gott, who died of leukemia aged 80. The previous national mourning lasted three days, from December 21 to December 23, 2011 and followed the death of former president Václav Havel (1936-2011).
Since the establishment of the independent Czech Republic in 1993, national mourning was also declared on September 14, 2001 in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the USA, and on April 17-18, 2010, following the April 10 death of a number of Polish representatives, including president Lech Kazcynski, in an air accident near Smolensk, Russia.
There is no special law to define the course of national mourning, except for the rule that binds ministers, regional governors, mayors and other office heads to flow flags on their office seats half-mast.
Kruliš said that on the occasion of mourning, flags that are fastened to a flag-pole rope are lowered to half-mast without being complemented by black flags. If a Czech flag is flanked by another flag, that of the EU or a self-rule region, for example, the latter must be lowered first.
“The Czech flag must never fly lower than other flags,” Kruliš said.
That is also why the Czech flags needs to be pulled up high as the first after the mourning is over.
If a state authority displays a Czech flag that is fastened directly to the pole and thus cannot be lowered, it must be placed on the left, from the front sight, and complemented by a black flag on the right, Kruliš said.