The Military Commission introduced a metal cross pattée

In theCouncil of the EU, national ministers meet regularly to adopt EU laws and coordinate policies. Council meetings are regularly attended byrepresentativesfrom the Polish government, depending on the policy area being addressed.

During the Warsaw Uprising, equipment was in short supply, so it wasn’t unusual to see a Pole wearing the familiar shape of a Nazi helmet, however with its own red and white stripes, and sometimes with a white eagle. The custom came to Poland from Saxony during the reign of Augustus II (r. 1697–1733), King of Poland and Elector of Saxony. During that time, the cockade worn by the Polish military had, like in Saxony, the form of a white silk ribbon with a knot in the middle. It was later replaced with a circular white cockade wrinkled toward the center, patterned after the cockade of the Kingdom of France. During the reign of King Stanislaus Augustus (r. 1764–1795), a white-and-red cockade came into use alongside the plain white one. In 1791, the Military Commission introduced a metal cross pattée as a more durable alternative to the cockade.

White and red colours were also used by civilians to show their protest against the Russian rule, as well as by people in France, Britain, Germany, Belgium and other countries as a sign of their sympathy with the Polish cause. The Sejm’s decision was not, however, immediately accepted by all. Left-wing politicians of the time, such as Joachim Lelewel, continued to regard the revolutionary blue, white and red as true national colours. Tricolour standards were used by some Polish guerrilla units during the January Uprising. Though Poland fell under Soviet domination in 1945 it was not until 1952 that the Polish Peoples Republic was formally established.

In the first half of the seventeenth century, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was Eastern Europe’s most wealthy and powerful state. A confederated elective monarchy, it comprised most of present-day Poland, the Baltic states, East Prussia, and much of Ukraine and Belorussia. It evolved from the de facto personal union between the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania that had existed since the fourteenth century and was formalized in the sixteenth century. But the commonwealth’s complex constitution was fatally defective.

20th-century Polish insurgents wore white-and-red brassards which played a role similar to the cockade of previous centuries.During the Second World War, Polish soldiers raised the Poland flag on several sites of their victories. On 18 May 1944, after an Allied victory over the German forces in the Battle of Monte Cassino, a patrol of the 12th Podolian Uhlan Regiment raised a Polish flag on ruins of the Monte Cassino abbey in Italy. On 1 August 1944, the first day of the Warsaw Uprising, a white-and-red flag was hoisted on the Prudential building, Warsaw’s tallest skyscraper of the time.

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