“I would like to thank all Poles, all those who remember Poland and Polishness and promote it on a daily basis,” President Andrzej Duda said during the celebrations of Polish Diaspora Day.
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To mark the occasion President Duda presented state decorations to Polish activists and state flags to representatives of institutions for their social, cultural, and economic work for the betterment of the nation.
During the ceremony, President Duda said that the holiday is dedicated to the 20 million Poles living abroad. “I congratulate those who have received certificates of Polish citizenship and in a formal sense have become part of our civic community of the Republic of Poland,” he stressed.
Duda also pointed out the difficult circumstances to which Poles living in Belarus and Ukraine are currently being subjected, such as persecution perpetrated by the Belarusian regime toward the Polish minority, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
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The president recalled his meeting with Poles from Brazil, with whom he spoke on Tuesday during the distribution of white and red flags in Warsaw’s Castle Square. “This is a testimony to how there, far, far away, thousands of kilometers from Poland, in South America communities remember their homeland, although very often their ancestors left Poland more than a century ago,” he said.
Importance of Polish education
First Lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda added that this day it is also important to emphasize the importance of Polish education, carried out in many countries.
She pointed out an example of cultivation of national traditions as the activity of the choir of children from Tbilisi, Georgia, which performed during Tuesday’s ceremonies.
She also recalled the “Aid to Poles in the East” program, implemented in 2016. She noted that the initiative was carried out despite the pandemic, and since the end of 2020 aid has been provided to Poles in countries such as Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Moldova, Georgia, Lithuania, and Ukraine.
Polish Diaspora Day, Polish National Flag Day
The Polish Diaspora Day has been celebrated on May 2 since 2002. The national holiday was established by the Polish Sejm (Lower House of Parliament) on the initiative of the Polish Senate.
May 2 is also celebrated as Polish Flag Day, established in 2004. Historically, the Polish national colors derive from the colors of the coat of arms of the Kingdom of Poland and the coat of arms of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.
#DzieńFlagi 🇵🇱 pic.twitter.com/nLVMh5SD2m
— Kancelaria Prezydenta (@prezydentpl) May 2, 2023
The symbolism of the Polish flag derives white from the white of the eagle, which serves as the emblem of Poland, and the white of the Pahonia (Pogoń) – a knight galloping on a horse – which serves as the emblem of Lithuania. Both of these emblems are located on the red backgrounds of the coat of arms shields. On the Polish flag, the white color has been placed at the top, as in Polish heraldry, the color of the emblem is considered to be more important than the background.