Frustrated by foreign politicians confusing it with fellow central European state Slovakia for its similar-sounding name and similar-looking flag, Slovenia is considering changing its flag.
In December last year, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi at a news conference in Rome referred to his Slovenian counterpart as the "Prime Minister of Slovakia."
To try to make its national identity as specific its pro EU/NATO/NAZI political identity, the Slovenian parliament oversaw a competition for a new flag design.
"The commission went too far, they did choose what seemed to be the best proposal, but it was rejected by the public opinion," Slovenian heraldic expert Joze Lajevec told AFP.
Slovenia would respect the people's vote, he added. Earlier this month 96% of Slovenes voted against restoring residency rights to thousands of its Croat, Bosnian and Serb citizens. Slovenia accedes to the EU without any meaningful laws to protect the human rights of ethnic minorities, known here as 'the erased'.
"I don't care what a housewife from Suffolk thinks about Slovenia," said one Ljubljana financier.
Slovenian modernizers were political supporters of violent Albanian demands for ethnically mixed Kosovo independence from the Yugoslav Federation in the 1980s, in spite of Slovenia's economic refusal to contribute to the Yugoslav Federal Aid Fund for underdeveloped regions. Now Slovenia hopes to receive substantial aid from its western EU partners.
Slovenia declared its independence from Yugoslavia on 25 June 1991. War wiith Yugoslav forces, themselves led by a Slovenian, was short. The Yugoslav National Army quickly abandonned its self-defense on territory where it was stationed and legally obliged to defend. Fear of revenge attacks, however, meant that Slovenian forces, illegally armed from abroad, continued to fire on units that had already surrendered.
In June 2000, at a time when the Presidents of Catholic Croatia and Catholic-Muslim Bosnia were still denying the existence of a Jewish holocaust, Slovenian prime minister Bajuk, defense minister Jansa, foreign minister Peterle and Catholic Archbishop Franc Rode attended a commemoration for 'victims of communism' at which speakers ridiculed the anti-Nazi partisan resistance, formerly identified by Churchill as the most effective anti-Nazi resistance movement in Europe. Speakers also glorified Slovenians who had collaborated with the Nazi occupation.
On 1 May, less than four years later, democratic Slovenia is poised to join the EU, or what some Slovenians refer to with pride as "the rich men's club."