Bratislava, September 6 (TASR) – State symbols in an entrance hall of Parliament will be guarded by the Guard of Honour of the Slovak Armed Forces as of Tuesday, TASR learnt on the same day.
The idea came from Parliamentary Chairman Andrej Danko (Slovak National Party/SNS) who believes that the gallery of state symbols should be perceived as a national altar.
“I want this place to be considered as a heart of Parliament. I want it to be a national altar,” Danko said following the guard’s muster. According to him, changes in parliament should revive national awareness. In addition to Danko, the ceremony was held in the attendance of Prime Minister Robert Fico (Smer-SD), the parliament’s management and some MPs and ministers. President Andrej Kiska, who is the chief commander of the Armed Forces, was missing.
Danko said that Slovaks have their own state just for a short time. We are still learning democracy and tolerance and national awareness has to be built. “We need to insist on the national pride and respect for ethnic minorities, we need to honour each other, but should not forget about history that helps us to draw a lesson,” said Danko.
The Guard of Honour is just on trial in Parliament. “I am curious about reactions,” said Danko, adding that the ones he has got so far are positive.
Slovakia has four state symbols – a national emblem, a state flag, a state seal and an anthem. They have been placed in the entrance hall of Parliament. NATO and EU accession documents were until recently exhibited there, too. Danko explained their current absence there by a lack a space and promised to make it.