It’s not very often that you hear of a country rebranding itself. However, the Czech Republic is set to become known as Czechia as part of a new campaign by the country’s government. If the country’s parliament approves the plans, the Czech Republic could be referred to internationally as Czechia.
According to Business Insider, the Czech Republic’s change to Czechia won’t be a direct name change. The country will still officially be known as the Czech Republic, but it will see the country’s government launch a campaign to see the country better known as Czechia. The rebranding plans are currently being passed through the country’s parliament. If the plans are approved, which they are likely to be, Czechia will be added to the official UN database of names for the Czech Republic. It was pointed out that the country’s old name would remain in place for official and administrative matters, whilst Czechia would be used as the informal, geographic name of the country.
It’s a move that’s left many wondering why a country would wish to change the name it has used for over two decades. However, according to the Financial Times, the decision is largely believed to be a marketing move in a bid to bring more awareness and visitors to the country. Officials in the country believe that Czechia is simply a name that rolls better off the English speaking tongue, whilst also being much easier to print on promotional products. The country’s foreign minister, Lubomir Zaoralek was particularly supportive of the decision to rebrand to Czechia, saying “It’s not good when a country does not have any clearly defined symbols, or cannot say clearly what its name is,” as he announced the plans for rebranding. He went on to exclaim that a simple concise name would make the country instantly more recognisable on the international stage.
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This particular rebranding to Czechia is one that appears to be largely supported in the country. Many of those who have come out in support of the rebranding argue that the name Czech Republic only represents the past two decades of the country. Czechia, on the other hand, represents the country’s rich history and culture, which they say spans over 1,200 years. It’s quite clear that citizens of the country believe another name change to Czechia could give the country’s failing tourism industry a boost.
As aforementioned, officially speaking, the Czech Republic will retain its current name. However, Czechia will be used to refer to the country in an informal manner. In fact, it isn’t uncommon for countries to have a number of names that they can be known as. One of the most common examples is the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, which is known more commonly on the international stage as North Korea. Another country that has throughout history shortened its name is the U.K., which is officially known as the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, but is commonly referred to as the U.K., Britain, and Great Britain, amongst other names.
If the Czech Republic’s rebranding to Czechia is successfully passed through the country’s parliament and accepted by the United Nations, tourists could see the country’s new name of Czechia taking pride of place on the outfits worn by their athletes at the upcoming Olympic Games in Brazil. For now though, Czechia will be hoping that their new name will bring with it a new wave of interest to their country.
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