Hyphen War

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The Hyphen War (in Czech, Pomlčková válka; in Slovak, Pomlčková vojna—literally "Dash War") was the tongue-in-cheek name given to the conflict over what to call Czechoslovakia after the fall of the Communist government.


The Communist system in Czechoslovakia fell in November 1989. But in 1990, the official name of the country was still the "Czechoslovak Socialist Republic" (in Czech and in Slovak Československá socialistická republika, or ČSSR). President Václav Havel proposed merely dropping the word "Socialist" from the name, but Slovak politicians wanted a second change. They demanded that the country's name be spelled with a hyphen (e.g. "Republic of Czecho-Slovakia" or "Federation of Czecho-Slovakia"), as it was spelled from Czechoslovak independence in 1918 until 1920, and again in 1938 and 1939. President Havel then changed his proposal to "Republic of Czecho-Slovakia".


However, on March 29, 1990, the Czechoslovak parliament resolved that the country's long name was to be spelled without a hyphen in Czech (Československá federativní republika) and with a hyphen in Slovak (Česko-slovenská federatívna republika).Československá federativní republika, Sbírka zákonů, (PDF), page 362, "Ústavní zákon 81/1990 ze dne 29. března 1990 o změně názvu Československé socialistické republiky", March 29, 1990 (Constitutional law about...
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