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The ethnic composition is 94 percent Czech (Moravians and Bohemian Czechs), 3 percent Slovak, 0.6 percent Polish, 0.5 percent German, 0.3 percent Romany (Gypsy) officially but perhaps as much as 2.5 percent, and about 0.4 percent Ukrainian.
Other ethnic minorities are numerically insignificant. For example, the Jewish population is probably no more than 12,000 because over 80,000 Jews died in Nazi concentration camps during World War II. The differences among those dialects mainly involve the pronunciation of vowels and the names of local or regional dishes, plants, and costumes.
The presidential flag (standard) bears the slogan Pravda vítězí ("Truth Prevails"), attributed to the first president of Czechoslovakia, Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk (1850–1937, president 1918–1935). The first stanza extols the beauty of the countryside, and the second the nobility of the Czech people.
The border regions, which began to be inhabited by many German-speaking people in the second half of the twelfth century, were resettled after World War II by Czechs after nearly three million Bohemian and Moravian Germans were expelled or chose to leave. The Czech language (čeština or český jazyk) belongs to the West Slavic sub-branch of the Slavic languages and is an Indo-European language. Czech was one of the Slavic languages at least as early as the ninth century, the time of the Great Moravian Empire.
The oldest Czech literary monuments go back to the second half of the thirteenth century. The official state symbols are the national anthem, flag, and coat of arms. "), was originally a song in a popular satirical play of 1834.
The Silesians ( Slezané ) of the Czech Republic tend to maintain their ethnic character, but many agree that they constitute a subculture within the Czech culture. The historical and geographic term "Bohemian" is misleading, as it not only excludes Czech-speaking Moravians but includes members of several ethnic minorities that live in Bohemia but do not speak Czech. The origin of the words Čechy (Bohemia ( Čech ([a] Czech) is not clear.
Čechy originally may have referred to a dry place, or it may have been a place-name that eventually gave rise to the name of its inhabitants. Češi or Čechové ) is explained as an abbreviated pet name for a groom (a person responsible for the care of horses, čeledín ), or it might have been someone's name.
The chief rivers are the Labe (Elbe) and its main tributaries, the Vltava (Moldau) and the Ohře (Eger); the Elbe flows into the North Sea.