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The flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina contains a wide medium blue vertical band on the fly side with a yellow right triangle abutting the band and the top of the flag. The remainder of the flag is medium blue with seven full five-pointed white stars and two half stars top and bottom along the hypotenuse of the triangle.

Bosnia and Herzegovina
Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg
UseNational flag
Proportion1:2
Adopted4 February 1998 (1998-02-04) (updated 10 August 2001)[1]
DesignA wide medium blue vertical band on the fly side with a yellow right triangle abutting the band and the top of the flag; the remainder of the flag is medium blue with seven full five-pointed white stars and two half stars top and bottom along the hypotenuse of the triangle.
Designed byCarlos Westendorp
Current and old flags of Bosnia and Herzegovina, along with that of the army flying in front of the grave of Alija Izetbegović.

The three points of the triangle stand for the three main ethnic groups (or "constituent peoples") of Bosnia and Herzegovina: Bosniaks, Croats, and Serbs.[2] The triangle represents the approximate shape of the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina.[3] The stars, representing Europe, are meant to be infinite in number and thus they continue from top to bottom. The flag features colors often associated with neutrality and peace – white, blue, and yellow. They are also colors traditionally associated with Bosnia.[3] The blue background is suggestive of the flag of Europe.[4][5]

The Bosnian national flag is also used as the regional flag of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, a constituent entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Contents

HistoryEdit

Western Herzegovina 1760 flagEdit

The green flag with the white crescent and star pointing to the left was used by Bosniak landlords in border parts in southern and western Herzegovina. The flag was most commonly used in wars. It also accompanied the troops of the Eyalet of Bosnia during the second siege of Khotyn in Bukowina. It differs from Ottoman flag by size and direction of crescent, but also it is swallow-shaped, like some West-European jacks and ensigns.

Bosnian Revolt of 1830s flagEdit

In the 1830s revolt by Husein Gradaščević the green flag with a yellow crescent and star was used. The revolt's aim was for Bosnia to gain autonomy from the Ottoman Empire.

Bosnian Vilayet 1867–1908 and brief independence 1878Edit

In 1878 Bosnia existed briefly as an independent nation.[citation needed] Its flag was very similar to the flag used by Husein Gradaščević's revolt of 1830. It was a yellow crescent and star on a green background, with the crescent thinner than the previous flag's. Bosnia was independent in 1878 for a few months, after the Ottoman troops left, but shortly afterward the Austro-Hungarians occupied Bosnia after an agreement reached in Berlin among major European powers. The green/golden flag was in use for about only two months.

Austro-Hungarian ruleEdit

When the Austro-Hungarian Empire annexed Bosnia and Herzegovina the flag was changed. The province of Bosnia used the flag that was red and yellow horizontally, but the province of Herzegovina used the same flag but with reversed colors. (yellow and red).

The coat of arms is one of Stjepan Vukčić Kosača, Bosnian noble and duke from 14th century. The original medieval coat of arms had a white background and two red stripes in the top of the shield.

Democratic Federal Yugoslavia (1942–1946)Edit

After the war, in 1945, the red star flag became universally official. It was given its final shape by enlarging the star and adding a narrow yellow border. The flag was usually accompanied on official buildings by the flag of the federal republic and the flag of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia. Because of this, many buildings in former Bosnia and Herzegovina still carry a three-poled flag holder. A smaller version of the flag served as the civil ensign while an elongated banner version was seen flown in front of the Yugoslav parliament.

Yugoslav Period (1946–1992)Edit

While being the Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina within communist Yugoslavia, the Yugoslav flag stood as a canton, while the rest of the flag was red to symbolise the socialism and communism in Yugoslavia at the time. Bosnia and Herzegovina also had a new coat of arms during the Yugoslav period. It was a symbol of industrialism in Bosnia at the time. This flag is similar to the flag of the Soviet Union and the flag of China.

Independent Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina (1946–1992, 1992–1998)Edit

 
  A cemetery in Mostar flying the flag of Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina (left), the flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the flag of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina

On 6 April 1992 Bosnia and Herzegovina gained its independence from Yugoslavia and a new flag. The flag picked was the arms of the Kings of Bosnia Kotromanić dynasty, who ruled from 1377 until 1463 over the area that is present day Bosnia and Herzegovina and Dalmatia, consisted of a blue shield with six gold fleur de lys displayed around a white bend; the fleur de lys perhaps symbolic of Lilium bosniacum, which is a native lily to the area. The flag chosen in 1992 has a white background with the Bosnian Fleur-de-lis in the center. Though it is no longer an official flag of the state, the flag continues to be used unofficially by Bosniak civilians as a sort of ethnic flag,[5] used at soccer games, as part of political rallies, and other such events.[6]

Bosnia and Herzegovina after the Dayton AccordsEdit

The Bosnian Serbs who lived in Bosnia and Herzegovina after the signing of the Dayton Agreement viewed the flag with the six fleurs-de-lys as only representing the Bosniaks (Bosnian Muslims) of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The flag of the state was eventually changed into the current, post-1998 flag. The current flag was introduced by the UN High Representative after the Parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina could not decide on a solution that was acceptable to all parties. The current flag contains no historical or other references to the Bosnian state.[5] The flag is rarely ever seen in the Republika Srpska,[5] whose residents prefer to fly either that entity's regional flag or the Serbian national flag instead.[5] Some Bosniaks dislike or have no particular affinity for the flag, preferring the former Bosnian national flag used from 1992 to 1998 (which remains used by some Bosniaks as a sort of ethnic flag),[5] or the former socialist-era Yugoslav flag instead.[5]

Alternative flag versionsEdit

The first flag that was proposed in the First Set of Proposals was the "Czech Pattern", similar to the flag of the Czech Republic. It was intended to represent all three constitutive nations living in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The next proposal was the "Laurel branch". It is based on the light blue colour of the United Nations Flag. It would have had a golden olive branch in the middle. The olive branch is taken from the United Nations emblem. The flag would have only one branch. The branch was rotated around 30 degrees counterclockwise. The third proposal was the "Map" proposal. It would also use the United Nations light blue colour; however, there would be the addition of a white outline map of Bosnia and Herzegovina. No official text was ever published specifying the colour of the outline, but it probably would have been white.

The Second Set of Proposals had flags that were truly representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina as a whole. The first flag design was a diagonally striped tricolor pattern of red to white to blue (different colors but in the same pattern as the Flag of the Republic of the Congo). In the centre there would be a blue map of Bosnia and Herzegovina outlined in yellow in the middle inside a circle of 10 five-pointed yellow stars. The flag would have been a 1:2 ratio. The second flag proposed was very similar except it had 12 five-pointed stars to represent the European Union. The Flag of Europe has the 12 five-pointed stars. The third design was a bit more different from the first two designs. The diagonal tricolour shape was kept, but the diagonal white stripe was made wider so that the angle was not perfectly 45 degrees. In the center there was a yellow map of Bosnia and Herzegovina outlined in green and under it there were two green olive branches. The olive branch pattern was the same one that the United Nations uses in its flag. The final fourth design was kept the same emblem from the third design, but did not have the diagonal stripes. Instead it had a horizontal tricolour pattern of blue, white, and red (from top to bottom), similar to that of the former Yugoslavia.

The first Westendorp alternative flag was a highly similar one to today's flag, a diagonally divided top-hoist to bottom-fly yellow over light blue flag with line of 9 white five-pointed stars in the light blue field along the diagonal. The only major difference was that the color of the background was UN blue. The second Carlos Westendorp alternative flag is a light blue flag (using the United Nations' flag's colors) with 5 bars interchangeably coming out of hoist and not reaching the other end. The colors are interchangeably yellow and white. In the third alternative flag, the field was light blue and had five narrow yellow bars.

Westendorp's decision ended up being the first alternative flag. However, it was changed slightly to a darker blue, evocative of the European Union's flag.[5]

Flags of administrative divisionsEdit

Entities of Bosnia and HerzegovinaEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Zakon o zastavi Bosne i Hercegovine (English: Law on the State flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina), published on 3 August 2001 and valid from 10 August 2001; according to the Article 13 of the Law which proclaimed vacatio legis of seven days. Službeni glasnik BiH dated: 10 August 2001) (English: Official Gazette of Bosn. & Herz.) No. 19/01, published on 3 August 2001.
  2. ^ "Outside world chooses new flag for Bosnia". Independent.co.uk. 5 February 1998. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
  3. ^ a b "The World Factbook: Field listing flag description". Central Intelligence Agency. Archived from the original on 1 July 2017. Retrieved 6 April 2017.
  4. ^ "New flag imposed on Bosnians". BBC News. England, United Kingdom: British Broadcasting Corporation. 4 February 1998. Archived from the original on 15 June 2018. Retrieved 14 June 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h Lakic, Mladen (6 December 2017). "Bosnia's 'Foreign' Flag Still Draws Mixed Feelings". Balkan Insight. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  6. ^ Obad, Kemal (23 November 2015). "Geopolitical importance of Bosnia-Herzegovina in global relations". Daily Sabah. Turkey. Retrieved 12 January 2019.

External linksEdit