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Flag of Una-Sana Canton - Image by Željko Heimer, 14 December 2012
The symbols of Una-Sana Canton are prescribed by Law Zakon o grbu i zastavi Unsko-Sanskog Kantona, adopted on 9 May 2000. The Law was proclaimed by Decision Odluka o proglašenju Zakona o grbu i zastavi Unsko-sanskog kantona, adopted on 18 May 2000. The two texts were published on 7 June 2000 in the Canton official gazette Službeni glasnik Unsko-sanskog kantona, No. 3 (text).
The use of the symbols is prescribed by Law Zakon o upotrebi grba i zastave Unsko-Sanskog Kantona, adopted on 31 May 2000. The Law was proclaimed by Decision Odluka o proglašenju Zakona o grbu i zastavi Unsko-sanskog kantona, adopted on 4 August 2000. The two texts were published on 7 August 2000 in Službeni glasnik Unsko-sanskog kantona, No. 5 (text).
The two Laws superseded the Laws of the same name prescribing the former symbols of the Canton.
The symbols are prescribed in Article 7 of the consolidated text of the Constitution Ustav Unsko-sanskog kantona (prečišćeni tekst), adopted on 10 December 2003 and published on 15 January 2004 in Službeni glasnik Unsko-sanskog kantona, No. 1 (text):
"(3) The Canton symbols shall be used, with the symbols of Bosnia and Herzegovina and of the Federation in accordance with the Laws."
The symbols were adopted following a contest held in December 1999.
The flag (Proposal "B") is in proportions 1:2, horizontally divided into three equal stripes blue over white over green. The coat of arms is set in it, offset towards the hoist for better visibility. The length from the hoist to the coat of arms' vertical axis is 3/5 of the hoist's size. The coat of arms is entering the blue and the green stripe for 1/3 of the width of each stripe, that is, the height of the shield is 5/9 of the flag's width.
The colours are prescribed as Blue SCC43, Green SCC 54, Yellow SCC 3 and Golden SCC 2708. SCC is the proprietary colour system scale of the Slovenian company Cinkarna Celje; SCC 3 appears to match the standard CMYK Yellow.
The two Laws are more or less adapted versions of the previous Laws; all the interesting details noticed about the previous flag are still valid. Accordingly, the flag is prescribed also as the war flag, and could be used as a basis for military unit colors, command and rank flags. When hoisted vertically, the blue stripe should be to the "right".
Željko Heimer, 14 December 2012
Coat of arms of Una-Sana Canton - Image by Željko Heimer, 14 December 2012
The coat of arms shows in a blue shield a white embattled wall (with eight embattlements) with port and windows, above it three golden eight-pointed stars, representing the three nations and eight municipalities, and below two green slanted stripes, representing rivers Una and Sana. The shield is outlined in white within a golden border.
Željko Heimer, 7 March 1996
In 1999, after the Decision of the Office of the High Representative on the ban of all non-neutral and offensive symbols, the former symbols were invalidated. It seems that the Decision was respected both legally and practically, which did not really happen in some other cantons.
The Canton therefore started the process of adoption of new symbols. Rješenje o imenovanju Komisije za analizu i pripremu prijedloga izmjena oznaka i simbola grba i zastave Unsko-Sanskog Kantona, adopted on 8 December 1999 and published on 27 December 1999 in Službeni glasnik Unsko-sanskog kantona, No. 9 (text), appointed a 9-member commission to "analyze and prepare a proposal for the change of the marks and symbols of the coat of arms and flag" of the Canton. The competition for the new symbols was prescribed by Decision Odluka (o raspisivanju Konkursa za izradu idejnog rješenja grba i zastave Unsko-Sanskog Kantona), adopted on 15 December 1999 and published on 27 December 1999 in Službeni glasnik Unsko-sanskog kantona, No. 9.
On 18 February 2000, the Canton Government released a statement on the adoption process of the new symbols:
According to the OHR Decision that Una-Sana Canton official symbols contains elements that are offensive for some Bosnia and Herzegovina constitutional nationality members, the Una-Sana Canton Government launched a procedure for the adoption of new cantonal symbols. The ad hoc Commission received 28 proposals in response to the call for designing new symbols published in newspapers. The Commission chose three of them and submitted them to the Government. The President of the Commission, also the Canton Minister of Justice and Governance, reminded that OHR stopped the usage of all the Bosnia and Herzegovina cantonal symbols except in Sarajevo Canton. The reason for this was the content offensive for some constitutional nations.
The Canton Minister for Work and Social Policy noticed that this act was proceeded through achieving the brand new Law for the cantonal coat of arms and flag, which is wrong, because the act would have been satisfying if it had looked for changing an existing Law. A second remark addressed the unnecessary search for brand new symbols, because it would have been enough if the old ones had been changed according to the OHR Decision. The President of the ad hoc Commission reminded that the Prime Minister of the Una-Sana Canton Government asked for the definition of the offensive elements from the OHR, but had received no answer. That was the reason for going on with choosing the new symbols.
The Government made a Decision to go with a Proposal of urgent resolving of this Law deliverance, towards the Assembly, which means not to go with a Draft but directly with a Proposal. The last three symbol proposals will be in the Proposal, so the Canton Assembly will decide for one of them.
The first working issue of the formally defined 16th Assembly Session was a Proposal for the new Law about Cantonal coat of arms and flag, which was posted to the Assembly by the Cantonal Ministry for Justice and Governance to be resolved through short procedure, containing three concrete drawings. After a long discussion about the look of the posted drawings and numerous and different standards which should present the frame for this kind of work, the majority of delegates decided to put this Law in Draft form and to pass it through the regular procedure. It was decided to make another Evaluation Commission which would, together with the Government Commission, make the selection among the 28 drawings that were received in the contest. Suggested members for this Commission are: Krešimir Ižaković (not a member of the Assembly), Ratko Dubajić, Muhamed Skrgić, Rašid Durić (not a member of the Assembly), Zlatko Dizdarević, Meho Čaušević (not a member of the Assembly), Sead Emrić (not a member of the Assembly) and Bahro Jusić (not a member of the Assembly). All the suggested people not members of the Assembly are professional artists. It was also emphasized that by adopting this Law in the Draft form the delegates also adopted the attitude of Government Commission that preferred the three posted drawings discussed on this Session. The new Commission should therefore regard this attitude.
The public opinion pool about cantonal symbols launched on the Canton official website will be continued according to the delay of final decision about the canton symbols until the next Assembly Session, which was planed for the end of March. The results will be posted to the Assembly Speaker.
On the Session of the Canton Assembly held on 22 April 2000, it was reported that:
The Government Commission for the choice of the new coat of arms and flag of the Una-Sana Canton upgraded the Law on the cantonal symbols, and thus published its new preference containing two proposals, instead of the three preferred until now and given to the Canton Assembly. These are proposals "A" and "B", while proposal "C", under code name "Japodić rider" is eliminated from the further selection procedure, allthough the design remains property of the Government of the Una-Sana Canton.
The 18th Session of the Canton Assembly, held on 9 May 2000, decided (abstract) :
The Assembly Commission for the choice of the new cantonal symbols determined the preference for proposal "A". After a discussion one delegate called for this proposal also. After the Government Commission for the choice of the cantonal symbols reduced the offered possibilities from three to two, the Assembly delegates elected by a public vote proposal "B" as the official symbols of the Una-Sana Canton.
Željko Heimer, 6 May 2000
Proposal "A" (rejected)
Rejected proposal "A" - Images by Blas Delgado Ortiz, 26 October 1998
Proposal "A" (rejected) was presented as follows:
The coat of arms of Una-Sana Canton.
Through its long history, thanks to its geographic and geotrafic position, the region of Una-Sana Canton represented a LINK, a BINDING - a BRIDGE between the East and the West. On the proposed design this historical characteristic is symbolized by a bridge above rivers Una and Sana representing:
- the symbol of binding of Una-Sana Canton with the other parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina;
- the symbol of binding of Una-Sana Canton with its neighbours and other parts of the world;
- the symbol of traditional friendship;
- the symbol of traditional good relationship with neighbours.
As another important historical characteristic is in upper part of the coat of arms the diagonal white stripe that reminds on the mideval coat of arms of the Bosnian state.
In the proposed design of the coat of arms of Una-Sana Canton the natural characteristics are represented by rivers Una and Sana, the two rivers that naturally limit the Una-Sana Canton territory [the two rivers almost form the western and eastenr border of the canton in most of their course]. In the given design the two rivers are flowing into a common bed, symbolizing the whole region of Una-Sana Canton.
As in the region of Una-Sana Canton live three equally rightful peoples, i.e. the Bosniaks, Croats and Serbs, they are represented in the upper part of the coat of arms with the colours those peoples have in their national flags (green, white, red). The upper triangular area (in arms' chief) is green symbolizing the Bosniaks, while the lower triangular field is in red and white that both Croats and Serbs have in their national flags, so symbolizing the Croats and Serbs. However, as both Croats and Serbs have in their national flags also a blue field, it is equally valid at will to replace the red field with a blue one, retaining the symbolic. Beside that, in the upper triangular field reminding on the heartlike shape of the Bosnia and herzegovina state, are inserted three blue stars representing and symbolizing the three peoples living in the territory of Una-Sana Canton.
The flag of Una-Sana Canton.
According to the proposed design, the flag of Una-Sana Canton is composed of three colours that the three poeples living in the territoy of Una-Sana Canton have in their national flags, i.e. green, white and red. The upper horizontal stripe is green, representing the Bosniaks, while the middle stripe is white and lower one is red, the two representing the Serbs and the Croats. Considering that both Croats and Serbs in their national flags also use blue, it is given possibility that at will the lower red stripe is replaced with blue one retaining the symbolic. In the middle of the flag is the coat of arms of Una-Sana Canton. The proportions of the flag are 1:2.
Željko Heimer, 6 May 2000
Proposal "B" (adopted)
Proposal "B" (adopted) was presented as follows:
The ideas behind the coat of arms and the flag of Una-Sana Canton are a stylization of the geographic and historical characteristics of the canton that are the most expressed or dominating either by their position or frequency in this region. To fullfil the request of easier reproduction in different aplications and materials the elements are maximally simplified and show only the most basic recoginizable details. Also, the choice and number of the colours is minimized, bearing in mind to retain the recognizability and authencity even in a monochromatic representation.
The coat of arms consists of three recognizable elements that have symbolic and meaning in territorial determination, in the cultural and historic heritage, for the three ethnical groups, for the number of municipalities and that economically and politically determine the canton. The three golden-yellow stars represent the ethnical groups symbolizing the representation of the three peoples in the canton area, while their eight points symbolize their equality and constitutivness in all of the eight municipalities. The stylized fort as the arms element pictures the cultural and the historical heritage of the canton. Even if they are not the oldest characteristics of this region, they are by far the most frequent. So, the symbol of the fort comes from its representativness and frequency in the complete territory of the canton. In it one can see stability, hardness, tradition. From its period are linked many important historical events. Also, with its shape, the enclosed (walled) architecture defines the inner region, symbolizing the cantonal borders. On the upper edge are eight embattlements symbolical for the eight municipalities. There are open doors in the fort, reminding on the economical and political determination of the canton seen in it openness, free flow of people, ideas, merchandise and capital. The two winding stripes in the lower part of the coat of arms symbolize rivers Una and Sana that form the dominant geographical element providing the territorial determination of the region.
The flag of the canton is made as tricolour with the same coat of arms set 60 cm from the hoist, noting that the staff diameter and the flag material encompassing it are not counted in the basic and shown flag dimensions.
Željko Heimer, 6 May 2000
Proposal "C" (rejected)
Rejected proposal "C"
Proposal "C" (rejected) was presented as follows:
Description of the coat of arms.
Current research and found remains of material culture prove that Una-Sana Canton has been settled since the Stone Age. The presence of the Iapod tribe in this region is proven since the 7th century BC. Among the greatest pictorial artistic achievments is counted the stone vase called "Iapodic riders". The love towards horses remained one of the threads connecting the inhabitants of Una-Sana Canton throughout the centuries from Iapodic time until today.
The shape of the shield itself, with three embattlements, symbolizes the three constitutive and equal peoples of Una-Sana Canton.
The Iapodic rider represents the history and culture of Una-Sana Canton.
The feather in his hand is the symbol of struggle and wish for learning and knowledge (a feather is mightier then the sword).
The eight-sided shield symbolizes the firmness and interlinkage of the eight municipalities of Una-Sana Canton.
The wavy lines of green and blue represent rivers Una and Sana between which the canton is set (white).
The stars around the rivers [not shown on the image] are symbols of the belonging to the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the European community.
Description of the flag.
The flag is composed of three horizontal rectangles of green [misprepresented on the image], white and blue. The green and blue are colours representing rivers Una and Sana, and the white is the colour of Una-Sana Canton between the two rivers.
Željko Heimer, 6 May 2000
Regulation Pravilnik o nagradama policijskih službenika, adopted on 5 September 2007 and published on 25 October 2007 in Službeni glasnik Unsko-sanskog kantona, No. 17 (text) mentions the flag of the Cantonal Ministry of the Interior among the awards that may be granted as a collective award to police units. The flag is not described, however.
Željko Heimer, 14 December 2012
The Law on Self-Government Zakon o lokalnoj samoupravi Unsko-sanskog kantona, adopted on 29 April 2011 and published on 20 May 2011 in Službeni glasnik Unsko-sanskog kantona, No. 8 (
Željko Heimer, 14 December 2012