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Zelenasi (Rebel movement, 1918-1945, Montenegro)


Last modified: 2013-12-30 by ivan sache
Keywords: zelenasi | greens | bulatovic |
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Presentation of Zelenasi

The name of the Zelenasi (lit., "Greens"), derives from the green voting cards that were used by the supporters of the Kingdom of Montenegro at the Podgorica Assembly in 1918.
The Zelenasi were a group of Montenegrin rebels that existed from 1918 to 1945 in Montenegro, then part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia; they supported the House of Petrović-Njegoš (Montenegro) againt the House of Karađorđević (Serbia), and were opposed to the Serbian unification made with the disappearance of Montenegro as a political entity. They tended to emphasize the key role of Montenegro in "Serbdom" and many of them favoured a federal Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes.
With the support of Italy the Greens organized the Christmas Uprising in 1919 with the aim to bring the Petrović-Njegoš dynasty again on the Montenegrin throne. The rebellion failed, the rebels fled to Italy, later returned and in June started an unsuccessful guerilla war. In traces the Greens resisted until 1926; after that their struggle was represented by the political program of the Montenegrin Federalist Party: Montenegro, Serbia and other Yugoslavs in a federal state.

During the Second World War, the Greens were organized again under Italian occupation command and started the war against the Communists. Soon disorganized, they split between the Communists and the Serbian monarchists (Četniks). After the Communist victory in 1945 many leaders of the Greens were killed as collaborationists of Italy.

Milan Jovanović, 6 September 2007

Flag of Zelenasi

The flag of Zelenasi is green with the movement's emblem in the middle.

Milan Jovanović, 6 September 2007

Bulatović's flag

[Bulatovic's flag]

Bulatović's flag - Image by Željko Heimer & Srđan Kalanj, 20 June 2010

The Montenegrin vexillologist Srđan Kalanj sent me a drawing of a flag that he has seen in keeping of the family successor to one of the leaders of the Zelenasi movemebt,Bulatović.
A large offensive was made by government forces in 1920 against the small areas of "independent Montenegro" proclaimed and held in hard reachable parts of Montenegro, like the region of Rovci near Nikšić, where these were lead by Bulatović and Vlahović leaders. This offensive broke up the small independent island, so the flag should be dated 1919-1920.
This meant virtual end of the Greens movement, even though some smaller groups or individuals were active afterwards. Between 1924 and 1926 the last remnants of Greens were quenched, but members of the Bulatović family remained outlaws and hid as long as until 1929.

The flag is the Montenegrin red-blue-white tricolour with the coat of arms of the Montenegrin King (that is of the Royal House) in its centre and the Cyrillic inscription in an arch above ЗА ПРАВО, ЧАСТ И СЛОБОДҮ(For the Right, Honour and Freedom) and below ЦРНЕ ГОРЕ (of Montenegro).

Željko Heimer, 20 June 2010