Last modified: 2013-06-15 by ivan sache
Keywords: vojvodina | league of social-democrats of vojvodina | liga socijaldemokrata vojvodine |
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Flag and logo of LSV - Images by Tomislav Todorović, 14 February 2009
The symbols of LSV are mentioned in the party statutes, Article 6, as follows (kindly translated from Serbian by Tomislav Todorović):
LSV has its sign, emblem and flag. Form and use of these symbols are arranged by a special rule book which is to be adopted by the Main Board of the LSV.
The design of the present-day party flag, which was introduced in 2008, is losely based on that of the logo. It has a large dark red field, charged with white letters LSV (same typeface as in the logo) in its center, and blue, yellow and green vertical stripes at the fly. The proportions of the flag are 1:2.
The LSV has adopted its logo in 2003. Its first appearance which I have recorded was on the party posters from October that year. The logo is in the shape of a square in dark red colour. Its bottom left part is charged with party name abbreviation LSV, inscribed in white. Its bottom right part is charged with three shapes, looking like short bars with semi-circular endings, in oblique position, their axes being parallel with those of the letters; the shapes are blue, yellow and green, respectively from left to right, and outlined in white. The logo is shown here as it appears on the flags, but as a stand-alone emblem it is often shown with a much darker shade of red and with the white outllines only around the three shapes and not between them. The latter feature is probably an error, because it is appearing less as the time passes, and must have been inspired by an earlier logo (1990-1992), which had three similar shapes (with more irregular forms, looking like three brush strokes) in contiguous positions, each of them charged with one of party name initials in black (the same typeface as nowadays), all on white background. Later on (1992-2003), the initials themselves served as the logo, each of them in one of party colours, sometimes with a white dove overall, sometimes without it. The design of the present-day logo is thus based on those of its predecessors.
Variant of the flag of LSV, 2006 - Image by Tomislav Todorović, 14 February 2009
A previous variant of the present-day flag was introduced in late 2006 (first recorded use in December), during the campaign for the parliamentary elections held on 21 January 2007. It differed from the present-day design in the proportions, which were 2:3, the red field having had a square form. The design of this variant of the flag was more obviously based on that of the logo. The flag was replaced with the present-day variant during 2008.
Unofficial variant of the flag of LSV - Image by Tomislav Todorović, 14 February 2009
An unofficial flag which is sometimes used has the complete logo as the charge. Its proportions are 1:1, the field is dark red, and the charges are four large squares which leave only narrow red fimbriations between and around them. The squares in the bottom hoist, top hoist and top fly are blue, yellow and green, respectively, and the one in the bottom fly is charged with the logo outlined in white. According to the photos from the party website which served as the source (no longer available online), the shades of red, blue and green are lighter and that of yellow is darker than on the other flags.
Tomislav Todorović, 14 February 2009
Flag of LSV, 2003 - Image by Tomislav Todorović, 6 April 2009
This is the first flag which the party had adopted as a flag of its own. It was adopted in 2003, together with the current logo, which appears as the charge in the hoist. Central and fly parts of the flag are charged with the party name inscribed in six official languages of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina: Serb, Hungarian, Slovak, Romanian, Ruthenian and Croat (listed in the top-down order). Each line of text is underlined with a narrow line. The text and underlinings are black and the flag field is white. The flag was replaced with the succeeding design in 2007, after a period of several months during which both flags were used together.
Tomislav Todorović, 16 February 2009
Left, early version (1996) - Image by Tomislav Todorović, 18 March 2009
Right, late version (2000) - Image by Ivan Sache & Tomislav Todorović, 28 January 2009
When this flag was introduced in 1996, the proportions 2:3 were used
almost exclusively. Such flags I saw in late 1997, on a pre-election
convention of the Vojvodina Coalition (whose member the LSV had been then) in Zrenjanin; these small flags were made of paper and distributed to the people who attended the convention. The flag design with the same proportions was also appearing on some shoulder patches sewn onto the jackets, obviously worn by members or supporters of the LSV or the Vojvodina Coalition, which I saw during the same year. The
flag images on some of those shoulder patches were visibly less
oblong, sometimes nearly squarish, so they were obviously not
standardized. The flag image which made part of the printout for the
T-shirts which were advertised in the magazine Nezavisni during
summer 1997, was also with proportions 2:3; this image was accompanied
with the inscription "Vojvodina Resistance Movement".
The flag, having no official use, obviously was not standardized, so other proportions were sometimes used, 1:2 having been among them. However, the 1:2 flag variant seems to have prevailed only after 2000, when it came to be used by the LSV only: the Vojvodina Coalition seems to have never used this variant. The only copies of this flag which I am still able to observe are used in Novi Sad, at the party headquarters and sometimes also outdoors, during different party activities in the public. These flags are with proportions 1:2. Otherwise the flag fell out of use almost completely since the LSV began adopting its own flags and especially after the current flag of Vojvodina was adopted, as it took the place which the LSV had wanted to put the vertical tricolour to. Probably no new flag copies were made during last several years.
Tomislav Todorović, 18 March 2009
Yesterday night BBC World News illustrated its headline on the
anti-Milošević demonstrations in Yugoslavia with an image of
demonstrators waving large vertically-divided
(dark)blue-yellow-(dark)green flags; there were at least about five
of them, apparently identical, so they did not seem to be
I wonder whether the shot actually showed a demonstration in Vojvodina. The flags were identical to that shown in above, but with both the blue and the green a bit darker. The flag proportions appeared to be 2:3.
Santiago Dotor, 22 September 1999
The shades of blue and green were originally not very dark but, the flag not having been standardized due to its unofficial status, very dark shades were also appearing sometimes. They are appearing on the flag copies still in use, but it is not easy to say if these were the original shades or they were darkened by age and/or weather. In my opinion, the latter was the case with most of the flags, because I do remember the flag hoisted from the party headquarters as having the shades only a bit darker than on the above images in 2002 and having very dark shades nowadays, blue being almost indistinguishable from black in the night if not under the direct lighting, and even yellow has darkened a bit so far.
Tomislav Todorović, 18 March 2009
The vertical blue-yellow-green flag dates from the year 1848, more
exactly from 11 May 1848 when this flag was adopted as the flag of
the revolutionaries from Sajkaska [region of Vojvodina around
Novi Sad], more precisely by the Sajkaska
Battalion (with only a difference in the last colour which was brownish).
The LSV after its establishment on 14 July 1990, adopted this flag (somewhat modified, namely in place of brown there is green) as its party flag, with the proposal that this shall be the future flag of the Republic of Vojvodina.
At that time this flag becomes one of the symbols of Vojvodina resistance movement against Milošević's regime in Belgrade, and appears in several countries of European Union and in the USA, as the official flag of the Republic of Vojvodina.
At that time it was also accepted also by the citizens of Vojvodina as a recognizable symbol of our party.
The claims that the blue-yellow-green flag originates from 1848 is
dubious. At that time, the Hungarians used their national flag that
has just been designed, just as well as the Serbs used their
tricolour, so there would hardly have been space for a
blue-yellow-green flag. The Serbs proclaimed Srpska Vojvodina
(Serbian Vojvodina) on a session in Sremski Karlovci, 1-3 May
1848. The Serb tricolour was proclaimed the
flag of that state/crownland. Srpska Vojvodina was disbanded on 1863, and the old counties were reintroduced. All other flags would have
been of secondary importance at that time.
The statement that blue, yellow and green colors represent sky and corn and wheat crops, respectively, is just a popular belief which has never been officially confirmed. Another such belief is that these colors represent sky, sun and fertile land in Vojvodina, respectively. Apart from all this, these colors happen to be main colors of the coat of arms of the Backa region, which occupies the dexter chief portion of the coat of arms of Vojvodina: blue field, green base and gold nimbus of St. Paul and hilt of his sword. Even the brown color, which is said to have occupied the place of green on some 1848 flags, appears there as the color of St Paul's toga (which should have been red, but it seems that the designers of the coat of arms made it after some old image on which red has changed into brown due to bad storage conditions). There has been no proof yet that this might be more than a coincidence, but still this makes the color combination more convenient for a would-be flag of Backa than for that of the Vojvodina as a whole, because the coats of arms of the other two regions have different main colors (Banat - yellow and red, Srem - green, white and blue).
Tomislav Todorović, 17 February 2004
1990 proposal, horizontal and vertical versions - Images by Tomislav Todorović, 7 March 2012
The earliest mentions in the media of the first flag introduced by the
League of Social-Democrats of Vojvodina were in August 1990, shortly
after the party itself was founded (July same year). Its first TV
appearance which I have observed was in November same year, during the
campaign for the first multi-party elections in Serbia which were held
the next month. This flag employed the same colors as the vertical
tricolor introduced in 1996, but in darker shades (blue and green) and arranged in three triangles: yellow in the centre, based at the hoist edge and with the top at the centre of the fly edge, blue at the top and green
at the bottom . There was also a vertical version, which seems to have been used more, with the yellow triangle pointing downwards and the blue one at the left-hand side.
Just like the vertical tricolor which succeeded it, this flag was a proposal for the flag of Vojvodina, not the party flag, although no other parties seemed to use it, except that the Democratic League of Croats in Vojvodina has modified it to design its first flag. It seems that very few copies of the flag were ever made and that it was not much used actually, especially after the Democratic League of Croats in Vojvodina has adopted the flag with a very similar design. The last time I have heard about it was in a conversation in March 1993. Its colors, however, were kept in the various designs of the LSV party logo until present day and were appearing again in the flags used by the party since 1996.
Two possible explanations of this flag's symbolism were given by Nenad Čanak, founder and president of the LSV, in the interview he gave to Index, the Novi Sad University students' magazine, in October 1990 (issue #6). When asked whose creation the flag was, he answered: "Our designers", not specifying whether they were members or sympathizers, or just hired by the LSV. His answer to the question about the colors' symbolism was "One of possible interpretations is that green represents ecology, and yellow and blue - the EEC colors. When it is observed vertically, we have a golden 'V' between the green plain and the rivers."
The fact that the vertical flag variant does resemble the shape of
letter "V" was probably the reason why it seems to have been used more
(it was the one I saw in November 1990, too). The first interpretation
given - ecology and the EEC (European Economic Community) - reminds,
however, of another flag used in the then Yugoslavia, which had been
adopted earlier same year: that of the League of Communists of Slovenia - Party of Democratic Renewal.
Even though the official explanation of that flag differed somewhat, the same meaning was often associated with its colors. This is why it is possible that the design of the LSV flag was partly inspired (selection of colors) by the one from Slovenia, especially considering that the LSV might have been seeing the political similarities with the Slovenian party, which was not only evolving from the Communism towards the Social Democracy at that time, but also was, as the governing party in Slovenia until April 1990, the loudest among the opponents of the then leadership of Serbia: the publicly expressed stances of the LSV during the 1990s did often sound (sometimes even alluded to it rather openly) as if it was seeing itself as a "reformed" evolutive successor, ideological although not legal, of the Communist leadership of Vojvodina which took the power through a series of purges in 1972 and was forced to resign in 1988, as the result of a series of events known as "anti-bureaucratic revolution", which are still viewed in contradictory ways, either as a people's revolt against a corrupt and authoritarian ruling clique or as a coup organized by Slobodan Milošević.
It shall also be noted that during the whole period of this flag's
use, no mention was made of its possible origins from 1848. That
statement must have appeared later, between 1996, when the vertical
blue-yellow-green tricolor was introduced, and 1999, when the said
story was reported to the present website. Considering the above, even if the existence of the alleged 1848 flag were proven - and no evidence for
that was ever presented so far - the unrelated flag from 1990, which
is obviously the predecessor of that from 1996, shows that the report
from 1999, if true, could only be a later construction, made to
connect a later discovery with a design whose creation had preceded
it, all that regardless of the 1990 design's origins, which still do
require more exploring.
A number of corporate logos introduced in Vojvodina during the 1990s and early 2000s also employed blue, yellow and green as their colors, which does suggest the work of a single team of designers, possibly the same one which has created the blue-yellow-green flag from 1990 and perhaps the one from 1996 as well, regardless of their own political attitudes.
Tomislav Todorović, 7 March 2012