Last modified: 2011-09-02 by ivan sache
Keywords: yugoslavia | bosnia and herzegovina | star (red) | chimneys: 2 | hammer and sickle (yellow) | partisan |
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Flag of Socialist Bosnia and Herzegovina - Image by Željko Heimer, 14 July 2006
Bosnia and Herzegovina (People's Republic of, Narodna Republika Bosna i Hercegovina until 1963; then Socialist Republic, Socijalistička Republika Bosna i Hercegovina, until 1991), had a flag without historical precedence, adopted on 31 December 1946.
The adoption of the of flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina is described by Emir O. Filipović in Grb i zastava Bosne i Hercegovine u 20. stoljeću (The Coat of Arms and the Flag of Bosnia and Hercegovina in the 20th century), Bosna Franciscana, 28 (16),103-126.
With the formation of the "new" state within the Federative Yugoslavia the historical symbols of it were to be ignored as well as the symbols of any of the three ethnical communities living there. The proposed Constitution was published on 15 November 1946 in the newspaper Sarajevski dnevnik, No. 429, as Nacrt Ustava NR BiH. It includsed a proposal for the coat of arms quite different from the arms eventually adopted (a torch held by three hands in front of the mountains surrounded with a wreath of wheat topped with the red star and bound with a ribbon bearing the date "1-VII-1944" - the day of the 2nd session of ZAVNOBiH, when the statehood of Bosnia and Herzegovina was decided upon).
Article 5 of the proposed Constitution describes the proposed flag in enough details to provide a quite high-fidelity reconstruction.
Flag proposal - Image by Željko Heimer, 3 January 2010
The state flag of the People's Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina is composed of three colours: blue, white and red, in horizontal arrangement. The ratio of width to length is one to two. In the centre of the flag are set two five-pointed stars - a red and a golden one, with their rays interchangeably positioned. The bottom golden star is smaller, with wider angles and smaller vertexes. Its lower ray enters into 1/3 of the red stripe, so that the top rays enter adequately into the blue stripe. The top red five-pointed star is larger and bordered golden. Its top ray enters to 1/2 of the blue stripe, so that its lower rays enter adequately into the red stripe.
The wide public discussion resulted in the overall opinion that the state flag should be red, as this was the flag adopted by the liberation movements in the begining and the national tricolours of Serbs and Croats were "import" of later period in the struggle. After a consultation with highest officials in Belgrade, the public opinion was listened to, with addition of the Yugoslav tricolour in the canton, as a symbol of affiliation to the Federation. Therefore an amendment to the proposed article was made, that was adopted in the end:
The state flag of the People's Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina is red. The ratio of width to length is one to two. In the top corner of the flag next to the hoist are yellow (golden) edged colours of the state flag of the FPRY, with the red five-pointed star in the centre, covering one fourth of the width i.e. length of the flag. The star has the regular five-pointed shape and is bordered yellow (golden). The top ray of the star enters to the half of the blue field, so that the bottom rays enter adequately into the red field.
This gives us exact wording of the description of the flag and provides us with technical details - proving that numerous variants that were to be seen regarding the size and exact positioning of the Yugoslav tricolour in the red flag are nothing more than irregular representations. Virtually the same description of the flag is retained in the 1974 Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as also noted by Filipović.
Željko Heimer, 3 January 2010
Variant of the flag - Image by Željko Heimer, 14 July 2006
The flag in real use had, not unusually, a much bigger
canton, and most often, the Yugoslav flag was in a "free canton",
that is offset from the edges and bordered in white.
Such a flag was indeed proposed in 1947 as the flag of People's Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, but it was never adopted.
Željko Heimer & Velid-aga Jerlagić, 14 July 2006
Coat of arms of Socialist Bosnia and Herzegovina - Image by Željko Heimer, 4 October 2004
The coat of arms od Bosnia and Herzegovina is "Behind two garbs of wheat, two smoking chimneys in front of a cog wheel, surrounded by a wreath with a red ribbon. Yellow bordered red star in chief".
Željko Heimer, 4 October 2004
Erroneous flag - Image by Josep M. Palau, 2 January 2000
A red flag with the central elements of the coat of arms placed in canton was published in a book as the flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This is pure fantasy by the book's publisher.
Željko Heimer & Velid-aga Jerlagić, 5 January 2000
Flag of SK BiH, versions with Latin and Cyrillic scripts - Images by Željko Heimer, 13 April 1998
The League of Communists of Bosnia and Herzegovina was member of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia, and the pattern of the flag followed - the only difference being the small initials below the star. In theory the flag with inscriptions in any language of the peoples living in Bosnia and Hrzegovina could be used, though in practice only two were used - in Serbo-Croatian, either in Latin or Cyrillic script.
Željko Heimer, 13 April 1998
Partisan's flag - Image by Velid-aga Jerlagić, 13 April 1998
The People's Liberation Army and Partisan Units of Yugoslavia used in 1944 this flag in Bosnia.
Velid-aga Jerlagić, 13 April 1998