Flag of Serbia

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Serbia
Flag of Serbia.svg
Use National flag and state ensign
Proportion 2:3
Adopted 2004 (original version)

2010 (latest version used)

Design Horizontal tricolour of red, blue and white, with lesser coat of arms
Civil Flag of Serbia.svg
Variant flag of Serbia
Use Civil flag and ensign
Proportion 2:3
Adopted 2004
Design Horizontal tricolour of red, blue and white

The flag of Serbia is a tricolour consisting of three equal horizontal bands, red on the top, blue in the middle and white on the bottom. The same tricolour, in altering variations, has been used since the 19th century as the flag of the state of Serbia and the Serbian nation. The current form of the flag was officially adopted on November 11, 2010.[1]


Design[edit]

State flag construction sheet

The state flag bears the lesser coat of arms, centered vertically and shifted to the hoist side by one-seventh of the flag's length.[2] The flag ratio is 2:3 (height/width), with three equal horizontal bands of red, blue and white, each taking one third of the height. Recommended colours are:[3]

Scheme Red Red* Blue Yellow Black
Pantone 192C 704C 280C 123C X
CMYK 0-90-70-10 0-90-70-30 100-72-0-19 4-24-95-0 X-X-X-100
RGB 198-54-60 161-45-46 12-64-118 237-185-46 33-35-30

(*) Only used on the greater arms ermine mantling, as seen on the presidential standards.

History[edit]

Flag of Stefan Vladislav[edit]

Design used in the past, but now abandoned Design is a reconstruction, based on past observations Flag of Vladislav I (r. 1233–1243), as described in 1281

The oldest known description of a flag of Serbia is from the 1281 description of a flag in the treasury of Stefan Vladislav of Serbia (1233–1243), which was kept in the Republic of Ragusa. The description lists "vexillum unum de zendato rubeo et blavo" - a flag of fabric red and blue (zendato - čenda a type of light, silky fabric).[4] We however don't know how were the colours patterned; a flag design seen in commemorations of medieval events is a red-blue horizontal diband.[5] Note that, as Vladislav ruled from 1233 to 1243 and died after 1264, the flag predates the time of the description.

Flags of Emperor Dušan[edit]

Design used in the past, but now abandoned Design is a reconstruction, based on past observations Flag of Dušan the Mighty (1339–?)

The oldest known drawing of the flag is from a 1339 map made by Angelino Dulcert. The map depicts a number of flags, and Serbia is represented by a flag placed above Skoplje (Skopi) with the name Serbia near the hoist, which was characteristic for capital cities at the time of the drawing of the map. The flag represented the realm of Stephen Uroš IV Dušan of Serbia, who in 1345 became Emperor of Serbs and Greeks when he founded the Serbian Empire. The flag is red double-headed eagle on a yellow field.[6]

Another of Dušan's flags was the Imperial cavalry flag, kept at the Hilandar monastery on Mount Athos; a triangular bicolored flag, of red and yellow.[7]

Revolutionary flags[edit]

Design used in the past, but now abandoned Obverse side meant to be hoisted with pole to the observer's right A flag from the First Serbian Uprising.

During the First Serbian Uprising, a large variety of flags was used. Among the early flags, the one described by Mateja Nenadović could be connected with today's flag: it was white-red-blue with three crosses.[8] Regular armies of the uprising usually had light yellow flags with various symbols, while voivode flags were often red-white, and with a superimposed black two-headed eagle. There were also flags of other colors, including red-yellow, red-white-blue and red-blue. This variety of colors was followed by variety of symbols on the flags, most often taken from Hristofor Zhefarovich's book Stemmatographia of 1741. The most common symbol on the flags were the Serbian cross, followed by coat of arms of Tribalia and various other crosses.[9] Most of the flags were made in Sremski Karlovci, designed by Serbian painters Stefan Gavrilović, Ilija Gavrilović and Nikola Apostolović.[9]

Modern flags[edit]

Design used in the past, but now abandoned State flag of the Kingdom of Serbia (1882–1918)

The 1835 Sretenje Constitution described the colours of the Serbian flag as bright red, white and čelikasto-ugasita (that could be translated as steelish-dark).[10] The constitution was criticized, especially by Russia, and the flag was specifically singled out as being similar to the revolutionary flag of France.[11] Soon afterwards, Miloš Obrenović was requesting to the Porte that the new constitution should contain an article about the flag and coat of arms,[12] and subsequent ferman (1835) allowed Serbs to use their own maritime flag, which will have "upper part of red, middle of blue, and lower of white",[13] which is the first appearance of the colors which has remained until today.

The colours are the reverse of those on the flag of Russia, and various popular stories exist in Serbia which seek to explain why. An example:[14]

In Karađorđe's time, a delegation from Serbia went to Russia to seek help, and after arrival was at a celebration. When they were asked why don't they participate in the parade, they hastily entered and turned the Russian flag upside down. The citizens have thus noticed that Serbs have their flag too.

Serbia used the red, blue and white tri-colour continuously from 1835 until 1918 when Serbia joined the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, later known as Yugoslavia.

After World War II, Yugoslavia was reformed into a socialist federal republic, composed of six republics, one of which was Serbia. Each republic was entitled to its own flag on the condition that it contains the socialist red star.[15] Following the breakup of Yugoslavia, Serbia initially continued using the same flag; the 1990 Constitution of Serbia stated that flag and coat of arms of Serbia can only be changed by the same procedure used to change the constitution itself,[16] which required absolute majority of voters to support it.[17] 1992 Serbian constitutional referendum asked the voters to choose between the flag with and without the star, with red star gaining the majority of votes, however not the absolute majority of voters. The red star was nonetheless removed from the flag in 1992 by a recommendation by the Serbian parliament;[15][18] however, the coat of arms remained untouched. In 2003, however, the government of Serbia issued a recommendation on flag and coat of arms use, that preferred using different symbols from the ones in the constitution. The 2006 Constitution of Serbia stated that the state emblems will be regulated by law;[19] the recommendation remained in use until May 11, 2009, when actual flag law was enacted.[20] In November 11, 2010, a visual redesign of the coat of arms was enacted, which is currently used on the state flag.[1]

Civil Flag of Serbia.svg Flag of SR Serbia.svg Flag of Serbia (1992-2004).svg Flag of Serbia (2004-2010).svg Flag of Serbia.svg
1835–1918 1945–1992 1992–2004 2004–2010 2010–Present

Related and similar flags[edit]

The Serbian tricolour has been used as the basis for other flags, most notably Montenegro which used the Serbian tricolour with varying shades of blue. During the second Yugoslavia, the republics of Serbia and Montenegro had flags of same design and colours. Montenegro changed its flag in 1993 by altering the proportion and shade of blue in its flag and used this flag until 2004.

The Serbian tricolour was also the basis for the breakaway territories of Republic of Serbian Krajina and Republika Srpska during the Yugoslav Wars. The flag of Republika Srpska is still the Serbian tricolour.

The Serbian tricolour defaced with a Serbian cross is used as the flag of the Serbian Orthodox Church.[21] A number of other unofficial variant flags, some with variations of the cross, coat of arms, or both, exist.

Proper flag protocol[edit]

State flag[edit]

The state flag (de facto national flag) is constantly flown on the entrances of state organ buildings. The National Assembly flies it only when in session and during state holidays. Organs of provinces, Vojvodina and Kosovo and Metohija, fly it only on national holidays.[22]

It can also be flown during celebrations and other solemn manifestations which mark events of importance for Serbia, and on other occasions.[23] During state mourning, it is flown at half mast, including by the organs of provinces, local organs, and public services.[24] The flag must be displayed in an election room during an election for state bodies.[25]

National flag[edit]

The national flag (de facto civil flag) of Serbia is constantly flown on the entrance of the National Assembly and organs of provinces and public services. It must be displayed in an election room during an election for provincial or local organs.[26]

Also, it can be hoisted during celebrations and other cultural or sport manifestations, and on other occasions.[27]

Other flags[edit]

The President of Serbia and the Speaker of the National Assembly use their official respective standards.[28] The Serbian River Flotilla also uses its own naval ensign.

Respect for the flag[edit]

Neither the state flag nor the civil flag can be hoisted so that they touch the ground, nor be used as rests, tablecloths, carpets or curtains, nor to cover vehicles or other objects, nor to attire speaker platforms or tables, except as table flags.[29] They must not be used if damaged or otherwise look unsuitable for use.[30]

The flag is not flown in bad weather conditions. Also, it is flown only in daylight, unless it is illuminated.[31]

If the flag is flown vertically on tables or otherwise, its top field is on the left side of the viewer. If it is flown vertically across a street or square, its top field should be on the northern side if the street has east-west orientation, and eastern side if it has north-south orientation or on a circular square.[32]

Correct display[edit]

The law defines how the flag of Serbia is displayed along with other flags, making no difference between state flags and other kinds of flags.

If the flag is hoisted with another flag, it is always on the viewer's left, except during an official visit of a representative of another country or an international organization, when the flag of the visitor is it is on the viewer's left. If the flag is hoisted with another on crossed staffs, its staff must be the front one.[33]

If the flag of Serbia is hoisted along with two flags, it must be in the middle.[33]

If the flag is flown with multiple flags,

  • If the flags are flown in a circle, it must be in the center of the circle, clearly visible;
  • If the flags are flown in a semicircle, it must be in its vertex;
  • If the flags are flown in a column, it must be in the front of the column;
  • If the flags are flown in a row, it must be in the first place, that is, on the viewer's left;
  • If the flags are flown in a group, it must be in the front of the group.[33]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Grb Srbije: Dvoglavi orao menja perje (in Serbian)
  2. ^ Препорука о коришћењу грба, заставе и химне Србије (in Serbian)
  3. ^ Standards of Flag and Coat of Arms, Parliament of Serbia PDF (871 KiB) (in Serbian)
  4. ^ D. Samardžić. Vojne zastave Srba do 1918. Beograd: Vojni muzej, 1983
  5. ^ Flag of the Serbian Kingdom, 13th century at Flags of the World
  6. ^ Gordana Tomović. Monumenta Cartographica Jugoslaviae II, Beograd: Narodna Knjiga, 1979
  7. ^ Atlagić, M. 1997, "The cross with symbols S as heraldic symbols", Baština, no. 8, pp. 149-158.
  8. ^ B. A: Principality of Serbia (1830-1882) FOTW
  9. ^ a b Dragana Samardžić: Старе заставе у Војном Музеју, Belgrade 1993
  10. ^ "Глава друга. Боя и Грбъ Сербіє" [Chapter two. Color and Coat of Arms of Serbia]. Уставъ Княжества Сербіє [Constitution of the Princedom of Serbia] (in Serbian (old orthography)). Kragujevac: Princedom of Serbia. 1835. COBISS.SR-ID 150291719. Retrieved 2011-06-18. "3.) Боя народна Србска єстъ отворено-црвена, бѣла и челикасто-угасита." 
  11. ^ Mih. Gavrilovic, Suspendovanje prvog srpskog ustava februar-mart 1835 god., Arhiv za pravne i drustvene nauke, I, 1906, 410-412
  12. ^ D. Samardzic, Vojne zastave Srba do 1918, Beograd, 1983
  13. ^ D. Matic, Javno pravo Knjazevstva Srbije, Beograd, 1851, 33
  14. ^ LJ. M. V. - J. Ž. S. (2006-08-01). "Hej, Bože pravde!". Vecernje novosti. Retrieved 2007-04-17. 
  15. ^ a b Branislav Ž. Vešović: Yugoslavia during the Second World War
  16. ^ 1990 Constitution of Serbia, Article 5
  17. ^ 1990 Constitution of Serbia, Article 133
  18. ^ Recommendation on the use of the Flag of Serbia ("Official Gazette of Serbia", No. 49/1992.)
  19. ^ 2006 Constitution of Serbia, Article 7
  20. ^ Закон о изгледу и употреби грба, заставе и химне Републике Србије, 2009-05-11
  21. ^ Constitution of Serbian Orthodox Church, Article 4: Застава Српске православне цркве је тробојка: црвено-плаво-бело, са златним крстом и огњилима.
  22. ^ Law on look and use of the coat of arms, flag and anthem of the Republic of Serbia, article 20
  23. ^ Law on look and use of the coat of arms, flag and anthem of the Republic of Serbia, article 24
  24. ^ Law on look and use of the coat of arms, flag and anthem of the Republic of Serbia, article 23
  25. ^ Law on look and use of the coat of arms, flag and anthem of the Republic of Serbia, article 22
  26. ^ Law on look and use of the coat of arms, flag and anthem of the Republic of Serbia, article 28
  27. ^ Law on look and use of the coat of arms, flag and anthem of the Republic of Serbia, article 29
  28. ^ Law on look and use of the coat of arms, flag and anthem of the Republic of Serbia, article 25
  29. ^ Law on look and use of the coat of arms, flag and anthem of the Republic of Serbia, article 33
  30. ^ Law on look and use of the coat of arms, flag and anthem of the Republic of Serbia, article 6
  31. ^ Law on look and use of the coat of arms, flag and anthem of the Republic of Serbia, article 32
  32. ^ Law on look and use of the coat of arms, flag and anthem of the Republic of Serbia, article 31
  33. ^ a b c Law on look and use of the coat of arms, flag and anthem of the Republic of Serbia, article 30
  • Krkljuš, L. 2009, "Features and symbols during the Serbian Nationalist Movement from 1848 to 1849", Istraživanja, no. 20, pp. 145-159

External links[edit]