Only Unity Saves the Serbs

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Only Unity Saves the Serbs (more literally Only Concord Saves a Serb, Serbian: Само слога Србина спасава/Samo sloga Srbina spasava) is an unofficial motto used in Serbia and a popular slogan among Serbs, often used as a rallying call against foreign domination and during times of national crisis.

The phrase is an interpretation of what is taken to be four Cyrillic letters for "S" (written С) on the Serbian cross. These symbols are more commonly known to be "firesteels" (Serbian: оцила / ocila, and were taken from Byzantine heraldry in the Late Middle Ages.

Popular tradition attributes the motto St. Sava (12th century) the first Metropolitan of Žiča and Archbishop of Serbs of the Serbian Orthodox Church. According to the story, St. Sava called for the creation of an independent church in Serbia that would remain Orthodox, and uttered the phrase to urge the Serbian people to declare national autonomy and resist domination by the Roman Catholic Church.[1]

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