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The coat of arms of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Coat of arms of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg
Information ~
Date of origin 18 May 1998
Shield Per bend enhanced Or and azure, a bend of mullets argent.

The Coat of Arms of Bosnia and Herzegovina was adopted in 1998, replacing the previous design that had been in use since 1992 when Bosnia and Herzegovina gained independence, and follows the design of the national flag. The three pointed shield is specific and is to symbolize the three major ethnic groups of Bosnia, as well as allude to the shape of the country. The stars were adopted to replace the fleur de lys that were found on more ancient coat of arms to avoid singling out the Bosniak ethnicity as most prominent, and possibly to allude to the European Union, of which the state is recognized as a potential candidate for entry.


Historic coats of arms

The coat of arms of the Kingdom of Bosnia, which existed from 1377 until 1463 and covered the area that is present day Bosnia-Herzegovina and Dalmatia, were those of its kings from the House of Kotromanić. It consisted of a blue shield with six gold fleur de lys and a white bend, or diagonal bar; the fleur de lys perhaps symbolic of Lilium bosniacum, which is a native lily to the area. The crest is a plume of peacock feathers that sit within a coronet of fleur de lys. This would be the basis for the arms adopted by Bosnia and Herzegovina later in 1992. The House of Kotromanić ruled Bosnia until 1878 when the Ottomans conquered the region, also ceasing then the use of the royal coat of arms as arms of dominion.

After Herzegovina and Bosnia were annexed by the Austrian-Hungarian Empire in 1878, both territories received arms from the Empire. The arms of Stjepan Vukčić Hrvatinić, a Bosnian noble from the fourteenth century, served as inspiration. His personal heraldic achievement consisted of a white shield with a red armoured arm brandishing a sword next to a red lion rampant, with two red bars running across the top fo the shield, and a crest also with a red armoured arm wielding a sword. Herzegovina would be given a red shield with a bare arm holding a broken lance for its coat of arms in this same fashion. The coat of arms of Bosnia would be gold with a red armoured arm issuing out of clouds, holding a sword. Though both dominions fell under the crown of Hungary, Bosnia, and not Herzegovina, would be included in the greater arms of the Hungarian King.

In the nineteenth century, the nationalist movement that had risen against both the former Ottoman rule and contemporary Austro-Hungarian occupation adopted arms based on those found in the fifteenth century Fojnica armorial roll. The Fojnički arms were a gold shield with two black ragged staffs crossed in saltire, or an 'X' pattern, with two Moor's heads atop the upper portion of each staff. Then over all lay a red inescutheon, which is a smaller shield, that was charged with a crescent and eight-pointed star.

Coat of Arms of the House of Kotromanić.svg Escutcheon of Herzegovina from the late 19th century by Alexander Liptak.png Wappen Bosnien-Herzegowina.png Escutcheon of Bosnia from 1340 by Alexander Liptak.png
The coat of arms of Tvrtko I of Bosnia, who became the first King of Bosnia in 1377. The territorial coat of arms of Herzegovina during Austro-Hungarian reign, which began in 1878. The territorial coat of arms of Bosnia during the Austro-Hungarian reign that began in 1878. The arms described in the 14th century Fojnica armorial, and later in the 19th by the national movement.

Recent emblems

Coat of arms used from 1992 until 1998, taken from the arms of Tvrtko I of Bosnia.

The emblem, along with the flag, of the socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina was adopted on December 31, 1946. The description of the emblem was similar to the other Yugoslav republics. The device had two crossing stems of wheat in front of scheme of a neighborhood with two factory chimneys out of which there is smoke. Around the decorative branches and wheat, there is a red track that spirals around. At the top of the emblem is a red star with a golden frame. The red star symbolizes the socialism and communism of Yugoslavia at the time.

The device represents the industry Bosnia and Herzegovina had at the time. The factory chimneys show the industry of several important Bosnian, then Yugoslav, towns and their vital influence towards the economy. It must be noted that all of the Yugoslav republics had similar emblems, however, Bosnia and Herzegovina was the only that did not portray nationalistic symbols, representing its multiethnic composition.

The national emblem of the Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina was exactly the same as was the previous device of the People's Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and defined in its Constitution. This was the first emblem ever in the history of both the regions of Herzegovina and Bosnia that was specific to the entire modern country of Bosnia and Herzegovina.[1]

The coat of arms of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina was similar to that of the Kotromanić dynasty. It had a blue background divided by a white line. The diagonal white line is actually supposed to symbolize the sword of Tvrtko and his might as a ruler. The coat of arms was designed in a hurry, right at the beginning of the Bosnian War, which lasted for 3 years. At the end of the war, there came uproar from the Bosnian Serbs arguing that the coat of arms solely represented Bosniaks. The international community within Bosnia and Herzegovina was the instrument to solve the controversy. In early 1998 a commission for the flag change was created and the same year the current coat of arms was adopted in order to help alleviate the tensions among ethnicities. The current one, however, lacks any history relating to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The current coat of arms of Bosnia and Herzegovina presents the typical straight top, oval sides, and spiked bottom. The coat of arms has two separate background color, dark blue and gold. Both colors are seen in the coat of arms between 1992 and 1998. Even though the current coat of arms does not directly relate with Bosnian-Herzegovinian history, the colors that were used were the ones from the former coat of arms. The top right corner forms a yellow triangle symbolizing the shape of Bosnia and Herzegovina, portraying the sky, rivers and lakes. Through this the coat of arms portrays the Bosnian and Herzegovinian historical continuity and its historical statehood.

See also

External links


  1. ^ Đorđević, Jovan. Ustavno pravo FNRJ, Izd. Arhiva za pravne i društvene nauke, Beograd, 1953., str. 427.


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