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Flag of Serbia
See adjacent text.
Names National flag, Народна застава
Use Civil flag and ensign
Proportion 2:3
Adopted August 16, 2004
Design Rectangular horizontally divided tricolor of red-blue-white.
See adjacent text.
Names State flag, Државна застава
Use State flag and ensign and war flag
Proportion 2:3
Adopted August 16, 2004
Design Rectangular defaced tricolor, horizontally divided red-blue-white with the lesser CoA.
See adjacent text.
Use Naval ensign
Proportion 2:3
Adopted 2006
Design Rectangular red ensign with the national state flag in the canton.

The flag of Serbia is a tricolour with Pan-Slavic colours, with three equal horizontal fields, red on the top, blue in the middle and white on the bottom. The same tricolour, in a number of variations, was the flag of Serbia throughout history, and is the National flag of the Serbian people. On the State flag there is the Lesser Coat of arms of Serbia centered vertically and located left of center by one-seventh of the flag's length[1].

A similar flag was also used between 1882, when Serbia was proclaimed a kingdom, and abandoned in 1918, when it joined the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. In 1945, Serbia became a republic within the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and a communist star was added to the middle, was officially dropped in 1992. The current form of the flag was officially adopted on August 16, 2004 in form of recommendation issued by the Parliament of Serbia[2]. By adoption of the new Constitution of Serbia on November 8, 2006, its usage became constitutionally sanctioned (along with the coat of arms and anthem), and the State and the National (civil) flag were equalized[3]. The version without the Coat of arms was used as the State flag and the National flag, and since continued to be used as a National Flag only.

Contents

History

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Medieval flags

Flag of Vladislav

FIAV reconstructed.svg Reconstruction of the flag of Serbia described in 1281

The oldest known description of a flag of Serbia is from 1281 description of treasury of king Stefan Vladislav, which was kept in Dubrovnik Republic. The description lists vexillum unum de zendato rubeo et blavo - a flag of fabric red and blue.[4] We however don't know how were the colours patterned; horizontal diband shown to the left is sometimes used in commemorations of medieval events in Serbia[5]. As Vladislav ruled from 1234 to 1243 and died after 1264, the flag was used earlier than it was described, around the middle XIII century.

Flag of Tsar Dušan

Flag of Serbia on the map of Angelino Dulcert

The oldest known drawing of a flag of Serbia is from the 1339 map of Angelino Dulcert. The map depicts a number of flags, and Serbia is represented by a flag placed above Skoplje (Skopi) with the name Serbia (Seruja) near the hoist, which was characteristic for capital cities at the time of the drawing of the map. The flag is red two-headed eagle on a yellow field.[6]

Flags of 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[7]. Regular army of the uprising usually had light yellow flags with various symbols, while voivode flags were often red-white, made of silk, and defaced with black two-headed eagle from the coat of arms of Russia. 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 Žefarović's Stematography. The most common symbol on the flags is Serbian cross, followed by coat of arms of Tribalia and various other crosses.[8]

Most of the flags were made in Sremski Karlovci, designed by Serbian painters Stefan Gavrilović, Ilija Gavrilović and Nikola Apostolović.[8]

Modern flag

The 1835 Sretenje Constitution prescribed the flag of Serbia as horizontal tricolour of red, white and dark blue (almost black) (čelikasto-ugasita) stripes. The constitution was criticized, especially by Russia, and the flag was specifically singled out as being similar to the revolutionary flag of France[9]. Soon afterwards, Miloš Obrenović was requesting to the Porte that the new constitution should contain an article about the flag and coat of arms[10], 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 colour"[11], which is the first appearance of the colors which has remained until today.

The colors are exactly reverse of those on the flag of Russia, and various popular stories exist in Serbia which seek to explain why. An example:[12]

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.

During World War I, use of the flag was forbidden in occupied Serbia[13]. After the war, the Kingdom of Yugoslavia was established (see Flag of Yugoslavia). Since Serbia did not exist as a territorial division in Yugoslavia it no longer had a flag.

After World War II, the League of Communists of Yugoslavia came to power in Yugoslavia, and split it into six republics, one of which was Serbia. The red star was used on the middle of the new flag of Serbia, as was the case with other flags of the Yugoslav Socialist Republics and very flag of Yugoslavia. Exactly the same flag was used as flag of Montenegro.[13][14]

After the breakup of Yugoslavia, the red star was removed in 1992 from the flag.[13][14] The official dimensions were 1:2 as it was usual in the former Yugoslavia.

Flag Date Period Description
Flag of Serbia (1830-1882).svg
1835-1882 Principality of Serbia Serbian red, blue and white tri-colour.
Flag of Serbia (1882-1918).png
1892-1918 Kingdom of Serbia The Serbian tri-colour with the royal arms in center.
Flag of SR Serbia.svg
1945-1991 Socialist Republic of Serbia Serbian tri-colour with red star in center.
Flag of Serbia 1991-2004.svg
1991-2004 Republic of Serbia The traditional Serbian tri-colour returned

Design

The flag ratio is 2:3 (height/width), with the three colours each taking one third of the height. Recommended colours, starting from the top, are:[15]

Flag construction sheet

Proper flag protocol

National Flag

The National flag of Serbia is constantly flown on the entrance of the National Assembly and organs of provinces and public services. It has to be displayed in an election room during an election for provincial or local organs.[16]

Also, it can be hoisted during celebrations and other cultural or sport manifestations, and on other occasions[17].

State Flag

The flag has small Coat of Arms of Serbia centered vertically and located left of center by one-seventh of the length of the flag.[1] The state flag of Serbia is constantly flown on the entrance of a building of a state organ of Serbia, and displayed in their rooms. Armed Forces in Serbia (including Ministry of Interior, Zandarmerija, Army, Police), can display state flag in a form of patch on their service and combat(subdued version flag patch) uniforms. The National Assembly flies it only when in session and during state holidays. Organs of provinces, Vojvodina and (in theory) Kosovo and Metohija, fly it only on state holidays.[18]

It can also be flown during celebrations and other solemn manifestations which mark events of importance for Serbia, and on other occasions.[19] During state mourning, it is flown at half mast but only by provincial and local organs and public services.[20]

The flag also has to be displayed in an election room during an election for state bodies[21] and in the room of civil registry dedicated for marriage (the registrar has to carry a sash with flag colors as well)[22].

Other flags

The President of Serbia and the Speaker of the National Assembly of Serbia use their respective Standards instead of the state flag[23].

Respect for the flag

Neither the State flag nor the National 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. They must not be used if damaged or otherwise look unsuitable for use.[24]

The flag is not flown in bad weather conditions. Also, it is flown only in daylight, unless it's illuminated.[25]

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.[26]

Correct display

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.

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

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.[27]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Препорука о коришћењу грба, заставе и химне Републике Србије
  2. ^ Official site of Parliament of Serbia
  3. ^ "Constitution of the Republic of Serbia, Article 7". National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia. http://www.parliament.gov.rs/content/eng/akta/ustav/ustav_1.asp. 
  4. ^ D. Samardžić. Vojne zastave Srba do 1918. Beograd: Vojni muzej, 1983
  5. ^ Flag of the Serbian Kingdom, XIIIth century at Flags of the World
  6. ^ Gordana Tomović. Monumenta Cartographica Jugoslaviae II, Beograd: Narodna Knjiga, 1979
  7. ^ B. A: Principality of Serbia (1830-1882) FOTW
  8. ^ a b Dragana Samardžić: Старе заставе у Војном Музеју, Belgrade 1993
  9. ^ Mih. Gavrilovic, Suspendovanje prvog srpskog ustava februar-mart 1835 god., Arhiv za pravne i drustvene nauke, I, 1906, 410-412
  10. ^ D. Samardzic, Vojne zastave Srba do 1918, Beograd, 1983
  11. ^ D. Matic, Javno pravo Knjazevstva Srbije, Beograd, 1851, 33
  12. ^ LJ. M. V. - J. Ž. S. (2006-08-01). "Hej, Bože pravde!". Vecernje novosti. http://www.novosti.rs/code/navigate.php?Id=1&status=jedna&vest=92154&datum=2006-07-25. Retrieved 2007-04-17. 
  13. ^ a b c Branislav Ž. Vešović: Yugoslavia during the Second World War
  14. ^ a b Recommendation on the use of the Flag of the Republic of Serbia ("Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia", No. 49/1992.)
  15. ^ (Serbian) Standards of Flag and Coat of Arms, Parliament of SerbiaPDF (871 KiB)
  16. ^ Conclusion on Use of the Coat of Arms, Flag and Anthem of the Republic of Serbia, IV/6
  17. ^ Conclusion on Use of the Coat of Arms, Flag and Anthem of the Republic of Serbia, IV/7
  18. ^ Conclusion on Use of the Coat of Arms, Flag and Anthem of the Republic of Serbia, IV/1
  19. ^ Conclusion on Use of the Coat of Arms, Flag and Anthem of the Republic of Serbia, IV/4
  20. ^ Conclusion on Use of the Coat of Arms, Flag and Anthem of the Republic of Serbia, IV/3
  21. ^ Conclusion on Use of the Coat of Arms, Flag and Anthem of the Republic of Serbia, IV/2
  22. ^ Family Law, article 299
  23. ^ Conclusion on Use of the Coat of Arms, Flag and Anthem of the Republic of Serbia, IV/5
  24. ^ Conclusion on Use of the Coat of Arms, Flag and Anthem of the Republic of Serbia, IV/8
  25. ^ Law on use of flag, anthem and coat of arms of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Article 13
  26. ^ Law on the Use of the Flag, the Anthem and the Coat of arms of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Article 12th
  27. ^ Law on use of flag, anthem and coat of arms of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Article 11

External links



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