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Republic of Srpska (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

Republika Srpska, Republic of Serbska, Serb Republic

Last modified: 2008-08-09 by dov gutterman
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image by Željko Heimer, 6 September 2000

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New Flag for the Republic of Srpska ?

The Constitutional Court (CC) decided that both the Serb Republic and the Federation had to adopt new flags (although the decision is named "partial decision" whatever that means in Bosnian legal system), however, the deadline for the implementation of that decision has not yet come.
At the website of the CC of B&H it is explained:
"Today, on 31 March 2006, the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina commenced with its 30th Plenary session, on Vlašic. [...]  
In case U 4/04, concerning a request of Mr. Sulejman Tihic, who was at the time of filing the request a Chair of Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, for review of constitutionality of Articles 1 and 2 of the Law on Coat of Arms and Flag of Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Articles 1, 2 and 3 of the Constitutional Law on Flag, Coat of Arms and Anthem of the Republika Srpska, Articles 2 and 3 of the Law on Use of Flag, Coat of Arms and Anthem and Articles 1 and 2 of the Family Patron-Saint's Days and Church Holidays of Republika Srpska, the Constitutional Court decided to take a partial decision. In regards to part of the request referring to Articles 1 and 2 of the Law on Family-Patron's Days and Church Holidays of the Republika Srpska and having regard to the fact that adoption of new law is currently in the process, the Constitutional Court decided to postpone its decision on this issue, as well as on the issue of flag referred to in Article 1 of the Constitutional Law on Flag, Coat of Arms and Anthem of the Republika Srpska.
In the partial decision adopted today, it was established that Articles 1 and 2 of the Law on Coat of Arms and Flag of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Articles 2 and 3 of the Constitutional Law on Flag, Coat of Arms and Anthem of the Republika Srpska are not in conformity with Article II.4 of the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina in connection with Article 1.1 and 2 (a) and (c) of the International Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination under Annex I to the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Parliament of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and National Assembly of Republika Srpska are ordered, in accordance with Article 63 para 4 of the Rules of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, to conform these provisions to the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina within time limit of six months, from the date of publishing this Decision in Official Gazette of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
It was established that Article 2 of the Law on Use of Flag, Coat of Arms and Anthem in the part providing that flag, coat of arms and anthem of the Republika Srpska „represent statehood of the Republika Srpska" is not in accordance with Article I.1 and I.2 of the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina and that Article 3 of the Law on Use of Flag, Coat of Arms and Anthem, in the part providing that symbols of the Republika Srpska are used «in accordance with moral norms of Serb people" are not in accordance with Article II.4 of the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina in connection with Articles 1.1 and 2 (a) and (c) of the International Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination under Annex I to the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina so that the Constitutional Court annulled them respectively. The annulled provisions shall not be in force as of the following date from the date of publishing this Decision in «Official Gazette of Bosnia and Herzegovina» pursuant to Article 63, para 3 of the Rules of the Constitutional Court. [...]
All adopted decisions will be available on the web page of the Constitutional Court one month following the submission to the appellants.  
Dusan Kalember
Secretary General Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina".  

On the same site, there is a new release article with recounts of a visit of a EU delegation in May 2006 to which was stated (my translation): "In regard with the implementation of the partial decision U 4/04 determining that certain articles of [various flag related laws mentioned above] are not in regard with the Constitution of B&H and the European convention on human rights, it is noted that the deadline was not yet established since the decision was not yet published in the official gazette [and the deadline is set in the decision to six months after the publication]. Therefore, it is too early to tell of its implementation "
The full text of the partial decision in English is available at <> and Bosnian at <>.
 Željko Heimer, 21 October 2006

My translation from <> published 4 hours ago:
"The Constitutional Court of B&H reached a verdict to abrogate the coat of arms and the flag of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the coat of arms and the anthem of the Republic of Srpska, writes B92 [a Belgrade news agency].
With this decision enters into force the prohibition on the use of those symbols and new symbols should be adopted that would contain symbols of all constitutional peoples.
This verdict was made since non of the two entities did obey a previous Court decision requiering that within 6 months the symbols be aligned with the determinations of the B&H COnstitution, that requires the symbols to represent all three constitutional peoples.
A request for the prolongation of that dead line by the Republic of Srpska was rejected, as much as the request to reexamine the Constitutional Court decision.
In the Federation the abrogation produced almost no reactions, since they were not considered real symbols by anyone, however, in Srpska the decision produced bitterness
"I believe that the Court does not understand neither the time nor the place where it is. There is no Legislation on the Constitutional Court, so it works by its own rules as it likes, which is legal nonsense." - stated Igor Radojicic, chairman of the parliament of Srpska, adding that the decision on symbols is way too emotional issue to be made in such way.
However, the Constitutional Court decision is irrevocable."
The decision shall be finally worded on a subsequent session of the Constitutional Court, and the decision shall be then issued in the official gazette "Službeni glasnik Bosne i Hercegovine" - the decision shall become valid on the day of issue in the gezette. Official site of the Constitutional Court is at <>.
Željko Heimer, 29 January 2007

On <> there is a HINA report on reactions from Srpska on the revoking of the symbols. Summarized, the RS oes not plan to remove the symbols any sooner then the decision of the Court is published. The president of the Parliament of RS announced that on the first subsequent session a commission shall be determined to prepare design of the new symbols. He stated taht there is no much time and the work shall be done under pressure, but that the confuzion is not necessery - the symbols need not be removed yet, since they are still valid. The jurists estimate that the Constitutional Court deliberately postponed the "verification" of the decision for its subsequent session, so to, indirectly, give more time to the parliaments of the two entities to prepare the new symbols. It is estimated that the decision shall not be published in the official gazette for two or three months at least. Also, see my news article at <>.
Željko Heimer, 30 January 2007

proposal for new coat of arms
image by Željko Heimer, 5 February 2007

I received from a FAME visitor an image of "unofficial proposal" for the new Coat of Arms for the Republic of Srpska in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was shown on the TV station BHT on 25th January 2007. I am not sure how this is someting being considered in the bodies of government of Srpska. It s said that the Coat of Arms is supposed to be similar to the previous one, but with the symbols added that would include the other two "constitutional nations" (i.e. Croats and Bosniaks). The crown is also to be gone, so the design looks very much like the Coat of Arms of the Kingdom of SHS/Yugoslavia (with Slovenian part replaced with fleur-de-lis).
Željko Heimer, 5 and 6 February 2007

temporary coat of arms
image by Željko Heimer, 16 June 2007

I received info from Adi Mirojevic on the status of the change of the symbols of the two entities forming Bosnia and Herzegovina: Republika Srpska (RS) and the Federation of B&H (FBiH), whose symbols were recently invalidated by the Constitutional Court (CC) and they have to find some new ones.
The decision of the CC of B&H on the coat of arms and the flag of FBiH and the coat of arms and the anthem of RS being inconsistent with the Constitution was issued in the Official gazette "Službeni glasnik BiH 45/07". This make these symbols now officially invalid and abandoned. 
RS officially adopted an emblem to funcion instead of the coat of arms until a new solution is adopted. This emblem is described by Adi so: within a seal form inscribed with the name of RS in Cyrillic and Latin letters the initials RS in Cyrillic set on a base of the flag of RS surrounded with a golden oak wreath with tricolour ribbon, above the royal crown (such as was on the coat of arms of RS until now) and below a new element - royal crown of Kotromanic dynasty, originating in the medieval Bosnia history.
The competition for the new coat of arms of RS was issued already and is already closed - it (the competition) could be seen at <>  According to Adi, the Federation is expected to issue its competition within a month.
Željko Heimer, 16 June 2007

Some time ago I reported on the newly adoped emblem of Srpska that is to replace the coat of arms in its functions until the adoption of the new coat of arms. However, I was not able to find official docuemntation until now - although the official sites of RS already removed the previous coat of arms and replaced it with the new emblem quite consistently.
The law on the new embelm is available now with explanations but not drawing at   <>. The amendments to the law on coat of arms, flag and anthem are also available here, although these are only about the anthem.   Once again - the flag was not changed, remaining the red-blue-white tricolour.
You may want to take a look at a photo of one of the proposed designs of the new emblem of Srpska, including chequy fields and Bosniak fleurs-de-lis at <>.
Željko Heimer, 24 June 2007

According to an info I received from a friend, which he probably read in local newspapers, the competition for the new symbols of RS resulted in 9 of them being considered as appropriate for the discussion in the Parliament, to be held in September. Apparently, the 9 proposals are still held secret.
Željko Heimer, 3 August 2007

In September the parliamentary commission decided on five proposals for the new coat of arms of Srpska that are supposed to be discussed in the Parliament and presumably, one of those would be decided upon. The proposaed designs could be sees at <> and <>.
Željko Heimer, 3 December 2007

As it was repored by the FENA news agency and was transmitted by many media (for example <>), on 15 June 2008 the People's Assembly of the Republic of Srpska adopted a new Coat of Arms and a new anthem.
The new anthem is titled "Moja Republika" (My Republic, text and the mp3 of it available at <>) by Mladen Matovic from Banja Luka.
If I interpret the description in the news correctly, then the adopted design is one of the five finalist designs proposed recently, the lowest one in the image at <> (see also article on the final designs e.g. at <>). If the names of the authors of the five proposals were given in the right order, the the designer of this one would be Zdravko Krulj, a painter from Banja Luka.
In accordance aith the article from Bljesak mentioned above, the Coat of Arms and the anthem were adopted with 49 votes from the governing coalition, while the oposition (SDA, Party for BiH, SDP BiH) was against or sustained (SDS, SRSRS), for various reasons. The SDA and SDP delegates were prefering the proposal with Coat of Arms shield divided into three, with the flag in the top field charged with the Serbian eagle, and with chequy field and green field with golden fleur-de-lis in the other two. (It seems that the SDS and SRS delegates were for readoption of previous design, already declaired unconstitutional.).
The adopted design is (my blazon): Gules a double headed eagle argent crowned, beaked and armed and with two fleurs de lis in base or bearing an escutcheon gules a cross argent between four fire-irons also argent. The shield is crowned with royal crown or. As supporters two lions rampant gules, armed and gorged with a fleury crown or, and ensigned with circular shields in dexter azure a fleury crown or and in gules argent three bends argent, standing on a compartment of a triplle wattle ornament or.
In accordance to the text on Bljesak - the supporter are described that both are crowned, the right one with royal crown and the left one with fleury corwn (although I am not sure if the right and left here mean heraldically dexter and sinister or the "usual" left and right), and possibly the crowns around the necks are gone...
There is possibility that the Bosniak delegates veto the decision and they announce that, but if that is going to happen it is too early to tell.
The web site of the People's Assembly does not have any info on the new symbols yet, but this may change in a day or two.
The flag remained unchanged, Serbian tricolour adopted already in 1992.
Željko Heimer, 16 July 2008

Official flag

The official flag of the Republika Srpska is the red-blue-white flag in horizontal stripes of equal width. Ratio 1:2. 
Pascal Vagnat, 20 September 1999

The official flag of RS is plain Serb tricolour The status of RS is like this - it is one of the two entities fromtin the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina. RS is unitary state (subdivided in municipalities - obstine), presidential parlamentary democracy. Regarding flags, the flag of B&H is used officially, together with the flag of RS, and according to my observations (which might be wrong) often together with one of the unofficial variations (cross, eagle...). Municipalities have (right to) flags, of which I believe we have see only the flag of Srpsko Sarajevo and Bileca, and which follow the Serbian vexillologic practice (square banners of arms).
Željko Heimer, 21 September 1999

Another variation of the flag of the Republic of Srpska is presented at <>.
Gvido Petersons, 17 March 2000

The flag is tricolour of red over blue over white. Ratio 1:2. When hoisted vertical the red stripe should be on observer's left (as it is usual).
This is the only official national flag of RS. All other variants reported in vex-literature have no official status, though indeed they have been reported used in official purposes more then once. It seems that such variations are tollerated, but sometimes also hoisted side by side with the pure flag, and with several variations together.
The source for the image is a document named (translated): "Original (ethalon) of the coat of arms and the flag of the Republic of Srpska with graphical standards for use, illustrated inset" issued by the official gazette and is not dated. Original title: "Izvornik (etalon) grba i zastave Republike Srpske sa grafie'kim standardima za primenu, ilustrovani prilog", Sluzbeni glasnik Republike Srpske. I have to thank to Pascal Vagnat for this document.
Željko Heimer, 6 September 2000

Znamierowsky 99 [zna99] show wrong flag - Page 155: Serbian Republic - The unofficial flag with its traditional Serbian arms is shown and described, rather than the plain tricolour (it is, however, possible that official information on this was not available prior to publication), and the flag is illustrated at 3:5 whereas the correct proportions of 1:2 are given in the text.
Christopher Southworth, 19 September 2004

The pure undefacted serb tricolour was adopted in 1992, and was not changed since. Ratio 1:2. The defaced flag is nothing but fancy (though many such fancyful flags were used unofficially).
Regarding the exact date - unfortunately the indeed excelent "etalon" issued in the official gazette in 1992 do not bear any date except in the title of the gazette it stands that it is a number that and that of 1992. I believe that the decision (law or whatever) was made earlier, and the etalon was published possibly some time afterwards, and he legislator felt that the exact date was unnecesserily. In any case, January 1992 surely seems as a reasonable date (quite possible it may be that itis the date of the adoption of the Constitution of RS).
Željko Heimer, 19 September 2004

Znamierowsky gives 9 January 1992, and William Crampton "January 1992" (although William also shows the cross with its four C's).
Unfortunately I have the relevant text of the Constitution but no date (only the year 1992).  This reads:  "Article 8: The Republic shall have the flag, the coat of arms and the anthem. The flag, the coat of arms and the wording of the national anthem shall be determined by constitutional law".
Christopher Southworth, 19 September 2004

The decision of the Constitutional court (see: New Flag for the Republic of Srpska ?) have some references to the legislation on the entity flag: Ustavni zakon o zastavi, grbu i himni Republike Srpske («Službeni glasnik Republike Srpske» br. 19/92).   Zakon o upotrebi zastave, grba i himne («Službeni glasnik Republike Srpske» br. 4/93),. Relevant parts are quoted in the decision (case no. U 4/04 on <>).
"98. The Constitutional Law on the Flag, Coat of Arms and Anthem of Republika Srpska (Official Gazette of the Republika Srpska No. 19/92).
Article 2 The coat of arms of the Republika Srpska is the coat of arms of Nemanjici represented by a double white eagle with a crown over its head. A red shield with a cross and four white tinder-box steels between the arms of the cross is on the eagle's chest.
Article 3 The anthem of the Republika Srpska shall be Bože Pravde.
99. The Law on Use of the Flag, Coat of Arms and Anthem of the Republika Srpska (Official Gazette of the Republika Srpska No. 4/93)
Article 2 The flag, the coat of arms and the anthem of the Republika Srpska shall represent the statehood of the Republika Srpska.
Article 3 The flag, coat of arms and anthem of the Republika Srpska shall be used in accordance with this law, public order, moral norms of the Serb people and in the manner which shall not disturb respect and dignity of the Republika Srpska.
Željko Heimer, 30 January 2007

"Serbian Cross" flag

[Flag of Bosnian Serbs]
image by Željko Heimer

The flag with the Serbian (St. Sava) cross (by the way, the cross has nothing to do with St. Sava, it was so named after the saint patron of Serbia by heraldrists and vexillologists, for convenience in similarity with British crosses) is unofficial, but in early 1990's very often used. The official flag is the simple tricolour.
Željko Heimer, 27 November 1995

The flag with "St. Sava cross" *) is often used, but unofficially. However, according to some sources the flag with cross is officially adopted by the Serb Orthodox Church as the flag representing the Church.

*) note that this name is fabrication of the mailing list (or vex community), although usefull, it is rarely called so by Serbs.
Željko Heimer
, 24 September 1999

Shouldn't we better replace this with "Serbian cross" (or perhaps even "Byzantine cross") before we create the myth of a "St. Sava's cross"?
Santiago Dotor, 27 September 1999

I think that the most common term that is used does not even mention cross - the Serbs call it "ocila" (c is read as "ts"), which is term that describe the four curious shapes (cyrillic S's). Another word in Serbian for the same thing is "ognjila", but I do not think that this is ever used for those devices in this sence. "Ocilo" is called in english a fire- iron, a cup or plate used for holding the "live coal" in religious service (or most usually under icons), providing the fragnan smoke. Similar device is also known in "western" heraldry, then most usualy with opening above, often with fire bursting from it.
The devices and cross originate from Byzantine "heraldry", where this was interpreted as four B's, So, it would be in Serb "ocila" or "krst s ocilima" (cross with fire-rons). Regarding the use of "Serbian cross" (or "Serb cross") would do.
Željko Heimer, 28 September 1999

I have read something about the flag with the Serbian cross of the Republika Srpska. According to it the four cyrillic "S" are taken from the motto  "Solamente los Serbios Salvaran Serbia" (only the Serbian people will save Serbia). I obtain this information from the italian magazine "Rivista Militare" (issue 5/2001).
Santiago Tazon, 27 October 2001

"Samo Sloga Srbe Spasava (Only Unity can save the Serbs)" is the correct interpretation of the four Cyrillic S's. The C's more usually face outwards, that is, the C's on the left-hand side are mirror-image, but I have seen them face inward as well on occasion.
John C. Evosevic, 27 October 2001

I don`t think that four cyrillic "S" (looks like latin C) are taken from the motto. More probably that different patriotic mottos were taken from ancient CoA with four "S". I know about two variants of motto:
Samo sloga Srbe Spasava (Only the Unity can save the Serbia), and Svety Sava Srpska Slava (St.Sava - the glory of Serbia)
(note: I can make mistakes in latinized serbian texts because I saw it in cyrillic alphabet only)
Victor Lomantsov, 27 October 2001

This is the most often quoted motto for this interpretation, but the other one quoted by Victor (correctly latinized would be "Sveti Sava - Srpska slava", note the capitalization) is also sometimes find - in what might be called more "clerical" sources.
In any case, both mottoes, and some other variations are rather new, from 18th centruy (or some few hundered years earlier, occasionally, in some arorial collections, I don't have any reference by hand), while the cross with S's stems from much earlier time of Bizantine Empire, where the elements surrounding the cross were interpreted as B's (greek letter 'beta') reffering to a motto if not similar in interpretation ("Basileus Basileon Basileuon Basileusin" - "King of
kings, ruling over kings", the motto of Paleologus dinasty), then certainly similar in idea of providing a motto to initials.
Heraldically speaking, the charges are nither B's nor S's, but firestalks, fireirons - things that are hanged uner the orthodox icons in which fragnant materials are incinerated.
Source: [mrd87]
Željko Heimer, 28 October 2001

This is indeed the most frequent interpretation. However, as Victor Lomantsov and Željko Heimer already said, what actually happens is that several mottoes were created 'post facto' from the cross, not the other way round.
The four firesteel-like elements surrounding a cross already appeared in the 14th century flag of the Byzantine Paleologues dinasty.
Santiago Dotor, 29 October 2001

Ron Lahav reported this flag as appear at Air Srpska wensite. This is not the company flag but an icon for the Serbian version of this website. The RS flag is an undefaced Serb blue-red-white tricolor. The "cross of St. Sava" flag has - or had, as of the early 90's, a kind of informal status as the flag of the Serb nation, irrespective of geopolitical boundaries. This includes the Serbs of Macedonia, the Bosnian RS, presumably what's left of the Serb minorities of Croatia and Kosovo and in Serbia and Montenegro, of course. That flag has not territorial meaning, it was/is used as a civil flag sometimes (weddings, sport matches etc), but never been official.
Eugene Ipavec and Ivan Sarajcic, 25 November 2005

Saint Sabba was saint from 5th. century. He is the Saint of the East and West Church. Saint Sabba is officially patron of Bosnia and Herzegovina from the time of Stipan Herceg. Stipan did not probably proclime himself for herceg. He did not have any reason for that, because he already was Grand Duke of Bosnia. It would be mean that he degraded himself. He successed his uncle Sandalj (A.D.1435) who had a title herceg. Addition of title, Saint Abbas or Sabba (same Latin and Greek meaning) speaks in that regard. It could be only awarded him from Rome German King Frederic III in accordance with the Pope. Relations of Herceg and German court were very intensive. One of Bavarian princess was one of his wife.
Ivan Tonich Herceg, 7 January 2007

See also: Serbian Orthodox Church

War Flag

According to the chart: "Flags of Aspirant Peoples" , "Srpska Bosna Hercegovina (Serbian state of Bosnia-Herzegovina) - War flag" is a Serbian tricolor, charged with a white eagle.
This design is listed under number 40 at the chart "Flags of Aspirant Peoples" [eba94].
Ivan Sache, 16 September 1999

Coat of Arms

image by Željko Heimer, 6 September 2000

Coat of arms of RS - Gules, a Two-headed Eagle Argent displayed, langued, beaked and membered Or, topped with a Crown of the same bearing an escutcheon Gules, between a Cross Argent four Fire Irons of the same adorsed (Serbia modern).
This Coat of Arms is virtually the same as the lesser Coat of Arms of pre-WWI kingdom of Serbia. A construction detail, the Coat of Arms apears to be in ratio 5:7, but is divided for construction purposes in 8x9 sectors
Željko Heimer, 6 September 2000

When it comes to Srpska, it is using a royal crown in spite of the fact that it is not a monarchy.
Elias Granqvist, 16 September 2000

The anwser would be, I guess, that RS adopted the coat of arms of the Kingdom of Serbia of before the first World War. Actually, there were, I believe several consequtive versions of Serbian Coat of Arms before 1914, some including fleurs-de-lis, and I am not sure if it was the latest version that was (re)adopted by RS. The version with f-d-l's was not suitable, I guess as today those have other conotations (Bosniaks).
In any case, the crown in the Coat of Arms is anachronic, but it may be, and probably is, explained as a symbol of souvereignity, just as are crowns in some other European republics. This crown, even in being royal, is now here to represent the sovereignity weather in reference to previous rolayity or not.
Željko Heimer, 17 September 2000

Other Reported Flags

Last night I was watching the news on TV when they carried an article on a rally of Bosnian Serbs in Sarajevo, and as you would expect it was a veritable vex-fest with much flag-waving going on.

However, I noticed that a number of the usual Serb tricolours were adorned with an emblem I have not seen discussed here. It was a small equi-dimensional cross in the centre extending slightly more than the width of the central stripe, and in each angle was a circle.
C. Veale, 30 November 1995

The other day on the news I saw some suburban Sarajevo Serbs protesting that a unified Sarajevo will be granted to the Muslim-Croat federation under the Dayton peace accords.

They were waving what I assumed to be a Serb flag: white stripe on top, blue in the middle, red on the bottom. There was no arms on the flag, as we have previously seen. How is this flag different from the Russian Federation?
Josh Fruhlinger, 26 November 1995

In my humble opinion, what you saw was the red blue white flag turned upside down. From my experience, some people in ex-Yugoslavia don't give much attention to how the flags are flown.

The cross and circles device must be the cross and 4 C's (fire stalkers). More on this see on Republic of Serb Krajina and Serbia pages.
Željko Heimer, 1 December 1995

At <>, you can see an unknown (for me) variant of the flag of Republika Srpska. The text has nothing with the flag. I first thaught it might be the flag of Republika Srpska Krajina, cause they used coat of arms with blue background, but I'm not sure. Anyone knows anything?
Valentin Poposki, 23 February 2008

Former Serb Republics or Regions in Bosnia-Herzegovina

I read that at first three serb republics existed in Bosnia :

  • a) Republic of Krajina, capital Banja Luka, proclaimed at 16 September 1991. Flag: serbian tricolour with the cross and four Cs in the centre.
    b) Republic of Romanija, capital Pale, proclaimed at 12 September 1991. Flag: serbian tricolour with crowned double-headed eagle.
    c) Republic of West Herzegovina, capital Trebinje, proclaimed at 12 September 1991. Flag: serbian tricolour with cross and four C only in the central band.

The three republics where merged after 12 September 1993 after the Banja Luka agreement. Is this correct?
Jaume Ollé, 13 November 1996

I am not sure any more of the exact names of these 'Republics'. In fact, I think they were not proclaimed as republics but as authonomous regions, or something like that. I am especially suspicious of the first name. In any case, I don't think they used any official flags as states and even if they did, they would probably have the same definition of the state flag as did the Republic of Serbian Krajina in Croatia that defined it's flag to be a tricolour of red over blue over white, and nothing else.

All the designs you mention where in use, but they where not territorially closed and where used as unofficial and official (with that I mean in official purposes like parlamentary sessions) flags in all areas where Serbs lived - Krajina, Western and Eastern Slavonia, Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia.
Željko Heimer, 16 November 1966


I received info on the communities in the Republic of Srpska in B&H. This is thanks to a visitor to my web site who goes by as Goran from Srpsko Sarajevo.
The RS is divided currently into 62 communities. There are also two cities: Banja Luka which coincides teritorially with the community of Banja Luka, and Srpsko Sarajevo that encompases seven communities: Pale, Rogatica, Sokolac, Srpska Ilidza, Srpski Stari Grad, Srpsko Novo Sarajevo and Trnovo. (Therefore, writes Goran, e.g. that the building of the community of Srpsko Novo Sarajevo since recently flyes four flags - B&H, RS, Srpsko Sarajevo and Srpsko Novo Sarajevo. I hope to get some more info on the last one soon.)
The government of the RS lists the communities at <>. I prvide the list here, adding the "ASCII" version of the name where diacritics are used, and I add some additional comments:

  • Banja Luka
  • Berkovici - Berkovic/i, formerly part of Stolac
  • Bijeljina
  • Bilec'a
  • Bratunac
  • Distrikt Brcko (District of Brcko - this is not part of RS, but they had it in the list so I show it here)
  • Cajnice - C<ajnic<e
  • Celinac - C<elinac
  • Derventa (see: Coat of Arms of Derventa)
  • Doboj
  • Gacko
  • Gradiška - Gradis<ka, formerly named Bosanska Gradiška
  • Han Pijesak
  • Jezero - formerly part of Jajce
  • Kalinovik
  • Kneževo - Knez<evo, formerly named Skender Vakuf
  • Kotor Varoš - Kotor Varos<
  • Kozarska Dubica - formerly named Bosanska Dubica
  • Krupa - formerly named Bosanksa Krupa
  • Srpski Kupres - formerly part of Kupres
  • Laktaši - Laktas<i
  • Lopare
  • Ljubinje
  • Milici - Milic/i
  • Modrica - Modric<a
  • Mrkonjic Grad - Mrkonjic/ Grad
  • Nevesinje
  • Novi Grad - formerly named Bosanski Novi
  • Osmaci - formerly part of Kalesija
  • Pale
  • Pelagicevo - Pelagic/evo
  • Petrovac - foremrly named Bosanski Petrovac
  • Petrovo - formerly part of Gracanica
  • Prijedor
  • Prnjavor
  • Ribnik - formerly part of Sanski Most
  • Rogatica
  • Rudo
  • Skelani - now nonexistent - reincorporated to Srebrenica
  • Sokolac
  • Srbac
  • Srbinje - formerly named Foc<a
  • Srebrenica
  • Srpska Ilidža - Srpska Ilidz<a
  • Srpska Kostajnica - formerly named Bosanska Kostajnica
  • Srpski Brod - formerly named Bosanski Brod
  • Srpski Drvar - formerly part of Drvar
  • Srpski Mostar - formerly part of Mostar
  • Srpski Sanski Most - formerly part of Sanski Most
  • Srpski Stari Grad - formerly part of Stari Grad
  • Srpsko Goražde - Srpsko Goraz<de - formerly part of Goražde
  • Srpsko Novo Sarajevo - formerly part of Novo Sarajevo
  • Srpsko Orašje - Srpsko Oras<je - formerly part of Orašje
  • Šamac - S<amac - formerly named Bosanski Šamac
  • Šekovici - S<ekovici
  • Šipovo - S<ipovo
  • Teslic - Teslic/
  • Trebinje
  • Trnovo
  • Ugljevik
  • Višegrad - Vis<egrad
  • Vlasenica
  • Vukosavlje - formerly part of Odžak
  • Zvornik

As you can see, some of the communities are renamed for "ideological" reasons, tyipically replacing the attribute Bosanski with Srpski (and this is typically with those cities that are on rivers, where on the other bank is Croatian city of the same name attributed Hrvatski or Slavonski). With the division of the country with Dayton agreement, the so called Inter-Entity Boundary line did not match the of former communities' boundaries, so parts of some communities were left "on the other side" - new communities are formed by the "leftovers" that are much smaller then the "normal" communities and shall surely in future be disbanded. Anyway, these are idneicated as "formerly part of" community from the Federation.
Anyway, I hope we shall get some flag info on at least some of those. Many of them do have Coat of Arms, that may be found around the Web, ut they are typically very complicated. A number of the communities got themselves the Coat of Arms of type promoted by the Serb Heraldic Society, the flags of which are square banners of arms (or similar).
Željko Heimer, 5 January 2003

On 26 March 2004, the Consitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina ordered the National Assembly of the Republika Srpska to supress the prefix Srpski from the name of 13 communities. Marco Tadic, President of the Court, said to the media: "Since the Constitution of the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina acknowledges the equal rights of all ethnical groups, the Court has estimated that those names were discriminatory againts the non-Serbian people." The National Assembly must adopt new names or restore the former names of the communities within three months. The initiative for the modification of the names of the 13 communities was launched by Sejfudin Tokic, former President of the Parliament of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Tokic found that the return rate [of non-Serbian people] to those communities was extremely low.
The 13 municipalities whose name must be changed are:
Srpsko Sarajevo
Srpska Derventa
Srpski Mostar
Srpski Sanski Most
Srpsko Gorazde
Srpski Kljuc
Srpska Kostajnica
Srpski Brod
Srpska Ilidza
Srpsko Novo Sarajevo
Srpski Star Grad
Srpsko Orasje
Source: Courrier des Balkans <>
Ivan Sache, 17 April 2004