Last modified: 2008-08-16 by ivan sache
Keywords: kosovo | kosova | map (yellow) | stars: 6 (white) | kosovo i metohija | serbia | eagle: double-headed (black) | star (red) | defense corps of kosovo | police | dardania | star: 6 points (yellow) | wheel (black) | map (black) | k |
Links: FOTW homepage | search | disclaimer and copyright | write us | mirrors
Flag and arms of Kosovo, February 2008 - Images by Željko Heimer, 17 February 2008
On 17 February 2008, the Parliament of Kosovo declared independance from Serbia. The independence was not recognized by Serbia, which still consider Kosovo as apart of its national territory.
As of 7 August 2008, 45 out of the 192 members of the United Nations have officially recognized Kosovo as an independent state, as follows:
- February 2008: Costa Rica, United States, France, Afghanistan, Albania, Turkey, United Kingdom, Australia, Senegal, Germany, Latvia, Denmark, Estonia, Italy, Luxembourg, Peru, Belgium, Poland, Switzerland, Austria and Ireland;
- March 2008: Sweden, Netherlands, Iceland, Slovenia, Finland, Japan, Canada, Monaco, Hungary, Croatia, Bulgaria, Liechtenstein, South Korea and Norway;
- April 2008: Marshall Islands, Nauru and Burkina Faso;
- May 2008: Lithuania, San Marino, Czech Republic and Liberia;
- June 2008: Sierra Leone;
- August 2008: Colombia and Belize.
The recognition texts are linked from the KosovaThanksYou website.
Jan Mertens & Ivan Sache, 10 August 2008
Symbols for the new country were adopted by the Parliament of Kosovo on 17 February 1998. The flag of Kosovo is blue with a yellow geographical map of Kosovo and six white five-pointed stars forming an arch above it. The coat of arms follows the same pattern on a yellow-bordered shield.
Željko Heimer, 17 February 2008
Kosovo Albanians still use no other flag that the normal Albanian national flag, even if their position on joining Albania is not very clear, and there are no immediate plans of joining (nor some in near future). Circumstancial reports of other flags (with eagle offset to the hoist, with inscriptions and other variations) are only examples of home-made flags without any meaning to superpose the Albanian national flag. Until now, no political or military authority (or body claiming to be authority) presented anything else for the flag of Albanians in Kosovo (or indeed of Kosovo Republic) other then the "normal" Albanian flag.
Željko Heimer, 6 May 1999
Erroneous report of the flag of Kosovo
Flag erroneously reported as the flag of Kosovo - Image by Željko Heimer, 6 May 1999
The Albanian flag with the red star outlined in yellow is not the flag of Kosovo, and it has never been so. The flag was the flag of the Albanian ethnical community (similarly to other national flags defaced with the red star) in late 1940s to late 1980s period. The fact that the Albanian community was mostly represented in Kosovo made this flag to be considered as the flag for Kosovo by some vexillological literature, but Kosovo had no flag of its own - neither did Vojvodina, the other Autonomous Region of Socialist Yugoslavia. This flag was official probably until 1992, when Yugoslavia removed the star, but it was rarely used since the mid 1980s. Though, it has been reported since on occasions, probably used due to the lack of flag without star, and I would not doubt that there are still a few such flags to be seen around.
Željko Heimer, 6 May 1999
Republic of Kosova (1990s)
The website of the Republic of Kosova (no longer online) shows on the first page the normal Albanian flag, and there is no other information on the flag.
Some dates mentioned:
The Republic of Kosova was established on July 2nd, 1990. It is currently held under virtual occupation by Serbia.
Based on the Constitution of September 7 1990, Kosova is a Presidential Republic and an Independent and a Sovereign state.
The Parliament of Kosova gathered in Kačanik on September 7, 1990, and on the bases of the Constitutional Declaration of July 2, 1990, declared the Constitution of the Republic of Kosova, that defines Kosova as a sovereign state within the Former Yugoslav Federation.
On September 2, 1991, after some of the Republics of the former Yugoslav federation declared their independence, the Parliament of the Republic of Kosova adopted the Resolution of the Independence that proclaimed the Republic of Kosova as a Sovereign and Independent State.
Mark Sensen, 11 March 1998
In the 1999 book fair of Francfort, Kosovo stand was represented by a pink square flag with the Albanian eagle for Republik Kosove.
Gvido Petersons, 21 October 1999
Kosovo Police Service
Flag of Kosovo Police Service - Image by Željko Heimer, 9 December 2007
The flag of the Kosovo Police Service can be seen on the Kosovo Police website. The emblem on the flag is different from the Police emblem shown on the upper banner of the website.
Valentin Poposki, 13 February 2007
Defense Corps of Kosovo
Flag of the Defense Corps of Kosovo - Image by António Martins, 7 November 1999
The emblem of the Defense Corps of Kosovo (formerly, UÇK) shows a black map of the region on a red field.
António Martins, 7 November 1999
Kosovo Force (KFOR)
Flag of KFOR - Image by Jens Pattke, 27 March 2004
A TV report from a press conference organized on 22 March 2004 by different international organizations shows that the international military forces in Kosovo (KFOR) use a distinctive flag. The flag is similar to the flags used by SFOR and previously IFOR in Bosnia-Herzegovine, but this one is inscribed KFOR (bothin Cyrillic and Latin, as on all of these). The flag is dark (NATO) blue with a shield divided vertically in white and blue, each half inscribed counterchanged in vertical line, dexter in Latin (KFOR) and sinister in Cyrillic (КФОР). The shield is set between two NATO emblems.
Željko Heimer, 23 March 2004
Flag of Dardania - Image by Mello Luchtenberg, 6 April 2001
Derkwillem Visser (from Vlaggen Dokumentatie Centrum Nederlands/VDCN) wrote in Info-Bulletin [inf] #102 (Winter 2000):
Ibrahim Rugova, leader of the Democratic League of Kosovo, shows a flag he introduces as the flag of Kosovo, at a press conference at his residence in Priština, Sunday October 29, 2000. The flag bears the legend "Dardania", the ancient word for Kosovo, but is not officially recognized by any international power, but Rugova asked for recognition of independance for Kosovo, which officially remains part of Yugoslavia.
Jens Pattke, 6 April 2001
The flag includes a yellow six-pointed star bordered black above the heads of the eagle (no doubt in reference to the star in the historical flag of 1912 Kemal uprising, that was first rised in Priština), The eagle is bearing an escutcheon "beneath" the ribbon, the shield outlined in gold being quartered in 1 and 4 or a wheel sable, 2 gules, 3 sable. The red and black fields are no doubt based on the flag colours, but I am not sure what is the wheel for.
Željko Heimer, 31 October 2000
Dardania is a commonly used name for Kosovo among Albanians (also a neighborhood in the capital, Priština) but I don't think anybody thinks it would replace the name of Kosovo, which is rendered as Kosova in Albanian even though the word itself (from kos, blackbird) is Slavic in origin.This happened over the weekend in Kosovo, as noted in the UN Media Report:
National symbols for Kosovo The celebration of the Albanian Flag Day on 28 November in Kosovo saw for the first time another "new" flag waving in Priština alongside the black and red one. The mayor of the city decided to put up in several streets the "Kosovo flag" designed by President Ibrahim Rugova.The Rugova banners were on the streets of Priština at about 3 PM on the afternoon of the 27 November - Albanian Flag Day is 28 August - and by 6 PM they had been noticeably disappeared. A lot of people said the opponents of the Dardania flag should have dumped them at Rugova's HQ and not burned them.
Next morning, the new Dardania flag was missing and later in the day, the KLA war veterans set fire to a pile of around 200 flags they had collected in Priština. Zëri reported afterwards that the same had happened in Peja. Rugova's "personal flag" provoked the blood that has been shed in Kosovo, war veterans said.
The raising and subsequent burning of the flag triggered all sorts of reactions and fuelled an old media debate on, as it was broadly referred to, national symbols for the birth of the new state of Kosovo. Newspapers carried photographs, and extensive reports and commentaries on the issue the following day.
Under the headline, Ismet, the provoker, Express wrote that the mayor of Priština, Ismet Beqiri, tried to serve to the people of Priština the state symbols as a fait accompli, ignoring the debate on the subject. His naïve face reflects the irresponsibility of his decision, which was countered by equally irresponsible acts by the war associations, said the paper.
Koha Ditore reported that the flag of the President had also generated tension between the local government and the Opposition in the town of Ferizaj.
Dailies quoted President Rugova as saying that the flag was burned by the opponents of freedom and independence. "This act constitutes a serious violation of law in our country." Government called it unacceptable and promised to work on providing state symbols.
Those who burned Dardania flag burned themselves, said Bota Sot.
Kosovo needs its symbols, the burned flag is only of the President, wrote Koha Ditore.
Lajm wrote that it seems that UNMIK is preserving a sample of Kosovo state flag, saying that the administration had earlier proposed a state flag for Kosovo with the map in the centre. This was not confirmed by UNMIK officials, said the paper. "The UNMIK flag is the only official one in Kosovo," the paper quotes UNMIK officials as saying.
According to newspapers, all the local institutions and people are in favour of new symbols for Kosovo, but they all stress that these should be discussed and agreed on. Only the LKCK is in disagreement with a new flag for Kosovo as they strive for unification with Albania.
Chief of the US Office in Priština, Philip Goldberg said in an interview with TV21 that he did not want to discuss whether the raising of the flag was right or wrong, but the "burning of the flag is not the image you want to send to the world".
Zïri publisher Blerim Shala stressed in an editorial the necessity to begin working on the elements of the new identity of the Kosovo state, "as we do not want a situation at the end of the status talks where the West proposes a flag for Kosovo".
Stephen Schwartz, 2 December 2005
At the news about President Rugova's death, the Swedish TV showed some pictures from December 2005 - Rugova's last public appearance. The President was inside, and in the background in the room some flags were shown - the "Dardania" flag, as well as the Albanian, European Union and USA flags.
I visited Kosovo five times between March and June 2005. I visited Priština, Prizren, Ferizaj/Urozevac, and a few villages between this towns and the Macedonian and Albanian border, and only for one- or two-day visits. I never saw the "Dardania" flag. The usual Albanian flag was flown everywhere. The European Union and USA flags where also very frequently seen. At the border crossings to Macedonia and Albania, the United Nation flag was the the only one to bee seen.
Christian Berghänel, 23 January 2006
On the news was a report of the funeral of Rugova. On
the memorial table was a picture of him, behind which you could see the
"Dardania" flag, only with a darker ring betwen the blue and gold).
On a plaque that was shown next, there were two seals over some text. One was what looked like the Albanian coat of arms and to its right the circular seal from the "Dardania flag". Around it were the words "Seal of the president of Kosovo" (in English for some reason I can't fathom). Therefore, the "Dardania flag" could be a kin of presidential flag.
Marc Pasquin, 23 January 2006
In April this year I had the chance to visit Kosovo again (at two different occasions). The flag-situation was almost the same as last spring, that Albanian, UN, USA, European Union, NATO flags where widely seen (except when crossing the Mitrovica bridge to the northern/Serbian side of the Ibar river, where a huge Serbian flag with the coat of arms was the first thing to be seen). However, in Priština I actually saw the Dardania flag once! It was hanging from the wall outside a public building.The photo gallery of Kosovo Ministry of Public Services includes a couple of photos showing the Dardania flag. Only one of this photos include the present President of Kosovo, therefore I guess itis obvious that the Dardania flag neither was Rugova's personal flag nor is the Presidential flag.
Christian Berghänel, 15 October 2006