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Bosnia and Herzegovina - Coat of Arms

Last modified: 2004-01-17 by dov gutterman
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[Arms of Bosnia and Herzegovina]
by Jan Oskar Engene

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Bosnia and Herzegovina - Coat of Arms

The Office of the High Representative in Sarajevo announced in a press release today that work has been initiated on finding a new coat of arms for Bosnia and Hercegovina. The commission that worked on proposals for the flag was asked to continue its work to come up with proposals for a coat of arms by 15 April 1998. Following the commission's report, the High Representative will decide the details concerning the adoption procedures. A decision is expected by 15 May this year.
Jan Oskar Engene, 19 February 1998

In the newspaper Vjesnik (the one that I regularly read during my service as the only one provided free of charge in the barracks %-/ ) there was a short article regarding the new Bosnian coat of arms. I have not saved the paper, and I can only reinterprate what was there. The situation is very similar as it was with the flag - the three nations can not (or do not want) to find a compromise, and among five (if I recall correctly) proposals presented to the parliament they could not choose one. As I understood the decision is not final, but Westendorp (High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, remember?) announced that he will impose the solution as he did for the flag if no agreement will be made.

Only one design was described in the article, unclear if it is a common description of all proposals, or of only one of them - it consists of a shield of blue background with a golden triangle representing a map of Bosnia and Herzegovina and a diagonal row of white fivepointed stars. Sounds familiar? Shield of the banner? (vs. banner of the arms ;-)

Haven't tried to imagine that yet, and I prefer not to. Anyone heard/read anything about it?
Zeljko Heimer, 18 April 1998

A decision has been made on the new coat of arms of Bosnia and Herzegovina, a news report from the BBC said yesterday. Like with the flag, the decision was made by the international High Representative, Carlos Westendorp.

The new coat of arms has a blue shield charged with a yellow triangle set in the observer's upper right and a row of seven white stars set bend-wise (with two stars at each end of the row cut in half). In other words the new arms correspond closely to, but is still not identical with, the flag imposed by Westendorp on 4 February 1998. Unlike the new arms, the flag has a blue panel to the right of the triangle and the number of stars in the flag is nine.

The two houses of parliament considered the question in its sessions on Monday, but failed to reach agreement on the designs submitted to them. According to news reports, 18 members of parliament voted for the arms based on the flag design. Three proposed designs were prepared by the committee of academics and intellectuals that also prepared the three alternatives for a new flag of the country earlier this year. The High Representative followed the same procedure as he used when selecting the flag design: He imposed the design that got the most votes.

Both flag and arms are imposed by the High Representative on an interim basis until the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina adopt a law on national symbols.

For my image of the arms, I have used the same colours as I used for the flag image.
Jan Oskar Engene, 21 May 1998

These new arms are perfect for a blazoning lesson, aren't they? Seriously, on my pages I (try to) give blazons of the arms presented, and I am in doubt. This is the best that I came with:
"Azure, sinister canton per bend or, seven mullets argent issuant in bend."
Could that pass? Is there a better way of saying "sinister canton per bend"? Is there a good way of blazoning this at all?
Zeljko Heimer, 24 May 1998

How about: "Per bend sinister or and azure, a bend sinister of the second bearing seven mullets argent."
I am sure there are two problems with this blazon, the first dealing with the half stars. Couldn't find anything like this in my books, unless you did this:
"Per bend sinister or and azure, a bend sinister of the second bearing five mullets flanked by two demi-mullets argent". This doesn't quite describe the way they are going off the shield into space, but nevermind.
The other problem, of course, is placing a blue bend sinister on a field divided half blue and half yellow. Any line drawing would include a line below the stars that probably shouldn't be there but I think that is heraldic license.
Dave Martucci, 24 May 1998

This is a tough one to blazon. My best shot would be "Per bend enhanced Or and Azure seven Mullets in bend the chiefmost and basemost couped at the edge of the field Argent."
I'm not sure if "enhanced" is the right word here, but I have seen this word used in "a Bendlet enhanced," a small bend in the top-right corner.
Dean Tiegs, 24 May 1998

Maybe it would be more "heraldic" to write: "Per bend sinister or and azure, a bend sinister of the second semy with mullets argent."
The number of stars seems not to be very relevant as they are not consistent with those on the flag.
Philippe Bondurand, 27 May 1998

For the coat of arms, I propose this blazon: "Per bend enhanced or and azure, a bend of mullets palewise argent".
This is inspired by the blazon from Philippe Bondurand - Per bend or and azure, a bend azure semy of mullets argent. Working from that blazon, I would draw demi-mullets along both edges of the bend, which clearly do not belong.
The word "palewise" is necessary because charges in bend normally follow its line.
Anton Sherwood,
26 June 1999