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Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Federacija Bosne i Hercegovine

Last modified: 2006-06-09 by dov gutterman
Keywords: bosnia and herzegovina | bosnia | herzegovina | balkans | fleur-de-lys | muslim | herzeg-bosnia | chequy | croat | federation of bosnia and herzegovina |
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[Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina]
by Željko Heimer, 18 March 2001




See also:

The Federation Name

According to Znamierowski [zna99] (P. 155) the Croat-Muslim Federation should be called: Bosniak-Croat Federation; "Red stands for the Croats, green for the Bosniak people and white for purity and peace." Officially Bosnian (with n) is any inhabitant of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bosniak (with k) is that part of the population formerly known as Muslim.
Marcus Schmoger, 30 July 2000

Bosniak-Croat Federation is not official name and never was (nither Croat-Muslim Federation, nor anything similar) - it is just a "description" or "explanation" of the easily confuzing and misleading name of that part of the state that is officially called "Federacija Bosna i Hercegovina" i.e. Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Željko Heimer, 30 July 2000

It is not Federacija Bosna i Hercegovina, but Federacija Bosne i Hercegovine, using the genitive case, just to show that it is indeed a geographical federation between Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Muhamed Mesic, 7 November 2001

I just checked <> - the government of FBiH site, that confirms the name as Muhamed suggested - it is clear on several places (including the Constitution available on the site in three languages) - so it should be "Federacija Bosne i Hercegovine". However, this explanantion is not correct (though gramattically it could be interpreted that way, certainly). However, the Federation is the federation of 10 cantons and not of two countries, one called Bosnia and the other Herzegovina.
Željko Heimer, 9 November 2001

Adopted Flag

The flag was finaly adopted on 5 November 1996.

Green on the flag and golden fleur-de-lys on green shield on the arms stand for Bosnian Muslims (Bosniaks) and red on the flag and chequy shield for Bosnian Croats. The ten golden stars on blue, it is said to represent the 10 regions (velezupa, pl. velezupe; with hachek over z) of the Federation.

Before the adoption of the flag, there were three flags hoisted in the sessions of the Parlament of Federation - the flag of Bosnia-Herzegovina (white whith arms), the flag of Bosian Muslims (green-white-green 1:2:1 with crescent), and the flag of the Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia (i.e. the flag of Bosnian Croats, red-white-blue with chequy arms).
Željko Heimer, 8 December 1996

I had a chance to take a good look on the (quite new and ugly) flag of Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (that is, Muslim and Croat entity). I have already reported on it, and posted some images, but now I can confirm some things that were doubtful. The flag that I saw was on TV interview with the defence minister of the Federation, so I guess, as official as it should be.

The shield in the middle is bordered in gold (yellow) all around, as well as the border between the upper white part and lower blue part. Similarly, the shield with the fleur de lys is bordered in gold (but with a bit thinner line). The field of this shield is green (sometimes reported as blue). The other shield (Croatian chequy) is not bordered with gold, but with a red line (and is really of a different shape than the shield with fleur-de-lis).

The stars in the lower blue part are white (not golden as reported before), and there are 10 sixpointed stars. The position of the stars is an interesting point. The uppermost star is rotated 90 degrees to what one is used to think of a sixpointed star (i.e. Magen David). So, it is pointing left to right, not up-down. The other stars are rotated accordingly to be in the same position towards the middle of the circle. Hope that this description makes some sense.

I must say that this detail looks rather unusual and could be a good starting point for the making of a serious flag. I hope someone will notice it.
Željko Heimer, 8 February 1997

Today I visited Jos Poels, and he just received a letter from the embassy of Bosnia-Herzegovina in The Hague the day before yesterday. It included a black/white image and the following text:

The coat of arms is a shield shape wich has on its left side the shield with the goldenyellow flower on the green background, on the right side the Croatian historical coat of arms with 25 white and red squares and 10 white stars in circle on the blue. The coat of arms and the blue field are outlined with a goldenyellow line.

The flag is red, white and green, with the coat of arms in the middle.

The coat of arms contains the symbols of Bosniac people on the left side, and of Croatian people on the right side, and of federal units - cantons.

The flag has a field with the colours red, white and green. Green symbolises Bosniac people, red symbolises Croatian people. White symbolises purity and excels the value of the coat of arms.

Mark Sensen, 8 February 1997

Concering 'Pavillons nationaux et marques distinctives' [pay00], (Fig. 2. Cro.-Bos. Federation) to my best knowlage the "silver" fields in the Croatian chequy shield could (should) be white. However, I have not received any official images of this flag yet.
Željko Heimer, 9 January 2001

B&H review i.e. page BO 2.1 in Album 2000 [pay00]:
Bosnia and Herzegovina Federation - (CSW/--- 1:2) Regarding the name, I believe that the official documents use name "Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina" in Englsh instead. Anyway, I agree with usage marks (though cf. on the sea usage I said at the BA page). Regarding the ratio, the consturction details given in Album 2000 ((1+2+1):2) and some minor details of the CoA I can finally determined say that it's wrong. I have finally found some documents providing the details of this flag. I leave the sources and in detailed analysis for an other message, telling here only that the flag ratio is prescribed 3:5, the stripes are in proportion 1+3+1 (i.e. white pannel is three times wider then each of the red and green stripes). Also, that make the white panel square. The CoA is apparently width of equal to half the flag hoist. Yellow is called "golden-yellow" and is then probably darker the the yellow used in B&H flag, the Croatian shield is bordered red (yellow in Album) and Argent squares of the chequy need not to be silver - they are called simply white in the regulations.
Željko Heimer, 18 March 2001

Wrong Flag at Znamierowsky 99

Znamierowsky 99 [zna99] show wrong flag - Page 155: Croat-Muslim Federation (officially the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina) - The circle of stars is shown as five-pointed and yellow, instead of six-pointed and white, while the proportions are correctly illustrated at 3:5 but given in the text as "2;3".
Christopher Southworth, 19 September 2004

In the issue of the book that I have the stars are correctly six-pointed, but yellow. Indeed that's wrong. Also the chequy shield is errorneous since it should be outlined in red, not yellow. 3:5 is the correct proportion.
Željko Heimer, 19 September 2004

It is very hard to tell, but in my edition (updated 02) they are five pointed and yellow.   Why are they 6 pointed and white?  
I thought that part of the sheild was supposed to represent Europe/the EU, which would mean five pointed and yellow would be logical.
David Kendall, 19 September 2004

I have the same Edition as David, and it is extremely difficult to tell, but even under a powerful glass they still appear five-pointed as was my original impression.   I do not know why the stars are six-pointed or indeed white, but as far as I know they (unlike those on the flag of Bosnia-Herzegovina itself) do not represent the EU or Europe, but the ten provinces which make up the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
Christopher Southworth, 19 September 2004

Interesting, in my edition (which is not an updated one as far as I can tell) the stars are indeed 6 pointed and yellow. In this case too magnification was needed to verify the number of points. Evidently a case where instead of correcting an earlier mistake the update adds a second one.
Ned Smith, 20 September 2004

Construction Sheet

by Željko Heimer, 18 March 2001

The construction sheet, in the same units as shown, the size of the CoA would be 1.65:1.5 (height:width), but as these figures are not stated in regaultions and would not come nicely on the image is the numbers are to be whole figure only, I prefer not
to include them..
Željko Heimer, 18 March 2001

Table Flag

by Željko Heimer, 18 March 2001

I should note another common practice regarding the flags and CoA of the Federation. In the reports and interviews with various govrnment oficials on TV one can often observe a table flag, usually hoisted with at least one other flag (most often either the B&H triangle flag, or Croat "HRHB" flag). That table flag is pure white with the federal CoA set in the middle rotated for vertical hoisting. One should not that this is not a flag in a strict sence, as there is no such in any regulations, but it is rather, I guess, a way of displaying the CoA in a convinient way, also, maybe a way of avoiding to hoist red stripe ("Croat") over green ("Bosniak") and way of avoiding questions regarding such. In any case - I have never seen it used in any other way then a table flag, and I do not think that it is, either.The CoA there is much larger here then if it would be if the Federation flag would be hoisted vertically, and the size of the white field is 1:2, probably to match the other displayed flags. I believe that such usage should be noted, as it could easily be confuzed and misreported as a variation of the Federation flag, which it certainly is not.
Željko Heimer, 18 March 2001

Coat of Arms

by Željko Heimer, 18 March 2001

One should note that the two shields in upper part are not of the same shape (Bosniak is pointed, Croat is semicircular) and not bordered the same (Bosniak is bordered yellow, Croat - red). The stars in the lower part are set in circle, 10 sixpointed stars (composed of "two trangles" each) and are rotated so that they are "roatationally symetircal". The topmost (and bottommost) star is so that two points are pointing in hoizontal direction (3 and 9 o'clock), which is rather unusual and just opposite of what one would expect. The shiled is apparently (I say apparently since this is not stated explicitly in regaulations) set in a rectangle with ratio 11:10.
Also, apparently, as it could be concluded from the images, it seems that the width of the CoA is half of the hoist size.
Željko Heimer, 18 March 2001

Flag used by the Bosnian Croats

Jos Poels showed me a little United Nations handbook for Dutch soldiers in former Yugoslavia (Handboek voormalig JoegoslaviŽ, January 1994) showing a flag used by Croatian Bosnians. It's horizontal reb-white-blue with on the central strip a shield looking like a combination of Croatia and Bosnia (without fleur-de-lys).
Mark Sensen, 8 February 1997

Aircraft Marking

Military Aircraft Insignia of the World [cos98] don't say anything about Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina marking. However, it seems that the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina's planes had the federation flag as fin flash. See photo at <>.
Dov Gutterman, 12 June 2004

At <> there is an article about Bosnian and Croat Federation Air Force. It show illustrations (one probably based on photo that I report earlier. The website report that "The Bosnian & Croat Federation flag is carried on the tail fin with the top edge parallel to the fin leading edge.
Dov Gutterman, 14 June 2004