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West Bosnia Canton (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

Canton 10, Hercegbosanska Kanton, Herzeg Bosnia Kanton

Last modified: 2006-02-25 by dov gutterman
Keywords: herzeg-bosnia | bosnia and herzegovina | checquy | federation of bosnia and herzegovina | west bosnia |
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image by Željko Heimer, 14 May 2000

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It is of important that the Herzeg-Bosnia canton is not confused with the Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia 1993-1995, even if they both use the same symbols and similar names.
The Herzeg-Bosnia Canton, in Croatian 'Hercegbosanska z<upanija', being the Canton 10 of the Dayton Agreement, was formed in the mentioned agreement in 1995 as one of the ten cantons of the Federaion of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Canton is situated in along wstern borders of B&H, including the cities of Kupres, Livno and Tomislavgrad (the latter also formerly known as Duvno). The three also function as the seats of administration and cantonal capital (Kupres), seat of the governmment (Livno) and seat of the parliament (Tomislavgrad). As it is easy to conclude, the canton is predominantly settled by Croats.
Željko Heimer, 14 May 2000

According to governmental web pages of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the present canton name is: 10. West Bosnia (former Herzeg-Bosnia).
Jan Zrzavy, 17 July 2001

Canton Symbols

The flag and the coat of arms has been adopted by articles 8 and 9 of the Constitution of the Canton, adopted on 26-MAR-1996: Ustav Hercegbosanske Zupanije, 26. ozujka 1996, Narodne novine Hercegbosanske zupanije nr. 3/96 [nr. 1/96, 10. travnja 1996, p. 6] (my source is not quite clear and must contain a typo somewhere, as the headerof the constitution have nr.1/96, while the next document I'll mention clearly states it is in nr. 3/96. Hopefull, we'll manage to settle that some time latter on)
The coat of arms and the flag adopted there are virtually the same as the coat of arms and the flag of the Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia used since around 1993 until her disbanding, officiall in 1995, but in practice much latter in 1990's.
The coat of arms is Croatian chequy shield of red and white, set in a german shaped shield bordered golden and with a golden outlined white pannel above containing the "tripple-wattle". The art. 8 of the Constitution deterines the ratio of the "wattle" height and the height of a sqaure in the shied as 1:1, while the length is 3:1.
The flag is red over white over blue tricolour, ratio 1:2. The coat of arms is set in the middle, so that the "wattle" enters the red stripe and base of the shield enters the blue stripe. The height of the shield is not proscribed directly, but based on the request that the center is in the middle of the flag, and that the "depth" of the shield in the blue field is one height of the squares in the shield, it is seen that it is just about 1/2 of the hoist.
At some point I might have reported that the flag of Herzeg-Bosnia Canton is "simplified" Croatian tricolor, as I have pictured it on my pages for some time, too. That is now found incorrect, even if that flag is certainly popular among Croats and probably in frequent use "by civilians". That is the same flag seen, as mentioned by Ivan Sache at Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia 1993-1995 , on [asp] chart which is clearly wrong here,
The flag of the Herzeg-Bosnia Canton as well as some other provisions of the aforementioned constitution are found unconstitutional by the Contitutional court of the Federation of B&H. (Presuda Ustavnog suda F BiH, 20. studenog 1997. i 19. veljace 1998., Sluzbene novine F BiH nr. 24/98, 17. lipnja 1998, pp. 712-714) . The ruling of the Court found that some articles are to be invalidated, including those on the flag and CoA as well as the one regarding the name. The name is not accepted, since no part of the Canton include any territoy of Herzegovina, and the federal contitution request that the coantons be named after the cities of their seats of government or the regions they cover. Terefore, in some official listings the canton is named nowdays (still) simply as Canton 10.
The coat of arms and the flag are invalidated since they do not represent both of the ethnical communities, but only and exclusivly one of them. Since the date of the publication of the official gazette, the flag and teh coat of arms are not official any more, but they remained in "de facto" use ever since. The cantonal government deems the self ruling of the Contitutional court to be unconstitutional - and do not want of follow it. That is supported by the "opinion apart" of one of the judges of the Constitutional court, published in the same official gazette right after the ruling, stating basically, that the symbols are not unconstitutional, since the Consitution of the Federation have no provision regarding the design of those. They are, supposedly, adopted by a regular proceidure and thus quite valid. The judge understand that some people of the canton can object to the design, but the proceidure for the cange or invalidation of those symbols should be made by other means and not through the Constitutional court.
Well, in any case, until May 2000 the local authorities made no atempt on changing the symbols because of the ruling, and continue to use them.
Željko Heimer, 14 May 2000

Coat of Arms

image by Željko Heimer, 14 May 2000