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Bulgarian volunteers in First Serbian-Turkish War (1876-1877)

Last modified: 2006-06-09 by rob raeside
Keywords: bulgaria | serbian-turkish war |
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[Bulgarian volunteers in First Serbian-Turkish War] image by Tomislav Todorovic and Mladen Mijatov, 17 October 2005

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Description of the Flag

This flag, although used in Serbia, was brought there from Bulgaria and therefore is considered a Bulgarian flag.

In the First Serbian-Turkish War (1876-1877), many volunteers from Bulgaria (at that time, still under the Ottoman rule) joined the Serbian army. The volunteer units had brought their flags with them from Bulgaria. According to contemporary records, some of the units used horizontal white-blue-green tricolours. Source: Samardžić (1983)

The above source does not say if Bulgarian volunteers also joined the Serbian army in the Second Serbian-Turkish War (1877-1878) or if they assisted the Russian army, as Russia also waged war against the Ottoman Empire at that time, which resulted in the founding of the modern Bulgarian state. Both things might have happened, but that is yet to be checked, as well as the question whether the described flag was used in those cases. Regardless of all that, it is clear that the flag, having obviously been derived from that of Russia, makes an early stage in the process of creation of the modern flag of Bulgaria, the difference being in the colour that was replaced with green.

The image here is the reconstruction, as no contemporary images of the flag seem to have been made. It combines the colour shades of national flags of Bulgaria and Russia and the aspect ratio of the national flag of Russia, as it is the most logical combination, considering everything said above about the flag.
Tomislav Todorovic, 17 October 2005