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Subotica / Szabadka (Municipality, Serbia)

Last modified: 2006-07-22 by ivan sache
Keywords: subotica | szabadka |
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[Flag of Subotica]

Flag of Subotica - Image by Željko Heimer, 9 October 2005, coat of arms after the municipal website

See also:

History of Subotica

Subotica (Hungarian, Szabadka ; German, Maria-Theresianstadt ) is a town and district in Vojvodina, close to the Hungarian border. The town has got 100,219 inhabitants (1990 census).

  • 1241-1242: Foundation of the sttlement by King Bela IV after Mongol invasion.
  • 1391: First mention of the city, as Zabotka, part of the Bodrog county in the Kingdom of Hungary.
  • 1527-1542: After the battle of Mohács, ruled by Nenad Cernoević's peasant army.
  • 1543-1686: Part of the Ottoman Empire, in the Buda vilayet.
  • 1699: Reallocated to Hungary by the treaty of Karlowatz.
  • 1743: Free Town, as Szent-Maria.
  • 1779: Free Royal City. as Maria-Theresiopolis.
  • 1845. Officially renamed Szabadka.
  • 1848-1861: After the defeat of the Hungarian Independence War (1848-1849), allocated to a new province (Governorate of Temes and Serbian Vojvodina).

The 1910 population census yielded 94,610 inhabitants, divided as follows:

  • Census by mother language:
    • Hungarian: 55,587 (58.8%)
    • Bunjevat*: 33,247 (35.1%)
    • Serbian: 3,514 (3.7%)
    • German: 1,913 (2.0%)
    • Others: 100 (0.4%)
  • Census by religion:
    • Roman Catholic: 85,445 (90.3%)
    • Jewish: 3,539 (3.8%)
    • Greek Orthodox: 3,486 (3.7%)
    • Calvinist: 1.420 (1.5%)
    • Others: 720 (0.8%)

In 1918, the city was under Serbian occupation. From 1920 (Treaty of Trianon) to 1941, the city was incorporated to Yugoslavia. In 1941-1944, the area was occupied and annexed by Hungary. The treaty of Paris reallocated it to Yugoslavia in 1947.

Subotica is the birthplace of the Hungarian writer, poet and journalist Dezsö Kosztolányi (1885-1936).

István Molnár, 10 December 2000

*Bunjevat is the name used by Croats living in Vojvodina for designate themselves (plural form is Bunjevtsi). In various times the separate name of this community was used by others to promote their difference from Croat nation, and probably there are some circles among them who would follow some similar way. As far as I am aware, the definition of the Bunjevtsi as Croats is widely accepted today.

Željko Heimer, 12 December 2000

Flag of Subotica

The municipality of Subotica (the Hungarian name of Szabadka is also official; Croatian is yet also offical language there, but the name is equal to Serbian - Subotica) adopted a flag in 2002. The preliminary municipal Statutes Statut opštine Subotica (pročišćeni tekst), adopted on 19 February 2002 and published the same day in the official municipal gazette Službeni list opštine Subotica, 06/2002, integrate the texts of all previous Statutes and Amendments since 1991 but describe only the coat of arms, without any mention of the flag. The current StatutesStatut opštine Subotica, adopted on 7 June 2002 and published the same day in the official municipal gazette Službeni list opštine Subotica, 19/2002, give a detailed description of the flag beside the coat of arms as well. Therefore the adoption date for the flag would be 7 June 2002.

The flag of Subotica is horizontally divided white-light blue with the municipal coat of arms in the middle. The ratio is 23:34 (sic), this unusual ratio being the result of the prescribed size of 92 x 136 cm (140 cm length including the staff sleave).
The statutes also prescribe the golden fringe on three sides of 45 mm. The staff should be 255 cm long and with a leaf-shaped finial of 37 cm. With all this details, however, the size of the coat of arms in the flag is not prescribed!

[Coat of arms of Subotica]

Coat of arms of Subotica - Image by Željko Heimer, 9 October 2005, after the municipal website

Subotica uses the historical coat of arms which was granted when the city was given rights of a Free and Royal City on 1 September 1779 then renamed Maria Teresienstadt. The coat of arms is a shield, whicc was usual for the period. It is made of a shield with a baroque ornament:
Per fess azure the Blessed Virgin clead gules sejant holding the Baby Jesus in her lap in glory or in chief dexter and St. Theresia in Carmelite dress holding hands towards them and gules a lion or rampant holding a curved sword argent hilted or above its head.
The shield is crowned with a leafly crown or and set within a circular seal inscribed Sigillum Libera et Regia Civitatis Maria Theresiopolis. The upper half of the shield refers to the new city name while the lower part is the coat of arms of the Temesvar Bannate, which was a separate Habsburg crownland until that time. The Temesvar arms are part of the coat of arms of Vojvodina.

Source: Municipal website

Željko Heimer, 9 October 2005

Former flag of Subotica (Szabadka)?

[Former flag of Subotica]

Former flag of Subotica - Image by Željko Heimer, 9 October 2005

Source: Sándor Széll. Városaink neve, címere és lobogója [szs41].

István Molnár, 24 September 2002

Széll's book shows the flags of several cities formerly held by Hungary. The book is our only source of these flags, but it is not clear as to what period these flags were used as claimed by the book. I doubt very much that they were used during the time of Austria-Hungary. It seems very much more like they were designed in 1941 - but it is not even clear weather the designs shown in the Szell's book are just proposals or if they were ever prescribed in any formal way and after all whether they were used. At least for the moment, I believe that the former flag was in use at most in years 1941-1944.

Željko Heimer, 9 October 2005