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Serbia: National minorities

Last modified: 2013-12-30 by ivan sache
Keywords: national minority | bosnia | sandzhak | croatia | hungary | romania | slovakia | vojvodina | bunjevac | stars: 3 (yellow) | stars: 12 (yellow) | sun: 16 rays (yellow) | sun: vergina |
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National Minority Council

During the last session (exact date unknown) of the National Minority Council, the symbols (flag, coat of arms, anthem...) of four national minorities have been confirmed by the Council, namely those of Bosniaks, Bunjevac, Croats and Hungarians, on the Council's session of 23 December 2005.
Other 20-ish national councils have not yet adopted their symbols and have not sent them to the National Minority Council for approval.

Željko Heimer, 20 February 2006

Ashkali minority

[Flag of the Ashkali People]

Flag of the Ashkali People - Image by Ivan Sarajčić, 23 January 2006

Ashkali is a national minority from Serbia. They are Roma who speak Albanian, but are not ethnical Albanians. Following the war in Kosovo, several Ashkali settled in Macedonia with refugee status, and refused to come back in their homes in Kosovo.

Several photographies of the flag can be found on the Ashkali website (no longer online), as well as the explanation of the flag.

Ivan Sarajčić, Valentin Poposki & António Martins, 23 January 2006

Bosniak minority

[Flag of the Bosniaks]         [Coat of arms of the Bosniaks]

Flag and arms of the Bosniak minority in Serbia and Montenegro - Images by Željko Heimer, 19 March 2005

The flag of the Bosniak minority in Serbia (Nacionalna zastava Bošnjaka u Republici Srbiji) is shown on the Bosniac National Council website. The flag is very similar to the former flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina, white with the coat of arms in the middle.
More information on this flag are available on the Sanžak page of this website.

Željko Heimer, 17 February 2006

Bulgarian minority

[Flag of the Bulgarian minority]

Flag of the Bulgarian minority in Serbia - Image by Željko Heimer, 4 September 2006

The National Council of Bulgarians in the Republic of Serbia adopted a flag and coat of arms in the middle of June 2006 (may be on 17 June). The symbols were designed by Hristo Dermendzhiev, a heraldist from Bulgaria, and were chosen after in a contest opened in the beginning of the year. Second and third were ranked the proposals of Stanko Marnjanović from Niš and Jelena Ignjatoviš from Belgrad.

Stoyan Antonov, 2 September 2006

Bunjevac minority

[Flag of the Bunjevac minority]  :    [Ceremonial flag]

Flags (left, usual; right, ceremonial) of the Bunjevac minority in Serbia and Montenegro - Images by Željko Heimer, 18 February 2006, coat of arms from the Bunjevac website

The Croats in Serbia, as well as some in Croatia, consider the Bunjevac community to be a regional name for Croats in Vojvodina and claim that the Bunjevci should be part of the Croatian nation (and therefore should not have any flag), but the official Serbian politics recognize them as a separate nation. Anyway, the Bunjevac flag was formally adopted and is official in Serbia.

The symbols are presented on the Bunjevac website.
The ceremonial flag, as well as flags with some variations (of unknown status) can be seen on the front page of Bunjevačke novine, #7 (no longer online).
It is not clear weather the usual flag should include the blue tails or not (but the flag is shown on the picture with them).

It is considered that the flag of Bunjevci is traditionally white and blue, as described in some traditional folk songs. However, this was never formally adopted (as far as I know) and I don't know of any previous flag being made or used.

Željko Heimer, 18 February 2006

Croatian minority

[Flag of the Croatian minority]  :   [Coat of arms of the Croatian minority]

Flag and arms of the Croatian minority in Serbia and Montenegro - Images by Željko Heimer, 27 July 2005

Hrvatska riječ, the magazine of the Croatian community in Vojvodina, reports in #113, 17 May 2005, that the Croatian National Council (HNV, the top organization of the Croats in Serbia and Montenegro) has adopted a flag for the Croats in Serbia and Montenegro.
During the session of the HNV on 11 June 2005 the flag was adopted to be virtually the same as the flag of the Republic of Croatia but without the five small shields in the crest, that is the red-white-blue tricolour with the shield chequy gules and argent in the middle (starting with a red field, top aligned with the edge between the red and white stripes and entering the blue with the lower part, entirely fimbriated by a red line).
The coat of arms for the Croats in Serbia and Montenegro was adopted during a previous session of the Croatian National Council.

Željko Heimer, 27 July 2005

Hungarian minority

[Flag of the Hungarian minority]

Flag of the Hungarian minority in Serbia and Montenegro - Image by Željko Heimer, 23 January 2006

On 19 February 2005, Resolution #1/2005 of the National Concil of the Hungarian Ethnic Minority proposed two flags for the Hungarian minority
On 23 September 2005, Resolution #5/2005 of the National Concil of the Hungarian Ethnic Minority adopted the flag of the Hungarian minority. It is similar to the Hungarian national flag with the national coat of arms in the middle.
The flag was officially approved by the Minority Council of Serbia on 23 December 2005.

[Rejected proposal]

Rejected flag proposal - Images by István Molnár, 24 January 2006

The rejected proposal is similar to the Hungarian national flag with the coat of arms of Vojvodina in canton.

István Molnár, 24 January 2006

Macedonian minority

[Flag of the Macedonian minority]         [Emblem of the Macedonian minority]

Flag and emblem of the Macedonian minority in Serbia and Montenegro - Images by Željko Heimer, 22 February 2006

The National Council of the Macedonians of Serbia and Montenegro has approved new symbols on 11 February 2006. The flag is red with the Council's emblem, a 16-ray sun (similar to the "Sun of Vergina"), surrounded by a golden ring in the center of the flag. The emblem was approved during an earlier session of the Council.

Valentin Poposki, 22 February 2006

Romanian minority

[Flag of the Romanian minority]

Flag of the Romanian minority in Serbia - Image by Ivan Sache & Željko Heimer, 19 March 2009

Quoting Wikipedia:

Romanians are a recognized national minority in Serbia. The total number of declared Romanians in the 2002 Serbian census was 34,576, while 40,054 people declared themselves Vlachs; there are differing views among some of the Vlachs over they should be regarded as Romanians or as members of a distinctive nationality. In a Romanian-Yugoslav agreement of November 4, 2002, the Yugoslav authorities agreed to recognize the Romanian identity of the Vlach population in Central Serbia, but the agreement was not implemented. In April 2005, many deputies from the Council of Europe protested against Serbia's treatment of this population. In August 2007, they were officially recognized as a national minority, and their language was recognized as Romanian. Declared Romanians are mostly concentrated in the autonomous province of Vojvodina, while declared Vlachs are mostly concentrated in north-eastern parts of Central Serbia.

The flag of the National Council of the Romanian Ethnic Minority (Consiliul Naţional al Minoritǎţii Naţionale Române din Serbia - Nacionalni savet rumunske nacionalne manjine, based at Novi Sad) is horizontally divided blue-yellow-red with a ring of twelve yellow stars in canton.

Chrystian Kretowicz, 19 March 2009

Ruthenian minority

The Ruthene Press News Service reported that on the 18th Session of the National Council of Rusinians (Ruthenians) in the Republic of Serbia, held on 16 April 2007, two symbols were adopted, a flag and coat of arms.
The coat of arms is of French shape, vertically divided in two fields. The right field has a red standing bear facing to the viewer's left. The left field is horizontally divided in seven stripes, in turn blue and yellow (four blue and three yellow fields). It is claimed to be the coat of arms of the autonomous Zakarpats'ka Ukraina (Transcarpathic Ukraine) in former Czechoslovakia, adopted 30 March 1920. The four blue stripes represent the four komitats (counties or districts) of Ung', Bereg', Ugocha and Maramorosh, which belonged to autonomous Transcarpathia, while the three yellow stripes represent the three rivers of the land - Uzh, Latoritsa and Tisa. This coat of arms is also the official symbol of Transcarpathia region in Ukraine, since 18 December 1990.
The flag is described as the Serbian tricolour flag with the aforementioned coat of arms on it. However, the position of the coat of arms on the flag is not mentioned.
Rejected proposals for the flag are also shown on the aforementioned website.

Stoyan Antonov, Željko Heimer & Valentin Poposki, 19 April 2007

Slovak minority

[Flag of the Slovaks]         [Flag of the Slovaks]         [Coat of arms of the Slovaks]

Flag, "banner" and arms of the Slovak minority in Serbia - Images by Tomislav Todorović, 3 July 2011

Although the exact date of adoption of the flag and coat of arms of the Slovak minority in Serbia was not possible to detect so far, their official description (PDF file) has appeared at the website of National Council of Slovak Minority on 2 November 2011, so they must have been adopted not long before.

The flag is white-blue-red horizontal tricolor with the coat of arms in the hoist; the height of the coat of arms is equal to the half of the flag width and it is positioned so that its distances from the hoist, top and bottom edges be equal. The flag has the proportions of 2:3.
There is also a vertical flag, or "banner", with the maximal proportions of 1:3, while the minimal value is not prescribed, the official description showing the image with the value of 2:3. The position of the coat of arms is not prescribed, except that it shall be in the top (hoist) half, but it seems that its size and distances from the hoist, top and bottom edges remain the same as on the horizontal flag.
The coat of arms is derived from that of Slovak Republic by surrounding the whole pattern with an additional golden fimbriation.

The descriptions of the symbols are based on those from the Law on the State Symbols of the Slovak Republic (text). The main difference is that the coat of arms has a white fimbriation on the flag of the Republic of Slovakia, which was omitted on the flag of the the Slovak minority in Serbia, because the coat of arms has a golden fimbriation as its integral part. In this way, it was achieved that the symbols visibly differ from those of a sovereign state, as demanded by current legislation.

The images shown above are based on the SVG image of the Slovakian flag from Wikimedia Commons. Shades of blue and red are web-safe approximations of the colors given at the Vexilla Mundi website, and gold is the standard FOTW color "Au". These colors are also good approximations of the color shades shown in the official description, which otherwise does not give any definition of the shades.

Tomislav Todorović, 3 July 2011