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Resistance (Political movement, Serbia and Montenegro)

Otpor - Отпор

Last modified: 2014-02-01 by ivan sache
Keywords: otpor | resistance | fist (white) | fist (black) |
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Flags used during the struggle against Milošević's regime

[Flag of Otpor]

Flag of Otpor - Image by Ivan Sarajčić, 7 November 1999

Students from Serbian universities have formed a political organization called Otpor (Resistance). They are demonstrating against Milošević's regime in Serbia. Their flag is white, with a black fist in a black-outlined circle.
In February 2000, the movement changed its subtitle from students' movement to people's movement.

[Variant of the flag]         [Variant of the flag]

Other flags used by Otpor - Images by Ivan Sarajčić, 19 May 2000

There is a variant of the flag of Otpor with reversed colours.

Yesterday, when Red Star Belgrade football club (FK Crvena Zvezda Beograd) won the Yugoslav football championship, another variant of the Otpor flag was shown on Belgrade's largest stadium, as well as on the streets of Belgrade. It is not the usual black and white version but a red and white version. When Red Star supporters joined the demonstrations against Milošević's regime, some of them carried this flag. Red Star Belgrade is the most popular football club in Serbia and Montenegro, which won the European championship in 1991, with red-white jersey colours.

Ivan Sarajčić, 19 May 2000


Flags used after the regime change (October 2000)

After the regime change in October 2000, Otpor had announced that it would quit the use of the fist symbol, as it symbolized the struggle against the Milošević's regime, which was over then. The symbols intended to replace the fist were the scaffold, which symbolized the approaching reconstruction of Serbian society, and the dredge, in memory of the dredge which first broke into the heavily guarded building of the state TV network on 5 October 2000 and gave the whole event the nickname "Dredge Revolution" (Serbian: Bager revolucija). However, none of these symbols had really caught on and the fist symbol and the flags charged with it were kept in continuous, although nominally unofficial use.

[Variant of the flag]     [Variant of the flag]     [Variant of the flag]

Flags used by Otpor in 2003 - Images by Tomislav Todorović, Mladen Mijatov & Ivan Sarajčić, 13 August 2005

On 5 October 2003, the Resistance organized a rally in Belgrade in commemoration of the 2000 revolution, where three new flag versions have appeared along with the earlier ones. Their fields were green, orange and blue (very dark, looked almost black on the TV), respectively, and they were all charged with white fist symbol. This occasion also seems to have been the last appearance of the white flag of the Resistance.

On 19 November 2003, Otpor has applied for the registration as the political party. The applicants carried with them the red and black flags of the organization, as could be seen on the TV. After having been registered as the party, Otpor ran the elections but failed to enter the People's Assembly. The black, green and orange flags were appearing rarely during the election campaign and seem to have fallen out of use after December 2003, while the red and blue flags were last seen during the campaign for presidential elections in Serbia in 2004, in the rallies of Boris Tadić, the candidate of the Democratic Party (elected afterwards for the President), who was supported by Resistance as well.

Otpor has merged into the Democratic Party in July 2004. However, in April 2004, many of the members of Otpor, having accused the party leaders for usurping the leadership and other malversations, announced the renewal of the original non-governmental organization. It is not known if it continued to exist, as there were not many mentions of it afterwards, so the flags of Otpor seem to have fallen out of use after June 2004.

Tomislav Todorović, 24 April 2007


Official flag with the party name

[Official flag of Otpor]

Official flag of Otpor - Image by Tomislav Todorović & Mladen Mijatov, 13 September 2005

Along with the flags charged with the fist symbol, Otpor had used a white flag with its full name - НАРОДНИ ПОКРЕТ ОТПОР! (NARODNI POKRET OTPOR!, People's Movement Resistance!) - written in black in two lines, the size of letters adjusted so that both lines occupy the same portion of the flag length (bottom line comprised only the word OTPOR!). After the flags with the fist were officially abolished in October 2000, this flag was nominally the only official flag of Otpor, although it was still used less than those flags. It was also carried by the participants of the rally on 5 October 2003, which is its last use that I have recorded. It seems to have been used rarely during the election campaign in 2003 and seems to have fallen out of use after that year.
About the name itself: the spelling on this flag was official; in everyday use, it was usually shortened to OTPOR (the exclamation mark was usually omitted), which was often written with only initial letter uppercase. The spelling with the exclamation mark has later inspired the same thing at Kmara! of Georgia and Pora of Ukraine.

Tomislav Todorović, 13 September 2005


Last emblem of the party

[Emblem of Otpor]

Last emblem of Otpor - Image by Tomislav Todorović & Mladen Mijatov, 20 October 2007

When the Resistance was transformed into the political party, it adopted a new, more complex variant of the logotype: the white fist was on a blue disc, which was surrounded with a red ring, charged with word ОТПОР (OTPOR) in bottom part and the motto СЛОБОДА СОЛИДАРНОСТ ПРАВДА (SLOBODA SOLIDARNOST PRAVDA, "Freedom, Solidarity, Justice") in the top part, all inscribed in white; red and blue areas were separated with a white fimbriation. The whole logotype was designed so as to make the illusion of a three-dimensional object, with shadows and gleams on different parts, party name and fist looking as if cut through the background and the motto looking as if floating above the ring. The logotype seems to never have appeared on any flags during the election campaign in November and December 2003 and was rarely seen afterwards. When used, it was either on white or on blue background. There was also a version with blue and red colours reversed, which appeared on red background. With the merger of Resistance into the Democratic Party (July 2004), it went out of use.
The image is based on a computer desktop wallpaper which was available for free download from the Resistance web site (no longer active).

Tomislav Todorović, 20 October 2007