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Serbia

Србија, Srbija

Last modified: 2013-06-07 by ivan sache
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[Flag of Serbia]         [State flag of Serbia]

Flag of Serbia - Images by Željko Heimer, 28 December 2010
Left, state flag (državna zastava)
Right, national [civil] flag (narodna zastava)


On this page:

See also:


State flag and national (civil) flag

On June 3, 2006, the Parliament of Montenegro declared the independence of Montenegro, formally confirming the result of the referendum on independence. On June 5 Serbia was declared the successor of Yugoslavia and the State Union by the National Assembly of Serbia.
The state flag was raised in a ceremony in front of the National parliament building. With this, Serbia made a symbolic conclusion to the process of taking over its jurisdiction as a sovereign state, based on a Serbian parliament decision dated June 5, 2006.

Milan Jovanović, 27 July 2006

The state flag, the most commonly used in Serbia, is horizontally divided red-blue-white with the national coat of arms shifted to the hoist. When Montenegro seceded from the federation, someone, somehow decided that the state flag should be hoisted in front of the UN building. Restaurants, gas stations, sport supporters, all automaticaly started to use the flag with the coat of arms.
Civil vessels on rivers Danube and Sava use the state flag, with some minor exceptions using the flag without the coat of arms.

The civil flag (narodna zastava, lit., "people's flag) of Serbia is horizontally divided red-blue-white, in proportions 2:3.
The law regulates very clearly when the state flag is used and when the "national flag" is used, although the wording may easily be interpreted that state flag may be used in almost all occasions instead of the plain flag.

Ivan Sarajčić & Željko Heimer, 22 May 2009


Design of the symbols of Serbia

The design of the symbols of Serbia is prescribed by "Regulation on the establishment of source illustration of greater and lesser arms and of flag, and of the score of the anthem", adopted by the Government on 11 November 2010 (government website, images). The 2009 Law prescribing the symbols granted authority to the Government to issue such a Regulation.
The Regulation will be offical eight days after its publication in the official gazette of the Republic of Serbia.

The new designs were made by Pr. Ljubodrag Grujić, who consulted Dragomir Acović, the Honorary President of the Serbian Heraldry Society. Both were commissioned to redesign the symbols after the adoption of the 2009 Law.

[State flag of Serbia]

State flag of Serbia, construction sheet - Image by Željko Heimer, 29 December 2010

Compared with the designs in use before, changes were made in the coat of arms' stylization (images) and in the color standardization (source).

ColorPantoneCMYKRGB
Red192c0-90-70-10198-54-60
Dark red704c0-90-70-30161-45-46
Blue208c100-72-0-1912-64-118
Yellow123c4-24-95-0237-185-46
Black 0-0-0-10033-35-30

Dark red is used only on greater arms, as the color of the red side of the ermine mantling.

Ivan Sarajčić & Željko Heimer, 28 December 2010

The protocol manual for the London 2012 Olympics (Flags and Anthems Manual London 2012 [loc12]) provides recommendations for national flag designs. Each NOC was sent an image of the flag, including the PMS shades, for their approval by LOCOG. Once this was obtained, LOCOG produced a 60 x 90 cm version of the flag for further approval. So, while these specs may not be the official, government, version of each flag, they are certainly what the NOC believed the flag to be.
For Serbia, PMS 192 red, 280 blue, 123 yellow and black. The vertical flag is the horizontal version reversed and turned 90 degrees anti-clockwise, so the arms point leftwards.

Ian Sumner, 10 October 2012


Flag of Serbia used in 2004-2011

[Flag of Serbia]         [State flag of Serbia]

Flag of Serbia, 2004-2011 - Images by Željko Heimer, 4 February 2008
Left, state flag (državna zastava)
Right, national [civil] flag (narodna zastava)

A document no longer available on the website of the Serbian Parliament gives the following prescriptions:
- the proportions of the flag shall be 1.5:1.
- the coat of arms shall be skewed to the left by 1/7 of the flag width from the center. (The text says to the left, which strictly means that two sides are not the same, when the hoist is to the viewers right, but it is not the case in practice, it should be stated "1/7 to the hoist")
- The use of Pantone scale colours is recommended.
Process colours are used in standard four colour offset printing (CMYK).
Colours shown on this page are not completely precise as original, so numeric values are enclosed.

ColorPantoneCMYK
Red193c0-90-70-10
Blue287c100-55-0-0
Yellow116c0-10-90-0
Black 0-0-0-100

Ivan Sarajčić & Željko Heimer, 22 May 2009


Early variants of the state flag

[State flag of Serbia]

State flag of Serbia in proportions 1:2 - Image by Milan Heldrih, 9 January 2005

A state flag in proportions 1:2 is hoisted at least over the presidential residence in Belgrade and also in front of hotel Hajat. In both cases they are hoisted without the national flag of Serbia and Montenegro (as one would have assumed that the ratio might have been made so that the two would be of the same size, but no). Such 1:2 flags are not prescribed by the new Serbian regulations, but the regulation is vague and may be followed more or less strictly.

Željko Heimer, 9 January 2005

[State flag of Serbia]

Vertical state flag of Serbia - Image by Željko Heimer, 31 May 2005

The state flag of Serbia is used also in a vertical variant. As far as I amaware, the vertical variant is not prescribed anywhere, but apparently it is used nevertheless in somewhat unexpected design.
Namely, the vertical flag is the tricolour red-blue-white from observer's left to right, with the coat of arms set in the canton, so that its vertical axis matches the edge between the red and the blue fields and moved towards the top, approximately to 1/3 of the length.
Milan noticed also several variations, including the proportion variations from the usual 2:3 (matching the horizontal flag), 1:2 (matching the flag of Serbia and Montenegro) and even as long as 1:5 for vertical banner-like hoisting.
The flag seems to be mass produced (and used) in Serbia, and it probably not solely by one manufacturer, as the variants may prove. Milan repoirts that the flag is used amnong other places on the state TV headquarters (1:5 variant), the Customs Office (1:2), buildings of some municipal courts in New Belgrade and some less official places such as the Zepter Bank, Hotel Beograd Interkontinental, a bakery shop in Lazarevac etc. As table flags these are used in the government buildings, as shown in various newspapers on the photos on the working desk of Vojislav Koštunica, the Prime Minister, and Boris Tadić, the President.

Milan Heldrih & Željko Heimer, 31 May 2005


Law on the flag of Serbia

The flag of Serbia is prescribed by the Law of 19 May 2009:

III. THE DESIGN AND THE USE OF THE FLAG
The State and the National flag
Article 17.

The flag of the Republic of Serbia exists and is used as the State flag and the National flag, in proportions 3:2 (length to height).

The State flag
Article 18.

The State flag is a horizontal tricolour with equally high fields, from top to bottom: red, blue and white, with overall the lesser coat of arms set towards the hoist at 1/7 of the total flag length.

The National flag
Article 19.

The National flag is a horizontal tricolour with equally high fields, from top to bottom: red, blue and white.

Željko Heimer, 22 May 2009


Origin of the Serbian flag

The Serbian tricolour dates from 1835, and is based on the Russian colours.

Željko Heimer, 22 May 2009


Standard of the President of the Republic

[Flag of the President]         [Flag of the President]

Standard of the President of Serbia; left, current, right, as used until 2011 - Images by Željko Heimer, 28 December 2010

The standard of the President of the Republic is prescribed in Article 26 of the Law of 19 May 2009:

The Standard of the President of the Republic is a horizontal tricolour, which, within a white border with interlaced series of blue and red triangles with their bases towards the outer edge and with a red deltoid with each corner, has fields of the same height, from top to bottom: red, blue and white, and over these fields the greater coat of arms.

Željko Heimer, 22 May 2009


Standard of the Chairman of the National Assembly

[Flag of the Chairman]         [Flag of the Chairman]

Standard of the Chairman of the National Assembly; left, current, right, as used until 2011 - Images by Željko Heimer, 28 December 2010

The standard of the Chairman of the National Assembly is prescribed in Article 27 of the Law of 19 May 2009:

The Standard of the Chairman of the National Assembly is a horizontal tricolour with fields of the same height, from top to bottom: red, blue and white, and over these fields the greater coat of arms.

Željko Heimer, 22 May 2009


Mourning flag

A plain black flag is frequently used as mourning flag in Serbia, especially in Eastern Serbia. It is displayed in front of the house of a deceased person for 40 days after the death.

Ivan Sarajčić, 20 May 2000