August 14, 2012

0308 SERBIA - The flag of Serbia between 2004 and 2011

It fit very well, Ana, especially that I particularly like the flags which include coat of arms. Thanks a lot. A few words about the flag, as I use to do. Serbia as independent state in actual borders (including Kosovo, whose independence Serbia didn't recognize it) exist since 2006, when the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro, the last remnant of the Yugoslav federation, has ceased to exist. So the current symbols of Serbia were officialy adopted in 2010 after theirs approval by the Government. The designs were made by Pr. Ljubodrag Grujić, who consulted Dragomir Acović, the Honorary President of the Serbian Heraldic Society. The flag from the image isn't the current one, but the one used between 2004 and 2011. The changes that were made are linked by the coat of arms' stylization and by the color standardization (the red and the blue are more darker, to avoid resemblance with those of the Russian flag).

This tricolour (red, blue and white in equal horizontal bands) is considered the ethnic flag of the Serbian people, and was first used (among others) during the First Serbian Uprising (1804–1813). The 1835 Sretenje Constitution described the colours of the Serbian flag as bright red, white and dark blue, but this decision was criticized by Russia, but also by others, who said that it is similar to the revolutionary flag of France. Soon afterwards, a Ottoman Porte firman allowed Serbs to use their own maritime flag, which had "upper part of red, middle of blue, and lower of white".

Regarding the coat of arms, it's based on the family arms of the former Obrenović dynasty (adopted in 1882) and features the white bicephalic eagle of the Nemanjić dynasty, who led Serbia during its most beneficial period, in 12th-14th centuries. The eagle has tongues, beaks, legs and claws in gold, between two golden fleur-de-lis.

On a red shield placed in center is the Serbian cross, composed of a cross with four C-shapes on each of its corners (interpreted as Cyrillic letter C - /s/, or as "firesteels"), and used also since the 12th century. From the beginning of the 19th century they acquired additional meaning, considering that they means "Само Слога Србина Спасава", i.e. "Only Unity Saves Serb".

In heraldic terms the blazon is: "Gules, a bicephalic eagle Argent armed Or, two fleurs-de-lys Or. Overall an escutcheon Gules, a cross Argent between four firesteels Argent. All crowned with a royal crown." The crown of the former monarchy was kept, although Serbia is now a republic. The coat of arms appears only on the state flag, not on the civil flag.

About the stamp
The stamp is one of the two issued on May 31, 2012, dedicated to forest nature protection. Presented reserves mark the 50 years jubilee of protection and good governance practice, which led to the preservation of the woody species fund and entire biodiversity. The stamps illustrate:
• The Special Nature Reserve "Jaresnik" - Pinus nigra, arn. var. pallasiana, a variety of European black pine that grows mainly in Crimea
• The Special Nature Reserve "Jasenova glava" - Acer heldreichii, a maple species endemic to the Balkans - it's on the postcard

Flag of Serbia - Wikipedia
Serbia - Flags of the World
European Nature Protection stamp issue from Serbia - Stamp News

sender: Ana Popović (direct swap)
sent from Belgrade (Serbia), on 26.07.2012

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