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Royal Yugoslavia (1918-1941)

Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (1918-1929) - Kingdom of Yugoslavia (1929-1941)

Last modified: 2004-06-05 by
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[National flag]by Zeljko Heimer

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Historical background - The 1922 and 1937 laws

In late 1918 a new state was formed by the just united Kingdoms of Serbia and Montenegro and the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs that encompassed South-Slavic lands of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire. The local legislation was kept in use regionally, and it was not until 1922 that the question of the ensigns was resolved by the adoption of a legislation.

To the best of my knowledge, there are two laws passed on the ensigns and flags for use at sea during the existence of Yugoslavia before the Second World War. The first law was adopted in 1922 and the second law, less kown until now, was adopted in 1937. When the Kingdom of Yugoslavia was proclaimed in 1929 to replace the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, there was apparently no change in the 1922 flag law.

I suspect, however, that there must have been some other regulations that were adopted between 1922 and 1937, although I have not found reference to them anywhere. All the sources refer to the 1922 law only, and even the source that I have for the 1937 law does not mention anything else but the 1922 law. I suspect that there must have been some other egulation for the following reasons:

The full text of the 1922 law is available on a specific page of this website, as well as an outline of the 1937 law.

Zeljko Heimer, 16 November 2003

Merchant ensign

[Merchant ensign]by Zeljko Heimer

The merchant ensign (literally "merchant flag", trgovaska zastava) is prescribed in article 2 of the 1922 law. The flag is horizontally divided blue-white-red. The ratio of the flag is 2:3.

The flag was used even before the law, but was formally introduced only with the 1921 Vidovdan Constitution, as the national flag. The 1922 law prescribes it as the civil and state ensign

The 1937 law did not change this flag, which is nowadays the merchant ensign of Serbia and Montenegro.

Zeljko Heimer, 11 November 2003