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The High Representative of the United Nations issued a press release on the matter this Monday:
The press release is available at <www.ohr.int/press/p980112a.htm>.
Jan Oskar Engene, 14 January 1998
I continue to inform on all the news regarding the Bosnia-Herzegovina flag. The latest piece of news was given in tonight's evening news of Croatian TV. As Murphy works well, I just left the room when this piece of news was on, so I got it only partially. However, I believe that this would be of your interest also.
It was said that the Westerndorp's commission have come out with three final solutions of the new flag designs, and that they will be given to the Parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina (if I understood it well) for adoption of one of those. If none would be adopted by the Parliament, it was said that Westerndorp would choose one of them and impose it as the new national flag.
The three proposals where shown quite well - but I was not in good place at the moment to see them well. :-( It seems that all of the three are quite new (that is, they have not been "in the game" before, at least not publicly). All of them seem to have neutral colours, probably deliberately. I'll restrain myself to say anything about them at this moment.
All proposals seem to have been made as 2:3 in proportions. All of them have been made as real flags of polyester (or some other light fabric), and were pinned against the wall (though the sleave for the flagstaff, the usual way of hoisting flags here, was clearly visible).
Zeljko Heimer, 27 January 1998
The news report I mentioned is from ONASA (Oslobodjenje News Agency Sarajevo), ONASA reported yesterday the following on the flag:
Jan Oskar Engene, 28 January 1998
I was kind of hopping that you will find any such source available on the net, and I was not wrong :-)
I will translate the text from the URL where the picture is:
I have not noted any mention of the dates when the flag will be considered in the Parliament, nor in the Presidency. This might be another non-time-limited "joke" and might come to nothing. The comment considering Nagano Olympics might help. At least it is not so far away in future.
Zeljko Heimer, 28 January 1998
I'm sure that I won't be the only person to notice that the colours of all the proposed flags are the same as those of the current flag - one might quibble about the shade of the blue, but azure is azure.
Vincent Morley, 28 January 1998
I have hunted some more news, this time from Bosnian television news summaries made available on the web site of the United Nations' High Representative. A short item on BiH TV News 27 January 98, 19:30, said:
Jan Oskar Engene, 29 January 1998
Also from the OHR web site, a news item from BiH TV News 28 January 1998:
The SDA and the SDP held separate press conferences. SDA spokesman Grbo expressed dissatisfaction with the esthetic design of the Bosnia and Herzegovina flag, and said that the flag with lilies will remain in the hearts of those who defended Bosnia under it. SDP Co-president Avdic said that the proposal of the Bosnia and Herzegovina flag is the compromise that puts under the question the Bosnia and Herzegovina statehood. Avdic added that making the flag in such a manner shows complete blockade of the Bosnia and Herzegovina state institutions that the SDP does not accept.
Jan Oskar Engene, 30 January 1998
I just received by fax the report of the Bosnia and Herzegovina flag commission. The report is short, three pages of text and three pages of construction sheet drawings. It is in English.
Commission held four meetings between 12 and 22 January. One member did not participate in the meetings because he was out of the country. The commission comments about its task and the fundamental principle of its work: "Aware of the significance of the flag, there was full agreement within the Commission that all its elements and the symbol as a whole must be equally acceptable to every citizen and every group in Bosnia and Herzegovina." The commission concluded that it would be "very hard" to include in the flag elements from the symbols of the constituent peoples of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It concluded that "Instead, the Commission decided that elements of each of the selected solutions should be geometric figures and colors equally acceptable to all." It said of the three suggested designs, proposed unanimously by the commission, that these have the shapes and colours arranged "in such a way that they are harmoniously connected and imbued, symbolizing in that manner the fateful connection between all citizens and peoples of Bosnia and Herzegovina, their joint life, equality and tolerance."
The colour light blue was chosen, as we have heard before, because this is the colour of the United Nations "thereby expressing the membership of the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the global community of states." Yellow was chosen because "this colour is equally acceptable to all and it is associated with the sun as the source of light and symbol of life." The symbolism of the white colour is not explained in the commission report.
Two of the commission's proposed designs have a triangle, "which as a universal geometric figure can be associated to the geographic form of the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina and its three constituent peoples" the commission explains. The stars in the third design are explained with reference to the flag of the European Union, but the neither the significance of the number of stars nor the two half stars is explained.
Details valid for all three proposals:
Jan Oskar Engene, 2 February 1998
News from Bosnia is that the parliament failed to agree on a flag design yesterday and that consequently Westendorp, the High Representative, will make the decision.
Jan Oskar Engene, 4 February 1998
At <www.ohr.int:81/issues98/p980203a.htm> (defunct) you can find:
Mark Sensen, 4 February 1998