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Rama Community (Hercegovina-Neretva Canton, Bosnia and Herzegovina)

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Keywords: bosnia and herzegovina | herzegovina-neretva | rama | prozor | rama cross |
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by Zeljko Heimer, 21 June 1998

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This is the flag of the community of Rama, or at least its Croat version. In my list of B&H communities there is Prozor/Prozor-Rama community in Hercegovina-Neretva Canton - but I am not sure if this flag really belongs to it, but rather to some other now unrecognized formation.
The flag was displayed in Zagreb, infront of a museum with an exibition of art from the region and from the Franciscan monastery Rama-Scit. I came in the museum to ask about the flag, but they were ignorant that there even was a flag infornt! After some 15 minutes of searching who might be responsible for it, they told me that it is due to the mentioned exhibition and nothing more they could say. Honestly, it didn't helped much, since I knew that it is connected to Rama somehow - it is hard (for me) not to recognize the Rama cross.
Here is the description: Dark blue flag with a shield in the middle - trierced: 1. azure, the Rama cross proper; 2. Croatian gules-argent chequy; 3. gules, an arm with a scmitar proper.
The Rama cross is a stone cross of characteristic shape (btw, shown on a Herzeg-Bosnia stamp), which was (is?) erected on a mountaintop in the region, and though the whole 90's often used as the symbol of the Croat presence there. I am not sure, but I think that Croats proclaimed separate community there, but this was finally not recognized by the new implementation mechanisms. I doubt that the current community Prozor/Prozor-Rama (if that is the name) is equal in territory as well as in the flag use.
Zeljko Heimer, 21 June 1998

This flag use is illegal according to Dayton agreement, and it was brought unilaterally by croat occupational authorities in municipality of Prozor, that they renamed into RAMA, which is an old medieval name for larger region of Prozor. Municipality of Prozor is divided into two parts - Bosniaque and Croat, but was one municipality before the war. Croat part is made of city of Prozor and some burned Bosniaque villages around, and it is renamed into Rama. Rama is an old name for the area, not for the city, since it didn't exist as a town/city before the Turks. Other, northern part of municipality of Prozor is controlled by legal Bosnian authorities, and the name is Prozor. At this moment, there is a wide discussion on croat's proposal of making croat municipalities in territories inhabited majorly by Bosniaques. My guess is that the municipality of Prozor will be divided into two parts - Rama and Prozor, both as municipalities, or there will be less painful solution, ONE municipality, but two names (Prozor/Rama), where Rama would be "pure" croatian name and Prozor would be "pure" Bosniaque name for the municipality and/or town, but it is nonsence since Rama is medieval name for the complete region and the river, it has nothing to do with the city. BTW, Prozor means WINDOW in Bosnian.
This is a flag of Rama, brought by HZHB in 1993, but it will soon be removed since only the state, federational and cantonal flags are allowed. Municipalities use CoAs, but this one will be changed I guess because it represents only Croats and Christianity. Some symbols of Bosniaques and Islam should be added as there is a 44% of Bosniaques in 1991 municipality.
Only one municipality is recognized by Dayton, but there will be some divisions, since HDZ insists.
Velidaga Jerlagic, 21 June 1998

Adopted: around 1995 (?). Abandoned: around 1999 (?).
The Rama cross, in the first field of the shield is erected from ancient times on the nearby mountain and is dominating the region. In the base there is the mideval arms of Bosnia: an arm holding a schmithar. In medieval scripts this coat of arms was often captioned Rama, the term designated more or less the entire modern B&H.
This coat of arms and the flag was used by the community of Rama established within HRHB.
Source: exhibition on Rama region in Mimara Museum Zagreb, 1998.
Zeljko Heimer

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