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Posavina Canton (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

Bosanskoposavski Kanton, Canton 2

Last modified: 2004-11-13 by dov gutterman
Keywords: bosnia and herzegovina | federation of bosnia and herzegovina | posavski | posavina |
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by Zeljko Heimer, 10 June 2004



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Municipalities:


The Flag

On a site at <www.posavina.de> you can see a flag captioned "new flag of Posavski canton" that obviously represent a flag of the Canton 2 , i.e. "Bosanskoposavski kanton".
The symbolic is quite obvious:
- Croats - chequy field, red stripe
- Bosniaks - f-d-ls in a bend (sinistre here) and green stripe
- Sava river - blue and white wavy - Posavina meaning "region by Sava river", "posavski" being adjective form, "Bosanska Posavina" is of course, "region by Sava in Bosnia" - since Sava as any other iver have two banks, the other one being in Croatian region of Slavonia (cf. Brodsko-posavska zupanija).
However, I believe that the flag represented here could not at all be called "new". I believe that it goes about the flag adopted, maybe not so long ago, but certainly before the time when OHR "dismissed" all of the cantonal flags except that of Sarajevo canton (did we found that claim to be true anyway?) for they being too much nationalistic and offensive.
Zeljko Heimer, 2 May 2000

The image from "Posavski magazin" is captioned as new cantonal flag. Until now no other information confirm it. The coat of arms contains Croatian chequy field for the Croat majority of the Canton. It also contains a slanted bar with two fleurs-de-lis for the Bosniak people, and for the connection with the medieval Bosnia. In base is represented river Sava, the main resource of the area and the name-sake of the Canton (Posavina means region around Sava river). The flag is red over white over green tircolour with unequal stripes. The red is for Croats, green for Bosniaks and white for peace among them.
The canton is situated in northern Bosnian Posavina consisting of two territoriall disconnected pockets around towns of Odzak and Orasje, where Croats and Bosniaks managed to fight of the Serb agression.
Zeljko Heimer, 27 September 2000

I reported on the flag of the Posavina Canton (Canton nr. 2, Posavska ~upanija, Posavski kanton) back in May 2000 just around the time when the flag was adopted, based on a report from a web site and claim of the webmaster copying the info from a journal. However, since then I never managed to get any aditional independent info on this flag, so I always kept some reservation to it. However, since nobody objected for almost four years, it seemed more and more that the info is correct. Finally, Jos Poels managed to obtain a copy of the official gazette that he forwarded to me as well.
It seems that the name used at first for the canton 'Bosanskoposavski' is shortened in official use to 'Posavski' only.
The official gazette contains the amendments to the constitution of the Canton: Amandman na Ustav }upanije Posavske, 12.04.2000, Narodne novine }upanije Posavske, br. 3/2000, Oraaje, 12. travnja 2004.
It is interesting to note that the header of the gazette carries the Coat of Arms of the Croatian "Herzeg-Bosnia" (HRHB). As I'll explain further I believe that the Canton used the HRHB flag since 1996 (the formation of the Canton) until 2000 (this amendments).
The first part of the text is the decree promulgating the Amendments to the Constitution of the Posavina Canton. The second is the text of the Amendments itself, that I provide translation in full:

2000, April 12
Amendments to the Constitution

Based on the Article 75 line 3 of the Constitution of the Posavina Canton (Narodne novine Zupanije Posavske 1/96) the Assembly of the Posavina Canton, in its session of 12 April 2000, (hereby) adopts

Amendments to the Constitution of the Posavina Canton

Article 1: Article 8 of the Constitution of the Posavina Canton is (hereby) changed and now reads:

The coat of arms of the Posavina Canton is in the shape of a stylised shield bordered with a golden line, (it is) divided into three fields of different sizes with two parallel, slanted golden lines set from lower left to upper right side of the field. The upper part of the field is divided into red and white squares, so that the first square, in left upper corner, is red. The middle field is white with two golden fleurs-de-lis set equidistantly. The lower field is blue with four symmetrically set wavy white lines.

Article 2: Article 9 of the Constitution of the Posavina Canton is (hereby) changed and now reads:

The flag of the Posavina Canton is composed of three colours: red, white and green, with the coat of arms of the Posavina Canton in the middle. The ratio of the width to length is 1:2. The colours of the flag are set horizontally, in this order from the top: red, white and green. The red and the white colour each occupy 42 percent of the field, with the green occupying (the remaining) 16 percent of the flag. The coat of arms of the Posavina Canton is set in the middle of the flag. The central point of the coat of arms matches the point in which the diagonals of the flag intersect.

Article 3: These Amendments will become valid upon being published in the Narodne novine Zupanije Posavske.

Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Posavina Canton Assembly

Nr. 01-02-17/2000

Domaljevac, 12 April 2000
Chairman

Vitomir Coskovic, m.p.

(Notes: Published in Narodne Novine }upanije posavske, vol. 5, nr. 3, 12 April 2000. This translation from Croatian into English by Croatian vexillologist Zeljko Heimer, edited by Chris Southworth)

The verso page contains pictures of the Coat of Arms and the flag. It may be noted, however, that the Coat of Arms in the flag picture there is not set in the middle of the flag, but it is off-set somewhat towards the top (though it is not in the midle of the red and white stirpes together, either). Also, the description ("blazon") of the Coat of Arms is not heraldical, especially regarding the left-right issue, nor it is overprecise (one would have trouble drawing the wavy lines in diagonal if he would only follow the "blazon").
It would be very interesting to find out what the original articles 8 and 9 of the 1996 Constitution of the Canton read. They would presumably include the description of the Coat of Arms and the flag used as cantonal symbols from 1996 until 2000. I strongly suspect that these were in fact the Coat of Arms and the flag of HRHB. This is further evidenced by the Coat of Arms in the header of the gazette that is indeed the Coat of Arms of HRHB. (See Previous Symbols)
Zeljko Heimer, 10 June 2004


Coat of Arms


by Zeljko Heimer, 10 June 2004


Previous Symbols


by Zeljko Heimer, 27 September 2000


Coat of Arms
by Zeljko Heimer, 27 September 2000

In the mean time Jos managed to get answers about the previous flag legsilation that are just as I supposed but I had no confirmation. As you shall see the Canton used the HRHB flag as its own since the establishemnt of the canton until April 2000 (just as some other mostly Croat populated cantons, some of which still do so).
Here is my translation of the text of the relevant contitutional articles:

10 April 1996
The Constitution of the Posavina Canton

I. Canton Foundations
Article 8: The coat of arms of the [Posavina] Canton is the historical Croatian coat of arms in the shape of a stylised shield divided horizontally and vertically into twenty-five red and white fields/squares, so that the first field in the upper left corner of the stylised shield is a red one. Above the stylised shield it is set a triple wattle horisontally atop the shield above the three central fields. The ratio of the triple wattle and the height of a square field is 1:1, and ratio of the length of the triple wattle and the length of the square field is 3:1.
Article 9: The flag of the Canton consists of three colours: red, white and blue, with the coat of arms of the Canton in the middle. The ratio of the width and the length of the flag is 1:2. The colours of the flag are arranged horizontally, ordered so from the top: red, white and blue. Each of the colours takes one third of the width of the flag. The coat of arms of the Canton is set in the middle of the flag, and the lower end of he coat of arms (as high as one square field) enters into the blue field of teh flag. The central point of the coat of arms matches the point into which the diagonals of the flag intersect.

Published in the official gazette of the Posavina Canton (Narodne novine Zupanije posavske) vol. 1, nr. 1, 10 April 1996.
Zeljko Heimer, 26 July 2004


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