Last modified: 2004-10-30 by
Keywords: vojvodina | stars: 3 (yellow) | st. paul | lion (yellow) | deer | tree: poplar | construction sheet |
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by Željko Heimer
Vojvodina (21,506 sq. km; 2,013,889 inhabitants; capital city, Novi Sad) is a region in northern Serbia that enjoyed autonomous status from 1946 to 1989. Vojvodina is situated in the southern part of the Central Danube Plain and includes some of the richest agricultural land in former Yugoslavia.
During the VIth century there weresuccessive waves of immigration by Lombards, Avars, and Slavic peoples. In the late IXth century, Magyar Hungarians settled in Vojvodina and the area became part of the Kingdom of Hungary. When much of Hungary was incorporated into the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Vojvodina was included. In 1690 numerous Serbs migrated into the area from territories to the south occupied by the Ottoman Empire. Vojvodina remained under Hapsburg rule until 1918, when it was annexed to the emergent Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes, later Yugoslavia.
During the inter-war years, the Belgrade government sponsored the settlement of Serbs in Vojvodina, and pressured local Hungarians to emigrate. As a result the ethnic composition of the province changed. Briefly reassigned to Hungary during Second World War, Vojvodina was returned to Yugoslav rule in 1945. Vojvodina bcame an autonomous province within the Republic of Serbia in 1946. In March 1989, Vojvodina's autonomous status was abolished. Pressure for a restoration of provincial autonomy has continued to the present day.
Source: Vojvodina Microsoft® Encarta® 98 Encyclopedia
Population there is very mixed. My 1988 lexicon says that Vojvodina is populated with Serbs, Hungarians, Croats, Slovaks, Romanians, Germans, Ukrainians, Czechs and Ruthenians.
Uros Zizmund, 7 February 1998
Official decision on the flag
The flag of Vojvodina is prescribed by decision Odluka o zastavi Autonomne Pokrajine Vojvodine, adopted on 27 February 2004, published in Službeni list Autonomne Pokrajine Vojvodine 2/04 in Novi Sad on 2 March 2004, and valid on 10 March 2004.
The following translation of the official document was made by Željko Heimer and reviewed by Christopher Southworth. The original document was kindly provided by Jos Poels.
Based on the Article 21(2) of the Statutes of the Autonomous Region of Vojvodina (SL APV 17/91) and Article 1 in the Recommendations of the Commission for the preparation of a decision on the symbols of the Autonomous Region of Vojvodina (SL APV 15/2003),
The Assembly of the Autonomous Region of Vojvodina, in its session held on 27 February 2004, (hereby) adopts
Decision on the Flag of the Autonomous Region of Vojvodina
Article 1. This Decision determines the flag of the Autonomous Region of Vojvodina and prescribes the protocol on use of the flag.
Article 2. The flag of the Autonomous Region of Vojvodina, the territorial autonomy in the Republic of Serbia, the modern European region and a member of the Assembly of European Regions consists of three colours, red, blue and white arranged horizontally in proportions of 1:8:1. In the middle of the blue field there are three yellow stars set in a circle. The ratio of the width to the length of the flag is 1:2. The flag is double-sided bearing the same design on the both sides.
Article 3. The flag of the Autonomous Region of Vojvodina is displayed in the shape determined by this Decision, according to this Decision, other regulations and the customary protocols, in a way that does not degrade the reputation and the dignity of the Autonomous Region of Vojvodina.
Article 4. The flag of the AR Vojvodina is displayed together with the flag of the Republic of Serbia when it is so determined by the Law or other regulations that prescribe the display of the flag of the republic of Serbia.
The flag of the AR Vojvodina shall not be used if it is damaged or if its appearance is unsuitable for use.
Article 5. During the sessions of the Assembly of the AR Vojvodina, the flag of the AR Vojvodina is displayed alone on the buildings in which the sessions of the Assembly of the AR Vojvodina and of the Executive Council of the AR Vojvodina are held, and in the halls in which the sessions of the Assembly of the AR Vojvodina and the sessions of the Executive Council of AR Vojvodina are held.
On the territory of the AR Vojvodina the flag of the AR Vojvodina may be displayed alone, (and may) be displayed in public meetings, assemblies, ceremonies and other public gatherings at which the AR Vojvodina is represented.
The flag of the AR Vojvodina shall be displayed in those official halls used by the Chairman of the Assembly of the AR Vojvodina and (of) the chairman of the Executive council of the AR Vojvodina, and may be displayed also in other official halls of the Assembly of the AR Vojvodina and (of) the Executive Council of the AR Vojvodina.
Article 6. The etalon (original) of the flag of the AR Vojvodina is preserved in the Assembly of the AR Vojvodina, and flags manufactured and in use must be made according to it.
Article 7. The flag of the AR Vojvodina shall not be permitted to touch the ground; it shall not be used as base, support, table covering, curtain or similar.
The flag shall not be used to cover vehicles or other objects, and shall not be used to decorate conference tables or rostrums except in the form of a table flag.
If the flag is displayed on a rostrum it shall be set on a staff on the speaker's right side or on the wall behind the speaker so that the speaker does not shield it.
Article 8. This Decision will become valid upon the eighth day following publication in the Službeni list Autonomne Pokrajine Vojvodine.
Assembly of the Autonomous Region of Vojvodina
01 nr. 010-2
Novi Sad, 27 February 2004-06-15
Chairman of the Assembly of the AR Vojvodina
Nenad Janak, m. p.
Željko Heimer, 28 June 2004
Construction sheet of the flag
by Željko Heimer
The drawing attached to the aforementioned decision indicates the following construction details:
Width 100, length 200, top stripe width 10, bottom stripe width 10, imaginary circle in the middle of the flag - diameter 37, circle circumscribing each star - diameter 30, (beginning) at 12 o'clock three five-pointed at 120 degree (intervals), with one point (facing) outwards.
Željko Heimer, 28 June 2004
Adoption process of the flag
According to Dnevnik, the flag of Vojvodina was adopted on 27 February 2004 with 79 votes for, 13 against (representatives of DSS) and 5 abstentions (Liberali Srbije and former Social-Democrats).
The adoption process of the flag of Vojvodina is described in Dnevnik (article by B.D. Savić).
"The regional parliament received the design proposals for the flag and the anthem of Vojvodina "Ode of Joy" and the Serb tricolour with three stars - in the middle of the blue field there shall be three stars symbolizing the three parts of Vojvodina: Bačka, Banat and Srem.
The statutory commission of the Vojvodina Parliament adopted the design proposals for the flag and the anthem of Vojvodina and forwarded them for adoption in the regional Parliament. A member of the Commission, Aleksandar Kravić said in an interview that the proposals had been adopted unanimously with only one abstention of the representative of Democratic Party of Serbia, while all others were in favor.
According to him, the flag of Vojvodina shall be the tricolour, based on the Serb flag (red-blue-white), with the middle blue field being enlarged and containing in its center three yellow stars symbolizing the three parts of Vojvodina, Srem, Banat and Bačka. The parliamentaires shall also receive the proposal of the anthem, the "Ode of Joy" by Beethoven, that is already the European anthem.
"The three Serb colours symbolize the connection of Vojvodina with Serbia, while the three stars symbolize the connection with the European Union and the European orientation of Vojvodina" explained Kravić.
The designs for the flag and the anthem of Vojvodina were made my the regional commission, composed of a chairman and viec-chairmen of the Vojvodina Parliament. On the proposals shall be decided on the parliamentary session on 27 February, and it may be assumed that they shall gain the majority support, if the representatives of the three leading parties in Vojvodina government - Democratic Party, League of Socialdemocrats and the Union of Vojvodina Hungarians - shall vote as their representatives in the Statutory commission.
The adoption of the anthem and the flag should finalize the symbols of Vojvodina, after the previous adoption of the coat of arms, adopted on 27 June 2002. This decision was then voted for by 68 of 120 representatives, the votes against were from the DSS, with abstentees from the New Democracy (now the Liberals of Serbia) and the Vojvodina Coalition. The regional coat of arms was voted for after the initiative by the chairman of the regional parliament, Nenad Janko.
Since the adoption, the coat of arms of Vojvodina is in prerogative use within the seals of all the regional bodies, on the official inscriptions on the buildings of the regional bodies and the bodies of the local administration, and on the charters and other public acknowlegments of the Region."
Željko Heimer, 18 February 2004
Perception of the flag
According to an article in Vjesnik (Zagreb, Croatia) dated 6 March 2004, the newly adopted flag of Vojvodina and the slightly older coat of arms might be expecting a short life.
Namely, it is said in the article that the emblems were adopted by the current parliament of Vojvodina that is soon due to reelection. It is considered by many that the current parliament has no longer popular support, and that the newly elected parliament would be more "pro-Serbian" and much less "pro-regional", and might easily revoke the adopted symbols. The recently elected right-winged government of Serbia has a poor opinion of the current parliament, and expects to gain support in the new elections in Vojvodina, too. The current Vojvodina parliament is therefore said to have adopted the symbols in a desperate move to retain even a symbolic autonomy, that might be suppressed after the elections.
Anyway, it seems that the new symbols were not favorably perceived in Belgrade. The article quotes the two pejorative nicknames given to the coat of arms and the flag. The flag is called salveta (a tissue, a napkin), while the coat of arms is called kod dva piva (at two beers'). This last is supposedly to sound like a name of a pub or similar, and the reference is to the lion and the deer. I suppose that the two charges recall two popular beer brands. I would take care regarding these nicknames - it may well be that they are kind of invented by journalists for the sake of making the story more juicy.
Željko Heimer, 6 March 2004
When the new flag was hoisted in front of the Vojvodina parliament in Novi Sad, angry people burn it in riots on streets, saying that the only legitimate flag in Vojvodina was the Serbian flag.
Miloš Djurić, 22 March 2004
by Željko Heimer
The Parliament of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina in Northern Serbia adopted the coat of arms of the province on 28 June 2002.
The coat of arms shall be displayed together with the arms of Serbia, and is purely protocolar, displayed on diplomas, seals, etc.
Zikica Milošević, 29 June 2002
The use of the coat of arms of Vojvodina is prescribed by the regulation: Uputstvo o bližem urečivanju upotrebe grba Autonomne Pokrajine Vojvodine, published in Službeni list APV, 18/2003.
The regulation prescribes who can use the coat of arms, when and how, and how can be obtain the permission to use it in certain instances etc. The text refers to the 2002 decision on the adoption of the coat of arms, Odluka o upotrebi istorijskog znamenja Autonomne Pokrajine Vojvodine, published in Službeni list APV, 10/2002.
On a local party website, there are extracts from the 2002 decision. This extracts have a chapter entitled "Heraldic explanation" that claims that the coat of arms is based on the flag of the Zemun National Guard in 1848.
Željko Heimer, 14 May 2004
The three fields of the new coat of arms of Vojvodina bear the coats of arms of counties, then Hungarian and Croatian, granted in XVIIIth century:
Željko Heimer, Zikica Milošević & Tomislav Todorović, 22 October 2004Mostbet