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Democratic Federal Yugoslavia (1943-1945)

Last modified: 2010-01-30 by
Keywords: second world war | star (red) | anchor (white) | torches: 5 (red) | democratic federal yugoslavia |
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Flag and ensign of the Democratic Federal Yugoslavia

[Naval ensign, 1943]

Flag of the Democratic Federal Yugoslavia - Image by Željko Heimer, 12 October 2003

After the Jajce conference during which the new Yugoslav state was born on 29 November 1943 (see the date on the national coat of arms), the general staff of the National Liberation Army of Yugoslavia issued an order signed by Marshal Tito on the naval and merchant ensigns to be used by the ships of the Democratic Federal Yugoslavia (Naredba o zastavi ratne i trgovačke mornarice, Glavni štab NOVJ, 14 December 1943). The naval ensign was the Yugoslav tricolour with the red five-pointed star in the middle of the white stripe, charged with a white anchor.

[Merchant ensign, 1943]

Merchant flag of the Democratic Federal Yugoslavia - Image by Željko Heimer, 12 October 2003

The same order prescribed a merchant ensign similar to the naval ensign, but without the anchor, that is, the Yugoslav tricolour flag with the five-pointed red star in the middle of the white stripe.

Source: Pomorska enciklopedija VII: Zastava, Jugoslavenski leksikografski zavod, Zagreb, 1964.

The last two flags were de jure used until the adoption of the regulation replacing them with the new flags, which happened in 1949 for the naval ensign and in 1950 for the merchant ensign. However, the new national flag, with the large red star bordered in yellow, was adopted officially early in 1946, the flags used at sea might have been de facto replaced even before.

Željko Heimer, 12 October 2003

Coat of arms of the Democratic Federal Yugoslavia (1943)

[Coat of arms]

Coat of arms of the Democratic Federal Yugoslavia - Image by Željko Heimer, 15 October 2003

The coat of arms for the new state was devised by the artist Đorđe Andrejević-Kun, from Belgrade, around 1943. The coat of arms was officially adopted only in the 1946 Constitution, with a slightly different artistic representation. The five torches represent the five Yugoslav nations (Serbs, Croats, Slovenes, Montenegrins and Macedonians; the [Bosnian] Muslims were recognized as the nation only in 1974 while the number of torches was increased to represent the number of Republics in 1963) and they burn by the joint flame of the Federation.

The date written on the ribbon of the emblem is 29 November 1943. As it is usual in the region, the month is written in form of Roman numeral, so the actual writing is 29.XI.1943.
That is the date of the second session of AVNOJ held in the Bosnian town of Jajce. AVNOJ was the Anti-fascist Council of National Liberation of Yugoslavia (Antifasisticko Vjece Narodnog Oslobodenja Jugoslavije), the organization that functioned as the parliament of the partisan movement. On the second session on the mentioned date the Council took several important decisions that are considered as the basis of establishment of the new, post-Second World War Yugoslavia. Among the decisions are the future federal organization of the state (that was, by the way, also the basis for the separation of the republics in the 1990s), the ban of the return of King Peter II from London until the free elections were made after the war to decide on the question of the kind of organization (republic vs. monarchy), giving the title of Marshal to Josip Broz Tito, etc..
Afterwards, the date was celebrated as the Day of the Republic.

Source: Symbol und Wirtschaft [suw50i]

Željko Heimer, 15 October 2003