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Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosna i Hercegovina

Last modified: 2024-07-06 by rob raeside
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[Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina] image by António Martins, 1 May 2016

Flag "adopted" on 4 February 1998; coat of arms adopted on 20 May 1998.
Proportions: 1:2.
Description: A blue flag divided by a yellow right-angled triangle, whose hypothenusis is flanked by a row of white stars.
Use: on land, as the civil, state and war flag.

On this page:

See also:

External sites of interest:

Construction sheet for the flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina

[Construction sheet] image by Jan Oskar Engene, 9 February 1998

This construction sheet is based on the model supplied by the Office of the High Representative. I filled in some on the blanks in the official construction sheet to make it more complete. Note that the positions of the stars in relation to the triangle are not defined in the model drawing issued by the Office of the High Representative.

Jan Oskar Engene, 9 February 1998

Colour specifications

The protocol manual for the London 2012 Olympics (Flags and Anthems Manual London 2012 [loc12]) provides recommendations for national flag designs. Each NOC was sent an image of the flag, including the PMS shades, for their approval by LOCOG. Once this was obtained, LOCOG produced a 60 x 90 cm version of the flag for further approval. So, while these specs may not be the official, government, version of each flag, they are certainly what the NOC believed the flag to be.
For Bosnia and Herzegovina, PMS 294 blue and 116 yellow. The vertical version is simply the flag turned through 90 degrees clockwise.
Ian Sumner
, 10 October 2012

The Flag Manual - Beijing 2008 gives PMS 116 (yellow), and PMS Reflex Blue.

The Album des Pavillons 2000 [pay00] (Corr. No. 5.) gives approximate colors in Pantone and CMYK systems:
Blue: Pantone Reflex Blue c, CMYK 100-73-0-2
Yellow: Pantone 116c, CMYK 0-16-100-0

The Album des Pavillons 2023 already specifies the colors of the flags in three color systems.
Blue: Pantone Dark blue c CMYK 100-87-11-1 RGB 0-36-156
Yellow: Pantone 116c CMYK 0-21-93-0 RGB 255-204-0
The illustration is a really dark blue, almost black. I think it is a mistake of illustrator only.

Vexilla Mundi gives colors in Pantone system: PMS Reflex Blue C, PMS 116C (yellow), and PMS White.

Wikipedia gives the following color values (FOTW is indicated as source!
Blue: Pantone Reflex Blue C, CMYK 100-87-0-20, RGB 0-20-137, and Hex: #001489
Yellow: Pantone 116 C, CMYK 0-10-98-0, RGB 255-205-0, and Hex: #FFCD00

Zoltan Horvath, 23 April 2024 

Adoption of the flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Quoting the press conference by Duncan Bullivant, OHR, 4 February 1998:

Yesterday's Bosnia and Herzegovina Parliament session failed to unanimously adopt one of the three designs for the Bosnia and Herzegovina flag, offered by the expert commission appointed by the High Representative. However, one design did receive a considerable number of votes. It is the design with the stars and the triangle. In the absence of any absolute decision from the Parliament session, the High Representative has selected this flag for Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The final version will be slightly different from the original proposal, the colors have been changed to match those of the Council of Europe, which in effect represents a darker blue and yellow. It is this design, copies of which I have got for you to take away at the end of press briefing.
This flag is a flag of the future. It represents unity not division, it is the flag that belongs in Europe.
The triangle represents the three constituent peoples of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the yellow the sun representing the symbol of hope. The blue and the stars represent Europe, a Europe that Bosnia and Herzegovina is a constituent part of.

Jan Oskar Engene, 5 February 1998

Quoting the press conference by Duncan Bullivant, OHR, 5 February 1998:

There was a question yesterday about the stars and why we have a half star and a three quarter star. The reason for that, I'm informed by the technical experts who designed it, is that the stars are infinite and what is represented on the flag is a continuation rather than a finite number. If you understand that, you're a better man or woman than I am.

Mark Sensen, 7 February 1998

Coat of arms of Bosnia and Herzegovina

[Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina] image by Jan Oskar Engene, 21 May 1998

The Office of the High Representative in Sarajevo announced in a press release dated 19 February 1998 that work has been initiated on finding a new coat of arms for Bosnia and Hercegovina. The commission that worked on proposals for the flag was asked to continue its work to come up with proposals for a coat of arms by 15 April 1998. Following the commission's report, the High Representative will decide the details concerning the adoption procedures. A decision is expected by 15 May this year.

A decision has been made on the new coat of arms of Bosnia and Herzegovina, a news report from the BBC said on 20 May 1998. Like with the flag, the decision was made by the international High Representative, Carlos Westendorp.
The new coat of arms has a blue shield charged with a yellow triangle set in the observer's upper right and a row of seven white stars set bend-wise (with two stars at each end of the row cut in half). In other words the new arms correspond closely to, but is still not identical with, the flag imposed by Westendorp on 4 February 1998. Unlike the new arms, the flag has a blue panel to the right of the triangle and the number of stars in the flag is nine.
The two Houses of Parliament considered the question in their sessions on Monday, but failed to reach agreement on the designs submitted to them. According to news reports, 18 members of Parliament voted for the arms based on the flag design. Three proposed designs were prepared by the committee of academics and intellectuals that also prepared the three alternatives for a new flag of the country earlier this year. The High Representative followed the same procedure as he used when selecting the flag design: He imposed the design that got the most votes.
Both flag and arms are imposed by the High Representative on an interim basis until the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina adopt a law on national symbols.

Jan Oskar Engene, 21 May 1998