Per pale argent and gules; 1: a bishop's crosier countercoloured; 2:
three bars argent.
Divided vertically into equal parts white (hoist) and red (fly). In
the hoist is a red bishop's crosier with crook turned toward the
staff, and in the fly three horizontal white bands. A frequent error
shows black fimbriation on the palar line as well as outlining the
crosier and separating the stripes.
The red and white colours and the bishop's crozier symbolise the
bishopric of Basel which had jurisdiction over Jura from the 14th
century to 1815. The seven stripes in the fly represent the
districts of Jura, and since only three voted to join the new canton,
the three white ones came to represent Porrentruy, Delémont, and Les
T.F. Mills, 05 November 1997
The flag of Jura canton has seven stripes, representing the seven
districts which were recognized as the Jurassian people by the Bernese
constitution in 1950. Those were: Ajoie, Delémont, Franches-Montagnes,
Moutier, Courtelary, La Neuveville and Laufen.
From 1815 the districts of Jura were in the northern French border
region of Canton of Bern. A separatist movement emerged in the
1940s, and heraldic artist Paul Boesch designed its flag in 1943. In
1951 the Bernese Council officially sanctioned the emblem as a
regional flag, but this did not defuse the separatist struggle. In
1978 a Swiss national referendum approved the creation of a new
canton, but only three of the seven Jura districts voted to secede
into the Canton of Jura which took effect on 1 January 1979. One
(Laufen) voted to join Basel-Land instead, and three others (Courtelary,
La Neuveville, and Moutier) elected to remain in Bern. Separatists
continue to agitate for the restoration of the unity of all seven
districts in the new Canton.
The admission of Jura to the Swiss Confederation in 1979 placed the
total number of cantons at the current twenty-three (not counting
three half-cantons of Appenzell, Basel and Unterwalden).
Half-cantons are equal to full cantons in all respects except that
they each have their own autonomous cantonal government and send
one delegate instead of two to the Council of States (equivalent to
the U.S. Senate).
T.F. Mills, 05 November 1997
It is known as the "historic Jura", which is not correct as it was
bigger in fact, enclosing about 7 centuries the city of Biel / Bienne
(one of the five official bilingual cities in Switzerland --
and Sierre), and two other small entities Birseck and three
exclaves in the current German
(villages of Schliengen, Istein and Binzen).
But the separatist movement which led to the creation of the Canton of
Jura was "linguistically" orientated through its leader Roland Béguelin
whose admiration for France had no limits. So, they didn't wanted to
include the German speaking district of Laufen, which became part of
Basel Land Canton in 1992.
The struggle for the creation was hard and two people where killed.
It seems for many to be very few, but in regard to Switzerland's
stability and democracy it's just incredible! Only the three northern
districts became the Jura, but they kept the old flag.
The hope for the return of the southern part are in a good move, as
in 1994, a federally commended commission edited a report on the solution
for the "Jurassian Question" as known here, and it was unanimously the
creation of a new canton of 6 districts (Laufen could choose its own
way, which was not with Jura.) The Bernese government refused right away!
But today there are talks to find solutions and the populations
understanding is changing. The main southern Jurassian city will organise
a plebiscite this year to became part of Jura. It will not be recognised
by the Bernese government, unless there is a good participation.
The Bernese loyalists use in their newspaper another flag to represent
the Jura. It has only three band (two reds and one white).
Pascal Monney, 05 February 1998
The city of Moutier organized a plebiscite in November 1998, but unexpectedly, the voters
refused by 41 votes to become part of Jura. However, public opinion in the southern part is
evolving and the Interjurassian Assembly (which is formed by 24 people from both northern and southern Jura) and
which has the mandate to find a resolution to the situation has defined three
solutions. The first is the Status Quo, the second is the creation of a new canton of
Jura with this time the 6 French districts, and the last is a greater canton together with Neuchâtel and
both Juras. This assembly is charged with determining the best solution, to be
chosen this year.
Pascal Prince, 23 January 2000
Flaggen, Knatterfahnen and Livery Colours
by Pascal Gross
Flaggen are vertically hoisted from a crossbar in the manner of gonfanon, in ratio of about 2:9, with a swallowtail that indents about 2 units. The chief, or hoist (square part) usually incorporates the design from the coat of arms - not from the flag. The fly part is always divided lengthwise, usually in a bicolour, triband or tricolour pattern (except Schwyz which is monocolour, and Glarus which has four stripes of unequal width). The colours chosen for the fly end are usually the main colours of the coat of arms, but the choice is not always straight forward.
Knatterfahnen are similar to Flaggen, but hoisted from the long side and have no swallow tail. They normally show the national, cantonal or communal flag in their chiefs.