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Montenegro (Serbia and Montenegro), 1993-2004

Last modified: 2014-01-19 by ivan sache
Keywords: montenegro | cross (white) | eagle: double-headed (white) | orb | scepter (yellow) | lion (yellow) | coat of arms: montenegro |
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[Flag of Montenegro 1993-2004]

Flag of Montenegro, 1993-2004 - Image by Pascal Gross, 26 April 1999

See also:

Flag of Montenegro

The flag of Montenegro is prescribed by Law about the coat of arms and flag of the Republic of Montenegro (Zakon o grbu i zastavi Republike Crne Gore, published in the official Montenegrin gazette Službeni list Republike Crne Gore, 56/49, on 29 December 1993.

Article 2.
The flag of the Republic of Montenegro consists in horizontal stripes red-bluish*-white with equal width. The ratio length-height shall be 3 to 1.

The text does not give the exact shade of blue. However, Article 8 mentions that the standards of the coat of arms and the flag are kept in the Parliament of the Republic.

Pascal Vagnat, 26 April 1999

*The word translated as bluish is plavetna, and it is not the usual term for blue that would have been plava. Judging from the flags observed in use, the intention of the legislator might have been to say light blue. Approximate colour specification could be:
- red: Pantone 199c
- blue: Pantone 297c

Željko Heimer, 9 October 2000

Television images (Kosovo crisis) confirm earlier reports saying that the flag of Montenegro is red over celestial/light blue over white (1:3)
. Consequently, the Serbian and Montenegrin flags differ not only by their ratio but also by their blue shade.

Jan Zrzavy, 25 April 1999

The blue shade of the Montenegrian was altered when Djukanović became president of Montenegro (1998).

Ivan Sarajčić, 26 April 1999

This might be true in practice, but it might only be that the prescribed colour schemes have been followed more often since then. We have information on different colour shades before that date.

Željko Heimer, 30 April 1999

Alternative unofficial flags

[Unofficial flag of Montenegro]       [Unofficial flag of Montenegro]

Unofficial flags of Montenegro - Images by Željko Heimer, 28 May 1999

In modern times, flags with a red field, sometimes with a white border, in rectangular proportions (1:2, 2:3 and similar), with Nikola I's cross (with or without the cypher) are used as one version of Montenegrin national flag by Montenegrins living abroad (mainly in USA and Canada), and after the formation of the FR Yugoslavia, by pro-Montenegrin political parties. Such flags have no official status.

Željko Heimer, 28 May 1999

A photography of a demonstration shows another flag with a white cross and a white border, but with a blue field.

Mikhail Revnivtsev, 12 May 2006

This photography looks very much like the photos made in the early 1990s. I strongly suspect that this photo was not made recently but has been dug up from some archives. I seem to remember a set of such images where always one (or a few) blue versions of the flag appear among otherwise (historically more correct) red-white variants.

Željko Heimer, 14 May 2006

A similar flag appears in the Flags of Aspirant Peoples chart [eba94], #38, with the following caption :

South Yougoslavia

It has a red field, proportion 2:3, with white cross and red letters HI in the middle. There is a black fimbriation around the cross and the cypher. The fimbriation around the H (upper left and lower left) and the I (upper right and lower right) merges with the fimbriation around the cross.

Ivan Sache, 16 September 1999

[Unofficial flag of Montenegro]     [Unofficial flag of Montenegro]

Unofficial flags of Montenegro - Images by Željko Heimer, 28 May 1999

The other common flags seen in similar occasions also have a red field, but with the Montenegrin official coat of arms in the middle.
Some of these flags have a white border, but such flags with a white border are much rarely seen than those without the white border.

Željko Heimer, 28 May 1999

Coat of arms

[Coat of arms of Montenegro]

Coat of arms of Montenegro, 1993-2004 - Image by Željko Heimer, 2 February 2004

The history of the state coat of arms begins with the Crnojević's dynasty in XVth century. Their family arms, a golden crowned double-headed eagle on a red background (Gules a crowned double-headed eagle or), laid the foundation of the Montenegrin state heraldry: the double-headed eagle became the standard symbol of the state. After gaining the power, the Petrović Njegoš dynasty took the golden double-headed eagle as the state symbol.

Vladika [Governor] Danilo (1696-1735) charged on its breast the greater arms of the Petrović Njegoš family (shield, crown, mantling), while his successor vladika Sava made major changes to the coat of arms: he removed the family greater arms from the eagle's breast, and added the scepter and saru ("the imperial egg") in its claws. He also added another symbol retained until present day [except the period of 70 years of ex-Yugoslavia], the golden lion passant, below the golden eagle.
With Petar I (1782-1830), further rearrangement of the coat of arms took place: he removed the royal insignia from the eagle and charged the eagle's breast with the middle arms of the Petrović Njegoš (the shield with the crown) while leaving the lion passant.

Prince Danilo (1852-1860) also reorganized the coat of arms: he charged the golden eagle's breast with the shield where on the blue background the golden lion passant was on green ground. In one claw the eagle held the saru, and in the other a sword and the scepter. The coat of arms was therefore:
Gules a double headed eagle displayed or crowned with one crown proper holding in dexter claw a sword and a sceptre and in sinister the orb, and on escutcheon azure a lion passant or on a mount vert.

In the time of Prince (1860) then King (1910-1917) Nikola, the sword was removed and later, in conformity with the Constitution of 1905, the color of the eagle was changed from golden to silver, as well as the colour of the background of the shield with the lion, to red instead of blue.

The Constitution of 1993 maintained King Nikola's "tradition": the coat of arms is a crowned silver eagle with the saru in one claw and the scepter in the other claw, charged on its breast with a red shield with the lion passant.

Source: Official information on the national symbols of Montenegro

Željko Heimer, 2 February 2004

Police aircraft markings

[Police roundel]

Roundel of the police aircrafts in Montenegro, 1993-2004 - Image by Eugene Ipavec & Željko Heimer, 17 August 2006

Montenegro did not have an airforce but the police had aircrafts. The police helicopters used the Serbia and Montenegro flag as the fin flash and the coat of arms of Montenegro in a disk as a roundel.

Milan Jovanović, 15 August 2006