This page is part of © FOTW Flags Of The World website

Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia, 1991-1994 (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

Hrvatska Republika Herceg-Bosna - HRHB

Last modified: 2017-03-02 by ivan sache
Keywords: herzeg-bosnia |
Links: FOTW homepage | search | disclaimer and copyright | write us | mirrors



[Flag]

Flag of Herzeg-Bosnia - Image by Željko Heimer, 23 July 2016


See also:


Presentation of Herzeg-Bosnia

Herzeg-Bosnia was the name of a Croat "entity" within the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the first half of the 1990s.
Immediately before the beginning of armed conflicts in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as response to ever more separatist and aggressive policies of forming Serb state units, political units were formed in late 1991 to enable the defense of the territory. In the northeastern part of Bosnia and Herzegovina were formed on 12 November 1991 the Croatian Community of Bosnian Posavina, encompassing eight communities with the seat in Bosanski Brod, and on 18 November 1991 in the southwestenr parts of the state the Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, encompassing 30 communities with the seat in Mostar. The Croatian Community of Usora was formed on 14 January 1992 in Usora and Teslić, while the Croatian Community of Central Bosnia was formed on 27 January 1992 in Žepče.
The four communities, and another two that were not fully functional, formed in Tuzla (Soli) and in Sarajevo (Vrhbosna), were unified on 8 April 1992 with the formation of the Croatian Defence Council (HVO) as the highest executive and government body, and became the Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia.

Initially HVO fought together with the Bosnian Muslims (Bosniaks, as they were soon known), eventually the conflict arouse between the two parties, as well. The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina delared the formation of Herzeg-Bosnia unconstitutional, to no avail. In the escalation of the war in 1993, Herzeg-Bosnia lost some parts of its initial territory. Following the Owen-Stoltenberg Plan of reorganization of Bosnia and Herzegovina as the union of three republics, the Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia was established on 28 August 1993.
Herzeg-Bosnia was merged on 18 March 1994 with the Bosniak state by the WashingtonAgreement, forming the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina; however, it was not formally disbanded until 14 August 1996 and partially functioned in the transition of power to federal bodies until the end of 1996.

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) ruled in 2001 that Herzeg-Bosnia had been founded with the intention to secede from Bosnia and Herzegovina and unite with Croatia; however, no such proclamation was ever made and Herzeg-Bosnia documents all put the name of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina above in the header, maintaining the position that Herzeg-Bosnia was "simply" an organizational form of defense of Croatian people in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Željko Heimer, 23 July 2016


Flag of Herzeg-Bosnia

The flag and arms of Herzeg-Bosnia are prescribed by Regulation (Decree) Uredba o grbu i zastavi Hrvatske Zajednice Herceg-Bosna, adopted on 18 November 1992 by the Government of Herzeg-Bosnia (HVO), signed on the same day by Dr. Jadranko Prlić, chairman of the HVO, and published in the official gazette of Herzeg-Bosnia, No. 7.

The flag is described in Article 10 as follows:

The flag of the Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia is composed of three colours: red, white, and blue, with the coat of arms of the Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia in the centre. The ratio of width to length of the flag is 1:2. The flag colours are set horizontally in this order from the top: red, white and blue. Each colour forms a third of the flag width. The coat of arms of the Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia is set in the centre of the flag so that the top part of the coat of arms (the triple wattle) enters the red field of the flag, and thebottom part of the coat of arms (in height one square field) enters the blue field of the flag. The central point of the coat of arms matches the crossing point of the flag's diagonals.

Article 11 of the Regulation prescribes the modes of use of the flag. Paragrahh 5 specifies that the flag shall be hoisted by ships and other vessels in maritime and inland navigation.

Željko Heimer, 23 July 2016


Coat of arms of Herzeg-Bosnia

[Arms]

Coat of arms of Herzeg-Bosnia - Image by Željko Heimer, 23 July 2016

The coat of arms is described in Article 7 as follows:

The coat of arms of the Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia is the historical Croatian coat of arms, in the shape of a stylized shield, horizontally and vertically divided into 25 red and white fields - squares (little cubes), so that the first field in the top left corner of the stylized shield is red.
Above the stylized shield is a triple wattle horizontally set above the shield over the three central fields. The ratio of the height of the triple wattle to the height of the square field is 1:1; the ratio of the length of the wattle to the length of the square field is 3:1. The coat of arms is outlined with a golden line.

Article 11 of the Regulation prescribes the modes of use of the flag. Paragrahh 5 specifies that the flag shall be hoisted by ships and other vessels in maritime and inland navigation.

Željko Heimer, 23 July 2016


War flag of Herzeg-Bosnia

[Flag]         [Flag]

[Flag]         [Flag]

War flag of Herzeg-Bosnia, four versions - Images by Željko Heimer, 23 July 2016

With the emergence of multiparty system and democracy in the late 1980s in Yugoslavia, the use of national(istic) sybols ever grew towards the end of decade. The Croatian political movements started using the historical Croatian symbols in Bosnia and Herzegovine just as well as in Croatia. Most often, the tricolour flag was used with the chequy shield set in the centre of the white stripe - with variations in the shield shape and order of the red and white cheques. Mario Jareb (Hrvatski nacionalni simboli, Zagreb, 2010) claims that "white first" was used more often, although the "red first" seems to be prescribed or implied in most documents. Certainly, the shield shape and the ordering of the squares was left to the flag's manufacturer.

Regulation (Decree) Uredba o Oružanim snagama Hrvatske zajednice Herceg-Bosna on the Armed Forces of the Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, dopted on 3 July 1992 by the Presidency of the Community and published in Narodni list Hrvatske Zajednice Herceg-Bosne, No. 1, prescribe the emblems of the Armed Forces, as follows:

Article 43. The units of the Armed Forces of the Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia have a flag.
The flag of the Armed Forces of the Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia is the historical Croatian flag, that is, the red-white-blue tricolour with the historical coat of arms in the centre of the white field.

Article 44.The symbol of affiliation to the Armed Forces of the Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia is a coat of arms with red-white fields and a triple wattle as well, as the HVO mark.

[Arms]

Coat of arms of the Armed Forces Herzeg-Bosnia, as prescribed - Image by Željko Heimer, 23 July 2016

Documents from the period usually show the shield in a semicircular shape, rather similar, if not entirely, to the main shield from the coat of arms of Croatia, as established on 21 December 1990.
However, its seems that the shield used on flags was more often in rectangular shape, with a pointed base.
The coat of arms as used outside flags was the contemporary coat of arms of Croatia without the heraldic crown.

Jareb, but also Sabolović (Odoroslovlje Hrvatskih oružanih formacija 1990. - 1996., 2015) explained how this emblem eventually became the coat of arms of Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia and is still the ethnical symbol of Croats in Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia. In the formation of the Croatian police after the democratic election held in May 1990, the red star was removed from their headgear and replaced with such an emblem. This was used briefly, to be soon, in December 1990, replaced with the current State arms. However, "someone remembered" the emblem when supplying uniforms for the Croats in Bosnia - it was readily available and easily produced, thus a "cheap and dirty" solution was used.

The Flags of Aspirant Peoples chart [eba94 shows under No. 39 the flag of "Hrvatska Hercegovina-Bosna" (Croatian state of "Herceg-Bosna"), as the Croatian flag with the checky shield in the middle.

Željko Heimer & Ivan Sache, 23 July 2016