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Kingdom of Serbia (1882-1918)

Kraljevina Srbija

Last modified: 2013-06-15 by ivan sache
Keywords: serbia | civil ensign | state flag | war flag | eagle: double-headed (white) | ocila | firesteel | crown: royal | air force | roundel | fin flash |
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[Flag of Serbia, 1882]

Flag of Serbia, 1882-1918 - Image by Jorge Candeias, 30 January 1998


See also:


National flag

The national flag remained the tricolour flag used by the Principality of Serbia until 1882.

Željko Heimer, 15 July 2006


Coat of arms

The coat of arms of the Kingdom of Serbia is:
Gules, two fleurs-de-lis or below a double-headed eagle argent, beaked, membered and langued or, bearing an escutcheon: gules, a cross argent between four firesteels or.

There are variants of the escutcheon: in some cases, the horizontal arms of the cross bear the dates 1389 and 1817, and there is a sword or per pale on the cross. 1389 is the date of the battle of Kosovo, when the Serbs lost their independence. 1817 is the date they regained their autonomy. Serbia emerged in 1817 as an autonomous province of the Ottoman Empire and became a full-fledged Kingdom in 1882. These arms were used from 1882 to 1918.

François Velde, 30 June 1995


Civil ensign

[Civil ensign]

Serbian civil ensign - Image by Mario Fabretto, reconstructed after CISV archives, 30 September 1998

In 1882 the former civil ensign was modified, following the modification of the coat of arms: the shield was surmounted by a Royal crown (without mantle) and contained a white double-headed eagle with the former shiled of arms in escutcheon and with two golden fleurs-de-lis in base. This flag remained in use until 1918.

Mario Fabretto, 30 September 1998


State flag

[State flag]

Serbian state flag - Image by Mario Fabretto, reconstructed after CISV archives, 30 September 1998

The state flag used between 1882 and 1918 differed from the civil ensign in having the greater national arms in the center.

Mario Fabretto, 30 September 1998


War flag

[War flag]

Serbian war flag - Image by Mario Fabretto, reconstructed after CISV archives, 30 September 1998

The war flag, adopted in 1904, following the coronation of Peter I Karađorđević, used the greater Royal arms instead of the state arms.

Mario Fabretto, 30 September 1998


Aircraft markings

1912-1915

[Aircraft roundel]     [Aircraft fin flash]

"Roundel" and fin flash of the Serbian Air Force, 1912-1915 - Images by Tomislav Todorović, 3 January 2008

The first aircraft markings of the Serbian Air Force were officially adopted in 1913, but were actually used since its founding in 1912. As the roundel - or more precisely, instead of it - the outer half of the bottom side of the wing (from the midline to the wingtip) was completely painted as the Serbian flag, width of each field being one third of the chord line, red being placed at the front edge of the wing. As the fin flash, the vertical stabilizer was completely painted as the flag.

1915

[Aircraft roundel]     [Aircraft fin flash]

Roundel and fin flash of the Serbian Air Force, 1915 - Images by Tomislav Todorović, 3 January 2008

In 1915, a squadron was sent as the aid from the French Air Force. The French markings were modified by repainting white areas into blue, so the roundel was a blue disc with red border, and the fin flash consisted of two vertical fields, blue occupying two thirds and red occupying one third of the width.

1916-1918

[Aircraft marking]

Aircraft marking of the Serbian Air Force, 1916-1918 - Image by Tomislav Todorović, 3 January 2008

The Serbian Air Force virtually ceased to exist in 1915, as all the planes were either destroyed during the withdrawal of Serbian Army to Greece or had to be withdrawn from use as too damaged for repair. In 1916, at the Salonica Front, it was renewed with the help of the French Air Force, which gave six squadrons as the aid. These planes bore French markings, with different additional unofficial markings painted on the fuselages by the Serbian pilots. A very popular one was repeating the design of the Serbian officers' cap badge, popularly called the "Cockade" (in Serbian, kokarda): a red oval, with inner blue and outer white borders, and charged with crowned royal cypher P I (Peter I) in gold colour. Another one was repeating the national flag; this one became official (mandatory for all aircraft) by 1918. This set of markings had remained in use until the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes was founded, when new aircraft markings were designed.

Source: V. Vujović (Ed.). Srpska Avijatika: 1912-1918, Belgrade: Muzej jugoslovenskog vazduhoplovstva: Sky (1993).

Tomislav Todorović, 3 January 2008