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Bar (Municipality, Montenegro)


Last modified: 2023-03-25 by rob raeside
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[Flag of Bar]    [Flag of Bar] images by Tomislav Šipek, 29 August 2021

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Presentation of Bar

The municipality of Bar (42,068 inhabitants in 2011, 17,727 in the town of Bar; 598 sq. km; municipal website) is located on the southern coast of Montenegro.

Bar was first mentioned, as Antibareos, in the 9th century, although the place was already settled by the Illyrians, the Greeks and the Romans. Another name used at the time, Antivari, is believed to refer to the Avar tribe, which would have founded the town in the 6th-7th centuries.
The seat of a bishopric, Bar was under the Byzantine rule until the middle of the 11th century. In 1042, the local ruler Vojislav (1017-1050) defeated the Byzantines in the Battle of Bar, fought on the Rumija hill. The first King of Duklja, Mihailo Vojislavljević, is said to have been crowned in Bar in 1077. His son and successor Constantine Bodin (1082-1101) made of Bar the capital of his state and obtained in 1089 its upgrading to the seat of an archbishopric. Reincorporated to the Byzantine Empire in 1183, the town was subsequently ruled by the Nemanjić, until 1360. During this Gilded Age, the town was granted Statutes and arms, as well as the right to mint its own coins.
In the next century, Bar was fiercely disputed by the Venetians and local rulers, such as the Balšić, Despot Stefan Lazarević (1389-1427), his successor Đurađ Branković (1427-1456), and Herceg Stjepan Vukčić Kosača (1448-1466). Seized by the Venetians in 1443, Bar was conquered in 1571 by the Ottomans, who would rule the area until 1878.

Bar was incorporated in 1878 into the independent state of Montenegro established by the Treaty of Berlin. Ruined during the liberation war, the town was rebuilt from scratch in 1908, as New Bar, in a place known as Pristan (The Port), located a few km south of Old Bar.

Ivan Sache, 16 August 2013

Flag of Bar

The flag of Bar (BARinfo website) is horizontally divided blue-yellow-green-yellow-blue, clearly derived form the municipal coat of arms. The text does not give construction details; stripe widths are estimated from photograph.
The companion text says that there are four variants of the flag, for different uses:
- positional, in proportions 1:1;
- basic or standard, in proportions 1:2 (depending on the proportions of the national flag);
- ceremonial, in proportions 1:5 and 1:8;
- maritime, in proportions 1:2 and triangular shape.

Valentin Poposki, Ivan Sache, Željko Heimer & Eugene Ipavec, 30 July 2008

[Flag of Bar] image by Eugene Ipavec, 30 July 2008

An earlier version of the flag showed approximately equal widths on the green and yellow stripes.

The flag has been minimally redesigned, with narrower yellow stripes.
Tomislav Šipek, 29 August 2021

Alternate flag with arms

[Flag of Bar]     [Flag of Bar] images by Tomislav Šipek, 29 August 2021

A white flag with the coat of arms is also used. Here is text from Statute:

The flag is rectangular in shape with a coat of arms. Its basic proportional ratio is 1: 2 and consists of five fields composed symmetrically in relation to the longer axis of the flag. The central field is green. This field is defined by two golden stripes on the upper and lower side. The two edge fields next to the gold stripes are blue. The basic module in order to define the dimensions of the track is one tenth of the height of the flag.

The coat of arms consists of a triangular heraldic shield. The coat of arms elements consist of five vertical fields placed symmetrically in relation to the central axis of the coat of arms. Blue, then gold and green fields, then gold and blue fields alternate in hierarchical order, starting from the heraldic right. Above the coat of arms is a golden wall crown with a triple stone style and three merlons. The coat of arms is supported by two golden wolves in an upright position, whose paws rest on the pedestal-ribbon. The year "1042" is written on the ribbon.
Below the ribbon is an interweaving of an olive branch given in green.
Tomislav Šipek, 29 August 2021

Positional flag of Bar

[Flag of Bar] image by Eugene Ipavec, 30 July 2008

Ceremonial flags of Bar

[Flag of Bar]

[Flag of Bar]

images by Eugene Ipavec, 30 July 2008

Maritime flag of Bar

[Flag of Bar] image by Eugene Ipavec, 30 July 2008

Coat of arms of Bar

[Arms of Bar] image by Eugene Ipavec, 30 July 2008, after the BARinfo website

The dexter and sinister fields, azure, represent the sea, the main source of income of the town, and lake Skadar.
The two stripes or represent the town wall, standing for the cultural and historical heritage of the town. The wall borders the sea and the lake, therefore the whole material heritage of the town is graphically schematized.
The central field, vert, represents the mountain and the metropolitan municipality.

Azure is a symbol of justice, loyalty, tenderness, virtue, eternity, and success.
Or is a symbol of light, joy, dignity, wealth, wisdom, and generosity.
Vert is a symbol of hope, joy, fidelity, water, natural environment, regeneration, satisfaction, and activity.

The mural crown is a symbol of municipal status. The three towers state that the town has more than 15,000 inhabitants. The crown or also recalls that Bar was the capital of the Vojislavljević rulers.
The wolves supporting the shield recall the Balšić family, whose coat of arms was "Gules a wolf's head argent".
The branch of olive placed beneath the shield represents the local flora.
The date "1042" recalls the Battle of Bar and the year of first mention of the town under its modern name.

Ivan Sache, 16 August 2013