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Serbia and Montenegro (2003-2006)

Srbija i Crna Gora

Last modified: 2013-12-01 by ivan sache
Keywords: serbia and montenegro | srbija i crna gora | law | coat of arms: serbia and montenegro | civil ensign | eagle: double-headed (white) | lions: 2 (yellow) | crosses: 2 (white) |
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[Flag of Serbia and Montenegro]

Flag of Serbia and Montenegro - Image by Željko Heimer, 16 April 2003

Flag adopted 27 Avril 1992, coat of arms adopted 29 December 1993.
Proportion: 1:2.
Description: Horizontally divided blue-white-red.
Use: on land, as the civil, state and war flag.

Colour approximate specifications (as given in Album des Pavillons [pay00]):

  • Blue: Pantone 287 c / CMYK (%) C 100 - M 70 - Y 0 - K 0
  • Red: Pantone 186 c / CMYK (%) C 0 - M 90 - Y 75 - K5

See also:


The end of Serbia and Montenegro

The status of the union between Montenegro and Serbia was decided by a referendum on Montenegrin Independence on May 21, 2006. 55.54% of voters voted for independence of Montenegro, narrowly passing the 55% threshold needed to validate the referendum under rules set by the European Union, as reported by 99.80% of the 1,100 polling stations. Serbia, the member-states of the European Union, and the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council have all signalled they will likely recognize Montenegro's independence, removing any obvious obstacles from Montenegro's path towards becoming the world's newest sovereign state. Predrag Popović, a leader of one of the unionist parties demanding a full recount, said the day after the election that his bloc would lodge a complaint with the head of the election commission, Slovak diplomat Frantisek Lipka.
According to the electoral commission, the 55% threshold was passed by only 2,300 votes (55.5% in favour).

On June 3, 2006, the Parliament of Montenegro declared the independence of Montenegro, formally confirming the result of the referendum on independence. On June 5 Serbia was declared the successor of Yugoslavia and the State Union by the National Assembly of Serbia. Montenegro has begun the process of seeking international recognition as well as a seat at international organizations.

Matthew Chew, 7 June 2006


From Yugoslavia to Serbia and Montenegro

On 14 March 2002, the Agreement on the Union of Serbia and Montenegro was signed by the president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the Federal Deputy Prime Minister, the President of the Republic of Montenegro, the Prime Ministers of the governments of Serbia and Montenegro as well as the High Representative of the European Union, as an observer.
The Agreement stated that the new state should be called Serbia and Montenegro.

On 6 December 2002, the 27-member commission on constitutional reform presented a first draft of the new federal constitution for Serbia and Montenegro.

On 4 February 2003, the Parliament of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia adopted "The Constitutional Charter of the State Community of Serbia and Montenegro", together with the law on its implementation.
By so adopting the Charter, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was renamed Serbia and Montenegro.
The new unicameral parliament of the federation will have 126 seats (Serbia: 91, Montenegro: 35), filled by nominees of the two state parliaments for the first two years until public elections are taking place. After three years, both states are allowed to unilaterally leave the federation on public referendum. Full independence of Montenegro, therefore, is still a possibility.

The law on the implementation of the constitutional charter of the state union of Serbia and Montenegro says:

Article 23

The Law on the Flag of the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro shall be passed within 60 days from the date on which the Parliament of Serbia and Montenegro is constituted. The Law on the Coat-of-arms and the anthem of the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro shall be passed by the end of the year 2003.

Therefore, the national flag, arms and anthem of Serbia and Montenegro are still those of the former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

Ivan Sache, 16 April 2003


Status of the flag of Serbia and Montenegro

The flag of the former Yugoslavia (as well as its coat of arms and anthem) is still both de facto and de jure the official flag of the subsequent new state of Serbia and Montenegro.

De facto, it was seen in use in several instances, including among other the official hoisting in several places in connection with the assasination of the Prime Minister Džinžić and the Council of Europe session acknowledging Sertbia and Montenegro as the 45th member of the Council (Strasbourg, 3 April 2003).

De jure, the Constitutional Charter and the Law on its implementation have provisions that make all the legislation of Yugoslavia valid for the new state until the adoption of the new appropriate legislation replacing it. This naturally also include the legislation on the flag, as demonstrated by the usage practice.

The law of the new flag should be adopted, according to the Charter and the Law on Implementation, within 60 days of the constitution of the new Parliament. Therefore, the new flag should be adopted sometime around the 1st May, if the Parliament observes the time table provided by its own legislation, which might have not been the case, especially considering the situation after Džinžić's assassination.

Željko Heimer, 10 April 2003


Origin of the flag

The red, white and blue are pan-Slavic colors. These are based upon the flag of Russia (itself influenced by the Dutch flag). In 1848, these colors were adopted by the Pan-Slavic Congress as pan-Slav colors.
As many of the Slavic nations of the time were under foreign domination, the Russian flag became a symbol of inspiration to Slavic peoples. The pattern has been repeated in many of the flags of Slavic nations and regions, in some instances with minor variations to the horizontal stripes and, in some cases, the colors as well.

Source: The Encyclopaedia of Flags [zna00]

Anonymous, 25 February 2000


National symbols in the Constitution

From the 1992 Constitution:

Article 4. The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia shall have a flag, a national anthem, and a coat of arms. The flag of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia shall consist of three horizontal stripes, blue, white and red in that order, from top to bottom. The national anthem of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia shall be Hej Sloveni. The coat of arms of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia is to be established by Federal statute.

Article 11. The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia shall recognize and guarantee the rights of national minorities to preserve, foster and express their ethnic, cultural, linguistic and other peculiarities, as well as to use their national symbols, in accordance with international law.

Amendment IV

1. The Federal Assembly shall adopt the Federal Law pertaining to the flag, coat of arms and national anthem by holding a ballot where a majority vote of at least two-thirds of all Federal representatives in both Chambers is needed.

2. This Amendment shall replace Article 90, Paragraph 2 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

Source: Yugoslavian Government website.

Ivan Sache, 16 October 2001


Serbia and Montenegro flag outside the United Nations building in New York

Accounts of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia's readmittance to the United Nations describe their flag as being the same as the former Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia's flag but without the big red star. Said old flag flew outside the United Nations buildings in New York 1992-2000 while Yugoslavia's membership was 'on hold' due to a dispute over whether or not Yugoslavia needed to reapply for membership following the break-up of the Communist state at the end of the 1980s.
On 1 November 2000, it was pulled down for the last time and replaced by the Federal Republic's flag.

Megan Robertson, 2 November 2000

The change of the flag was shown on Spanish television. The flag with the star was lowered and a similar flag without a star was hoisted. The shade of blue was also a bit different between both flags. Cloth was shinier in the new flag.

Jaume Ollé, 2 November 2000


Coat of arms

[Coat of arms of Serbia and Montenegro]

Coat of arms of Serbia and Montenegro - Image by Jorge Candeias, 16 February 1998

The new Yugoslav coat of arms was adopted by Federal Parliament in 1994, two years after forming the "third" Yugoslavia. Since then, it has replaced the NBJ (National Bank) sign on the banknotes, and new passports have been issued since July 1997.

The coat of arms is a double-headed eagle silver, bearing a quartered shield with the national signs of Montenegro (Petrović dynasty's golden lion) and Serbia (four firesteels)

The Yugoslav flag shall remain the same (blue, white, red), without the coat of arms on it.

Milos Erić, 16 February 1998

The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes that was formed after First World War adopted a coat of arms consisting of three parts changed in details over time, It always included the four firesteels and the cross in one of the partitions, the Croat chequy shield in other, while the third part was somewhat changed.
After the Second World War, Socialist Yugoslavia dropped that symbol, as it was not suitable for the conception of five (later six) nations within it, and introduced the Socialist style coat of arms with torches. However, the coat of arms with the four firesteels was not dropped alltogether - the People's Republic of Serbia adopted it officially in 1947 in the middle of a Socialist style coat of arms, but dropping the cross and retaining only the four firesteels on the shield. When the name was changed to Socialist Republic of Serbia in 1963, the coat of arms was retained, as well as after early 1990s when Socialist attribute was dropped from the name. It is still the only official coat of arms of Serbia and used as such, even if Montenegro and Yugoslavia changed their symbols.

Željko Heimer, 15 February 1999


Civil ensign

[Civil ensign of Serbia and Montenegro]

Civil ensign of Serbia and Montenegro - Image by Željko Heimer, 29 January 1999

The Serbia and Montenegro civil ensign is similar to the national flag, but in proportions 2:3.

Jan Zrzavy, 16 January 1998

The civil ensign is prescribed by decision Pravilnik o vijenju zastave trgovacke mornarice Savezne Republike Jugoslavije, publihsed in Službeni list SRJ 31 on 26 June 1998 (Regulations on flying the merchant ensign of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Official Gazette of Yugoslavia.)

Željko Heimer, 29 January 1999

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