Page created: 22nd September 1996|
Last updated: 19th June 2004
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The FAME is site devoted to systematic and scientific study of flags and coats of arms. Such symbols often bear strong political and other messages. Inclusion of those symbols here does not mean that the author support or approve the ideas they may stand for.
Habsburg Empire was divided in Cisleithania and Transleithania, that after 1868 became known as Austrian and Hungarian Crown Lands, respectively. Bosnia and Herzegovina was part of neither and was jointly administered from both Vienna and Budapest.
Austro-Hungarian Crown Lands had been granted, so called, Landesfarben - land colours, that were derived from their coats of arms. The order of colours was a bit different throughout of history, but it seems that it has established at the middle of 19th century to what is presented here. These were not flags in modern sense of the word, they were rather ornamental colours to be used to be used in various official ceremonies when the land was to be represented. Among other such ornamental uses was also displaying them as flags or often as very long vertical banners. Sometimes the arms of the land was added in the middle, but is seems that there is no official background for this practice. In many cases these landesfarben have strongly influenced the development of modern national flags, either directly or more indirectly.
The chequy coat of arms of Croatia is used since at least 11th century and is used in 1527 on seal of the document choosing the Ferdinand I of Habsburg dynasty for Croatian ruler. Heraldcially speaking the order of red and silver fields is irrelevant as well as their number. The land colours that would be derived from that coat of arms - red and white were rarely used at all, unless in some shorter periods when the Croatian tricolour was absolutely forbidden (like from 1852 till 1860). Otherwise the sources mostly quote red-white-blue as the land colours of Croatian-slavonian-dalmatian kingdom. These colours, even if used earlier for some decorative purposes, were firstly used in the form of flag in 1848, and since then remained basis for the Croatian flag till today.
The charges of the marten between two rivers and the star of the god of Mars were used already at least in 13th century. The coat of arms of the Kingdom of Slavonia was confirmed in 1496 by the Croatian-Hungarian king Vladislav (Ulászló) II. of Jagelovic family. Some sources give the colour of the middle field green, and therefore the land colours of blue-white-green, but the oldest sources agree with modern use of red field, the red prevailed again already in early 19th century. The coat of arms, and the land colours are in that time already somewhat artificial since the kingdom of Slavonia was, at least since latte middle age, governed together with Croatia and had merely titular significance. Since 1848 the government in Zagreb took the title of the three kingdoms (Croatia, Slavonia & Dalmatia) even if Dalmatia was still under Austrian crown and apart from rare historical moments, Zagreb had little or nothing authority over it. The triunar kingdom used the triparted coat of arms the red-white-blue tricolour as is shown elsewhere. However, e.g. since 1852 till 1860 the prescribed land colours of Slavonia were blue over white.
Among several coat of arms that were used and attributed to Bosnia in medieval times the modern Habsburg Empire had chosen the coat of arms of Rama of 12th and 13th century. It was granted officially in 1908 after annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina: Or, issuing from the sinister flank an arm embowed vambraced Gules, holding a sabre Argent hilted of the field crowned with the fleur-de-lis crown. The land colours were red and yellow.
The coat of arms that was considered appropriate to Herzegovina was Gules a naked arm proper issuant from dexter holding a broken lace Or, even if this was never officially adopted. Land colours are even less frequently found and are dubious.