Wednesday, December 28, 2005


Someone else agrees with me that BiH has a badly designed flag...

I don't agree with ALL of this guy's criteria, and he mis-uses the term 'graven image' and his thing against writeing on flags should not apply to really cool calligraphy. I also think that a free pass should be given to flags originateing in Medieval times or earlier, such as the Vatican flag.
I note that he gives Slovenia a poor grade vs Slovakia, and that Croatia comes off as haveing a too busy flag, a feature of it's Medieval origins. He gives Macedonia a bad grade too because the flag 'looks like a target' but he does give it some credit for being original, which I cannot agree with, it looks like an adaptation of the Japanese Navy flag in WWII, only red and yellow instead of red and white.

Some flags deserve his low grades though, and the present, BiH flag does, because it looks like the crappy flag of an even crappier Banana Republic. The old flag was much nicer. It was the coat-of-arms of the last royal family of Bosnia and Hercegovina, and that family had members who in today's terms would be classifiable as members of the three main ethnic-religious groups in BiH. It was elegant and much nicer than any other flag in the region aesthetically speaking. It was scarpped for stupid reasons as far as I was concerned and not replaced by anything worhtwhile.

Letter Grades for Flags

Slovenija's flag is lovely - how dare he!?! It is crisp, modern and informative about the nature of the sweet little country.

Bosnia's new flag is an abomination and therefore appropriate to the Dayton period.

The Grb will return one day. It is stylish, multi-ethnic, the white is essential for blue and yellow to live together and we all love it. It is also just a littel bit French, which adds gravitas....
it is a tiny bit French because of the House of Anjou one of the oldest royal families of Europe, a good book on the House of Anjou to read is called 'The 'Devil's Brood' by Alfred Duggan, it is out of print, and does not sufficiantly explore the Angevin connections to the Balkans, but it has data aboutthat connection. The old flag is proof of Bosnia's connection with the rest of Europe. The same family had members who were Orthodox, enough of them that Serbian people claim the Kotramanic family as being Serbian. Descendants of the family were some of them Muslim, and some Catholic, some were members of the Bosnian Church.
in the begining of this book 'Devil's Brood' the story of Melusine is recounted.
Count Fulke of Anjou went far away to get a wife, and returned with a lovely woman named Melusine. She was from very far away, she had no relatives in France, and no one knew where she came from. She would not hear the Mass in it's entirety, she alwasy left before the Consecration of the Host. Count Fulke did not notice this for a long time, but when he did he questioned her about it. She denied not wishing to hear the Mass, but still found excuses to leave before the Consecration of the Host. He forced her to stay and she is said to have disappeared in a puff of smoke.
The rumor was that she was the daugher of the Devil.
My own theory is that at that time there was little contact between the royal families of Bosnia and the rest of Europe, but by that point in time, 11th century, the Bosnian Church existed, and that she may have come from Bosnia and been a member of that Church. This story probably is a folk memory. The House of Anjou later had many ties to the Balkans, Louis the Great's marriage, the marriage of Helen of Anjou to Stefan Uros, and then the fact that the last Queen of Bosnia's son who ended up in Turkey married a daughter of one of their Sultans. Well that's all three main groups. So yes it is a perfectly representative flag for all three peoples and yes elegant, above all elegant as only things hallowed by a common history can be.
and yes his grade for Slovenia's flag was un called for. As far as I'm concerned his grade for the U.S. flag was not fair either. A friend of mine, not as well traveled a friend as I am, but well traveled enough to appreciate the United States very much, always calls the American flag, 'Our lovely peppermint flag' and said much as she appreciated seeing the glory that was Rome, London, which is an amazeing place, Paris, a city she liked a lot, she always like to 'come home, and walk off the plane to see our lovely peppermint flag waveing'!
I remember though my visceral reaction to Petrisch's Hanky. I wasn't feeling particularly good, and was traveling from Zagreb to Sarajevo by bus. I hadn't dared to eat anything because of the long time between bathroom breaks, and maybe it is a good thing because seeing the new flag over the border crossing between Croatia and BiH really made me nauseous. At that time I did know my family's Angevin roots, but I did not at that time know that my family as well are part Bosnian. That I learned later when I was going through a box of my late mother's research matierials. decideing what to keep and what to sell. For the record I decided to keep all of it, because most of it is unique.
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