Saturday, 20 September 2014



Kosovo Adopts a New Flag Filled with Unclear but European Imagery



Balkan Travellers   
18 February 2008 | At the same session in which it declared Kosovo’s independence yesterday, the Kosovo Parliament also picked the flag of the world’s youngest country.


The new flag is reminiscent of the European flag. On a blue background, Kosovo’s flag depicts a yellow map of the province topped by six white starts.

The colours are said to represent Kosovo’s aspirations towards Europe and the EU, while the stars symbolise the ethnic communities that inhabit the province – the Albanian majority and the five minorities: Roma Egyptians and Ashkali, collectively known as RAE; Bosniak; Gorani; Turk; and the largest one – the Serbs.

Though you wouldn’t know that from looking at images of the independence celebrations in Kosovo’s capital Priština, which showed euphoric Kosovo Albanians dancing and singing on the street, wrapped in the red Albanian flag emblazoned with the black double-headed eagle and waving around the US stars and stripes.

The black and red, double-headed eagle is considered by Albanians as their oldest symbol, while the American flags showed the Kosovo Albanians’ gratitude for the US support for Kosovo’s independence.

As it embarks on the nation-building project started by the declaration of independence, Kosovo has to find new symbols for its state identity that are both its own and not offensive or exclusive to parts of the population of the new country. As BalkanTravellers.com wrote, however, the space between the US president and the language of suffering and hate seems despairingly empty.

The choice of flag seems like a first positive step in this direction, though there are still ambiguities around its symbols and how it was chosen. It is yet unclear whether the design was among the suggestions submitted as part of a campaign for the nomination of national symbols.

Secondly, the map imprinted on the flag suggests that Kosovo is counting on retaining the province’s entire territory, hoping that Northern Mitrovica and the Serb enclaves to the north will not secede.

As the confusion clears, adoption of other national symbols is sure to follow. According to international media, composers are trying to come up with a national anthem and lawmakers will begin circulating draft copies of a new constitution this month.

 

 

Epicure


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Curiosity Chest


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The Balkans: Natural Born Historians

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Music


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