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Bosnia and Herzegovina - The Bosnian Muslims

Last modified: 2009-07-26 by dov gutterman
Keywords: bosnia and herzegovina | crescent | muslim | bosnia |
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[Flag of Bosnian Muslims]
image by Željko Heimer

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Musliman (or plural Muslimani) was the name of the ethnic community (nation) that is now called Bosniaks, used after the WWII until early 1990's. In short, before WWII the people of Bosnia of Islamic faith were considered either Croats or Serbs (depend who considere them and when, and often in what context), and it seems that they temselves accepted such "clasification" for the most part. During the WWII the Ustasha movemnet Indepednedt State of Croatia considered them exclusivly Croats, only differning in fiath), but the Tito's movement allowed then separate expression of the national feeling, and IIRC in 1974 contitutional canages they were given a separate national name as "Muslimani" (flag related: the CoA of Yugoslavia changed from five torches reprsenting 5 naionas to 6 in 1963, but now the 6 represented the 6 republics - however the change was not without the influence of the formation of this "new" nation). As the religious determination was quite appropriate for the national one, in late 1980's and early 1990's the name was often quoted as "Bosnian Muslims" especially in foreign sources who had troubles understanding the ethnic problems here anyway. Gradually the term Bosniak was introduced and letter accepted more or less by other two Bosnian nations as the name for the third.
Željko Heimer, 18 March 2001

Bosnian Muslim Flag

The flag is vert, fess argent, crescent outlined vert.
Željko Heimer, 14 November 1995

I am reasonably sure I saw this flag in 1992 being used by Muslims in the Croat Army in the Karlovac sector. At the same time there was a shrine in the main square in Zagreb to the victims of Serb aggression. The flags of the victims including the flags of Croatia, Slovenia, Hungary (I think) and this green flag representing the Muslims - presumably the Bosnian flag hadn't been finalized at this time.
Stuart Notholt, 15 November 1995

I am fairly sure that the flag that could be both in Zagreb at that time was the SDA flag similar to this one but with the white borders up and down. However, the flag is surely unofficial, so I shouldn't wonder to see variations of it.
As of Bosnian flag, I supose you are right. I don't recolect when this came into use, but I know that in first issue of banknotes in Sarajevo, the old coat of arms of Bosnia was used (hand with sabre), and that was in July 1992. Later issues (Jan 1993, Aug 1992, and Aug 1994) have the new arms with fleurs de lys. So we can conclude out of this that the new flag came in use in the second half of 1992.
Željko Heimer, 17 November 1995

Bosnian Muslims, c. 1992 (?)

[Flag of Bosnian Muslims]
image by Eugene Ipavec, 8 December 2008

A few days ago I saw a documentary on the Bosnian war. One scene included footage of Rep. Srpska troops dismantling a roadblock, during which they threw a flag into the road; green with white crescent and star, but a very large star/small crescent. Presumably modeled after "Bosnia and Herzegovina in the Ottoman Empire".
Eugene Ipavec, 8 December 2008

That was, no doubt, the flag of the Islamic Community of Bosnia (a religious organization); not the flag of Bosniaks (a nation today reduced only to Bosnian Muslims). Crescent and star that were used by Bosniaks is so called Illyrian crescent and star - silver crescent is turned up, silver star is eight pointed - all on red (not green) color.
Amer Sulejmanagic, 13 December 2008

Such green flags, with white or golden crescent and stars (sometimes also without the star, while the stars may be of different number of rays and different orientation) are generically used in mosques and on them or hoisted from the minarets as a religious symbol - it was so in bosnia during the socilaist period, as far as I can remember and is probably true still today.
Željko Heimer, 15 December 2008