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>Flagging prospects for change?


The new state in the making/EU protectorate of Kosova/o has a new flag (opposite), selected through a competition, but designed to have no associations with any ethnic group or historical tradition. It comes out a rather anodyne blue and yellow creation with a star design vaguely resembling that of the EU. Very similar colour scheme and design to that adopted, for similar reasons, by Bosnia-Herzegovina (below)and, I suspect, likely to be no more successful in bridging ethnic divisions. South Africa seems to have done rather better in the design of a new flag symbolizing national reconciliation, but then in that case there was arguably some kind of socially rooted reconciliation process so the opposing sides’ colours and symbols could be safely and strikingly merged in a new flag.

I don’t really research the Western Balkans although it is interesting to see CEE states scrambling to take (opposite) side on the question of whether the recognise the new state. Romania and Slovakia are firmly against (large Hungarian minorities), those without national minorities and eager to stress their Atlanticism (Poland) are edging towards recognition, while near neighbours and EU President Slovenia seems to have a position of studied neutrality/indecision expressing understanding for just about everyone’s point of view. Things will really get interesting once the Kosovars, recognised by some EU states but not others, apply for EU membership.