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About Arms

Local heraldry in Serbia vividly reflects historical and regional distinctiveness of Serbia. In the last decade of past century, heraldic activiteas were intensified, moving progressively towards standards of European heraldic heritage, abandoning pseudoheraldic forms which were widely present in times of socialist Yugoslavia.

Recent local symbols which are used by cities and municipalities and sometimes smaller territorial units (local communities) could be assorted in several groups:

1. Coat of arms according to Serbian heraldic standards

New Serbian local heraldry makes good framework, and opinion of authors of this site is that it is path for future potentioal adoption of municipal, civic and other local insignia. Foundations of new Serbian local heraldry were set up by Serbian Heraldic Society through its regulations. Thus, since 1993 until today, notable number of local arms are esteemed by local authorities. Unfortunatley, there are some examples of offical adoptions of arms according to these regulations, but they are not always used properly or their usage is not present. The most obvious characteristic of these arms is their multistaged form. There are three forms of coat of arms: basic, middle and greater. Which will be used, depends of occasion and degree of formality. Serbian Heraldic Society explains multistageness of coat of arms:

Basic coat of arms i.e. Coat of Arms, heraldic composition on shield is the narrowest possible notion of complete heraldic composition. As arms with general usage, its function is to spread out basic facts about town (municipality) using heraldic means, to appoint its heraldic identity, and at the same time to avoid visual complexness.

Middle coat of arms form, used by local institutions and represntatives is basic coat of arms supplemented with additional content out of shield, above the rest mural crown wich denotes size and status of populated place, contigent upon the metal (colour) and number of visible merlons.

Greater coat of arms, bears ceremonial character. It is represent of populated place and its uttermost representatives. Its usage is supremely restrictive.

Some examples: Beograd, Arilje, Rakovica, Knjaževac, Novi Beograd, Šabac. Examples of municipalities which use greater form of arms in all occasions, not following the standards: Niš, Kragujevac, Topola, Surdulica. Examples of municipalities which follow some segments of heraldic standards of serbian heraldry, but their graphic stylization and heraldic accuracy is dubious: Žagubica, Bosilegrad.

2. Historical arms

Arms with tradition belong to this group. It is often connected with Austro-hungarian heraldry. Examples are found in Vojvodinian municipalities or local communities (villages, populated places).

Examples of recent usage of historical arms/seal as the only coat of arms are: Subotica, Sombor, Vršac. Examples of historical arms without full achievement are: Inđija, Irig.

Pseudoheraldic emblems/symbols

This group consists of pseudoheraldic symbols, and emblems who don' have anything to do with heraldry, so they could not be called arms. These are: emblems-relicts of socialist Yugoslavia (examples: Krupanj, Bojnik, Apatin), some of them slightly modified (examples:Kladovo, Odžaci). Examples of newer pseudoheraldic emblems are: Mali Iđoš, Aleksinac, Veliko Gradište.

Last modified: 6-DEC-2007

Arms of Belgrade

Arms of Belgrade, basic (small) arms example

Middle Arms of Rakovica

Middle arrms of Rakovica, example of middle arms

Greater Arms of Šabac

Greater arms of Šabac, example of greater coat of arms

Middle (Seal) Arms of Sombora

Historical "seal" arms of Sombor, today in use again

Arms of Kikinda

Historical arms of Kikinda

Arms of Bojnik

"Arms" of Bojnik, example of pseudoheraldic emblem

Arms of Aleksinac

"Arms" of Aleksinac, example of pseudoheraldic emblem

*Word 'Arms' is written with quotation mark because this is not coat of arms in heraldic sense

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