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Kiseljak (Municipality, Central Bosnian Canton, Bosnia and Herzegovina)

Last modified: 2024-07-06 by rob raeside
Keywords: kiseljak | stecak | fleurs-de-lis: 3 (yellow) |
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[Town flag]  [Town flag] images by Tomislav Šipek, 3 July 2024 and Željko Heimer, 21 December 2012

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Presentation of Kiseljak

Kiseljak developed in the long valley of river Fojnica, where many natural springs of mineral waters are located; therefore the name of the place, approximately meaning "mineral waters". Some of the springs have been exploited for some 120 years for the Sarajevski kiseljak mineral water brand.

Željko Heimer, 22 June 2011

Flag of Kiseljak

The symbols of Kiselkak are prescribed in Statutory Decision Statutarna odluka o izmjeni i dopuni Statuta Općine Kiseljak, adopted on 13 July 2012 by the Municipal Council and published on 18 July 2012 in Službeni glasnik Općine Kiseljak, No. 3 (text).

The flag is blue with the municipal coat of arms in the middle.

Željko Heimer, 20 December 2012

Coat of arms of Kiseljak

[Town arms] image by Željko Heimer, 21 December 2012, after a document kindly communicated by the Municipal administration

The former symbols of Kiseljak were revoked by the Constitutional Court in 2011. Following this, the Municipality issued on 24 May 2011 a contest for the new symbols, open for 15 days, as Javni natječaj za dostavu prijedloga za usklađivanje članka 10. Statuta općine Kiseljak sa Ustavom FBIH (text).
The interpretation of the ruling Croatian majority, according to the various news reports around, is that the arms was not found unconstitutional because it includes per se the chequy fields and fleurs-de-lis (as symbols of Croats and Bosniaks, respectively), but because it does not include any symbols of Serbs. So, the solution was found, apparently, to add a Serb symbol to the 2009 design.

The new description of the coat of arms is in all equal to the 2009 wording, except for the addition of a sentence: "Behind the first trefoil, there are two oak leaves in saltire, [...]" continuing the description of the fleurs-de-lis etc.

Željko Heimer, 20 December 2012

Former symbols of Kiseljak


[Town flag]   [Town arms] images by Željko Heimer, 22 June 2011

The previous symbols, abolished by the Constitutional Court, are described in the Municipal Statutes Statut Općine Kiseljak, adopted on 17 July 2009 by the Municipal Assembly and published the same day in the Municipal official gazette Službeni glasnik Općine Kiseljak, No. 3 (text).

The symbols are based on the previous ones, replacing the tricolor background with a gray one and adding fleurs-de-lis in the design. The flag is described as "sky blue with the coat of arms in the middle" without any further detail.
The representatives of the Bosniak parties, still disatisfied with the symbols, started the constitutional case, ending with the 2011 ruling abolishing these symbols. The ruling of the Constitutional Court Presuda Ustavnog suda Federacije Bosne i Hercegovine, U-21/10 za javno objavljivanje, issued on 22 February 20011, was published (as required by the ruling) on 15 March 2011 in Službeni glasnik Općine Kiseljak, No. 3 (text), thus abolishing the questionable article of the Statutes.

The ruling reveals some details. The case was formally started with a request by the Prime Minister of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina tabled on 7 June 2010, requiring the ruling on the constitutionality of Articles 10 and 12 of the Statutes. The plaintiff pointed out Article 10, "the coat of arms contains a shield as a symbol of survival and defence immersed in five halves and three full chess fields", claiming it to be the sole symbol of the Croatian nation and not including the symbols of the other nations. Article 12 was claimed to be unconstitutional since it determined 20 July as the Municipal Day, which the plaintiff considered again a sole Croatian symbol, discriminatory to other nations, being a religious day, as St. Elias Day; St. Elias is the patron saint of the Roman Catholic parish of Kiseljak.
The chairman of the Municipal Council answered the Court on 7 July 2010, declaring that the Statutes had been adopted "a year ago with the boycott of the Bosniak representatives". During the discussion at the Constitutional Court, the municipal representatives claimed that the Statutes had been adopted following the regulations, with a 2/3 majority, and were thus legal. They also stated that in Article 10 "the wolf from a stećak [medieval funerary monument] with the olive branch, being the universal symbol of peace, the three fleurs-de-lis, and the shield as the symbol of survival and defence all had symbolism of the long history of the Municipality of Kiseljak as a community, as well as the square shield, found in these regions since 1244, representing all constitutional nations of Bosnia and Herzegovina" (photo). For the 20 July, it was explained that it was chosen not as a religious day, but as the date of the first written mention of Kiseljak, 20 July 1244.
The Constitutional Court ruled that while the fleurs-de-lis represent the Bosniaks and the checky field the Croats, the Serbs have the same right to be represented, and thus the symbols were declared unconstitutional. The Day (Article 12) was not found discriminatory and was retained.

Željko Heimer, 21 December 2012


[Town flag]   [Town arms] images by Željko Heimer, 22 June 2011

Prior to the adoption of the 2009 symbols, Kiseljak was using a set of symbols adopted some time in the 1990s, being very similar with the subsequent symbol, but with even stronger Croatian national elements included.

The flag (photo) is sky blue with the coat of arms in the middle.
The coat of arms is "Tierced per bend gules, argent and azure and overall a circular ornament per bend, argent tressure wavy fleury or and checky gules and argent overall a shield in bend ensigned with a wolf issuant. Instead of a crown, a splash fountain shape gules". There is a white ribbon below inscribed with the tricolour name of the municipality.

The Populari database marked this coat of arms as of "disputed constitutionality", the dispute having been resolved. This should be understood that the 1990s coat of arms was disputed and that the "resolving" was the adoption of the 2009 symbol, which was again disputed further on.

Aleksandar Nemet & Željko Heimer, 22 June 2011