In June 2007, as the highly disputed Kosovo independence grew close, the then UN administrated Kosovo held a competition to design a national flag for the state. For the flag to have a chance of being accepted, the design had to consist of a symbol or colour scheme to represent Kosovo’s ethnic diversity. The flag could not include the Serbian or Albanian Double-headed eagle; or a red and black/red, white and blue colour scheme (as these designs have strong connotations with Serbia and Albania). These guidelines for the flag were set by the UN council.
Almost 1000 entries were sent in, with designs coming in from as far as New Zealand and South Africa. There were even some from Serbia! On February 4th 2008, 3 proposed flags were chosen and forwarded to the Assembly of Kosovo to be voted on. Here are the flags that were chosen:
Proposed Competition Flag #1
The first flag is a very basic tricolour design of black, white and red. The colours are most likely to symbolise the ethnic diversity of the state.
Proposed Competition Flag #2
The second flag is almost exactly the same as the previous (also having a tricolour design of black, white and red). The only difference between the two is that this flag contains a black spiral in the centre of the white strip. The spiral is representative of the Dardanian symbol of a rising sun.
The Winning Flag
Although this flag won over the assembly, they decided to only use the flag as a guideline. It was modified into what we now know as the flag of the Republic of Kosovo (seen below). The proposed flag depicted the land area of Kosovo in white, in the centre of a blue field. Surrounding the landmass are 5 golden stars, which symbolise the ethnic groups in Kosovo. One of the stars is slightly larger and above the land, as it represents the large group of ethnic Albanians which make up a lot of Kosovo’s population.
A flag proposed by the first president of Kosovo, Ibrahim Rugova, which was named “Flag of Dardinia”. Although the flag wasn’t used as the State Flag, the design was put in place as the Presidential Standard of Kosovo on October 29, 2000, and is still used to this day.
A rejected competition candidate which went against the UN’s design guidelines. The flag depicts a blue and red field (split equally), with a black and white double-headed bird split, and oppositely coloured, down the middle. On either side of the bird are 3 mirrored gold stars.
Another rejected candidate, designed by US Republican Joseph DioGuardi, which also went against the UN’s design guidelines (as the Albanian colour scheme and emblem are used). The flag is inspired by the Albanian and American flags, and depict 11 red and white stripes with a black Albanian double-headed eagle atop a red field in the upper left canton.
A flag proposed in 2005 which is based of both the Albanian and United Nation flags. The flag depicts red field behind a white Albanian double-headed eagle, which replaces the globe symbol in the UN flag.
So there we are! The Kosovar flags that could have been the actual symbols for the state! After the competition concluded, its safe to say the decision and design process was well thought out, as the current state flag is very formal and noticeable!
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