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Royal Yugoslavia (1918-1941): Royal standards

Last modified: 2013-11-30 by ivan sache
Keywords: royal standard | queen | prince regent | crown prince | coat of arms: yugoslavia | crowns: 4 |
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King's standard, first version (192x)

[First version]         [Variant of the first version]

Royal standard, first version - Images by Željko Heimer, 11 November 2003
Left, after Neubecker
Right, after local sources

The 1922 law does not prescribe the Royal standard. In fact it does mention it in Article 12, first paragraph:

For the hoisting (use) of the royal standards shall be valid the decisions of His Majesty the King.

This sentence is the only one in the law mentioning the Royal standard, leaving it to the King's whim, in a way. Therefore it is not surprising that sources have different representation of it. Neubecker's 1936 Flaggenbuch [neu39], as well as 1926 Flaggenbuch [d9e26], shows the Royal coat of arms placed in the middle of a square tricolour flag bordered with tricolour triangles.

Local sources show a variant of the Royal standard where the greater state coat of arms is placed in the middle instead of the Royal coat of arms. These sources are Isaić [isa01], p. 27, showing the set of naval flags of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, no doubt based on an (unnamed) source from the 1920s-1930s, and an other chart I got in personal correspondence from Isaić, being a photocopy from some book or encyclopaedia of that period. As the two sources show very similar images, I suppose that the first may be based on the second.

Željko Heimer, 11 November 2003

King's standard, second version (1937)

[Second version]

Royal standard, second version - Image by Željko Heimer, 22 November 2003

The Royal standard (Standart Kralja) prescribed in the 1937 law is a dark red square flag with tricolour triangles around the border and a yellow fimbriated white cross formy throughout over which is set the state coat of arms. The artistic representation of the coat of arms is modernized from the 1920s design used previously, and lacks the red background shield.

The cross has the shape of the cross used on the Order of the Karađorđe's Star (Orden Karađorđeve zvezde). It is the highest order of Serbia, established after the Karađorđević dynasty took over the Obrenović dynasty. It was established in 1904 as part of the centenary celebrations of the First Serbian Uprising. The order was continued to be awarded in the Kingdoms of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes and Yugoslavia, and the holders of the Order were granted certain rights even after the Second World War. In his book Odlikovanja (Zagreb, 1984), Boris Priester, the Croatian expert in orders, calls the cross the Rupert's cross.

Željko Heimer, 22 November 2003

Queen's standard

[Queen's standard]

Queen's standard - Image by Željko Heimer, 16 November 2003

Standards for other members of the Royal family than the King seem to have been introduced for the first time in the 1937 law. The Queen's standard (Standart Kraljice) was similar to the King's standard but without the cross.

Željko Heimer, 16 November 2003

Prince Regent's standard

[Prince Regent's standard]

Prince Regent's standard - Image by Željko Heimer, 16 November 2003

The standard of the Prince Regent as a member of the Royal House (Standart Kneza Namesnika, u svojstvu Člana Kraljevskog Doma) is presribed by the 1937 law. The flag is similar to the Queen's standard but with a blue instead of red background.

When King Alexander I was murdered in 1934 in Marseilles, young Crown Prince Peter (1923-1970) was not yet an adult. Therefore, a Regency was constituted to act in his name. If I am not mistaken, the Regency (Namjesnistvo) consisted of three members - one being Alexander's brother, Prince Paul (Pavle) Karađorđ:ević, and the other two Radenko Stanković and Ivo Perović. The latter two were actually only the figures, and the Prince Regent in practice inherited the absolute power from King Alexander. The Regency was formally dissolved only after the German occupation of Yugslavia (1941), when Peter was in exile in London, where he was proclaimed adult (and King Peter II) on his 18th birthday.

It seems clear that the standard shown above was used by the Prince Regent, while the other flag prescribed for Regents was probably for the use of the two other members of the Regency.

Željko Heimer, 16 November 2003

Crown Prince's standard

[Crown Prince's standard]

Crown Prince's standard - Image by Željko Heimer, 18 November 2003

The Crown Prince's standard (Standart Prestolonasljednika) is prescribed in the 1937 law. It is a blue square flag with the coat of arms in the middle and four royal crowns, one in each corner.

Željko Heimer, 18 November 2003

Royal House members' standard

[Royal member's standard]

Royal House members' standard - Image by Željko Heimer, 18 November 2003

The Royal House members' standard (Standart Članova Kraljevskog Doma) is prescribed in the 1937 law. It is similar to the Crown Prince's standard but without the crowns.

Željko Heimer, 18 November 2003