The coat of arms and the flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) are still not acceptable in many circles as symbols that should adorn public institutions. For many, these symbols are a painful reality and they do not accept them without crosses, rosaries, religious festivals, and other symbols that often dominate public institutions.
The latest case from Mostar brought to the surface all the banality of the politics being conducted in BiH, in which many people show the immaturity, unscrupulousness, and short-sightedness of the politics they live in. It sounds unbelievable that there are areas in Croatia where it is a problem to vote on the decision that only symbols of the state and possibly the city should be in public institutions.
Such a refusal defends the unfounded and retrograde narrative about religious-ethnic characteristics that often dominate in numerous municipalities, courts, faculties, schools, etc. With this approach, BiH is not even close to a secular state in which the secular is clearly separated from religious issues and features.
Two days ago, the representative of Nasa Stranka – Our Party in the City Council of the City of Mostar, Boska Cavar, was not “in favor” of displaying only the features of the state of BiH and the City of Mostar in public institutions. She abstained, after which the proposal ultimately fell. Vote “For” was given by SDA, SDP, First Mostar Party, and Irma Baralija (Nasa Stranka). HDZ, HRS, Velibor Milivojevic (SNSD), and Boska Cavar (Nasa Stranka) were against and abstained.
In the end, the decision on highlighting features on the buildings of the City of Mostar and inside them, highlighting-projecting images and symbols on public city buildings, proposed by the Coalition for Mostar, received 17 votes, which was insufficient for the adoption of the decision.
The Mostar example only prompted decades of abuses that almost everyone is used to. So no one protests about the display of crosses in public schools in many areas in the Federation of BiH (FBiH), and especially in the Republika Srpska (RS). The problematization of the celebration of slava (worship of Saints)in numerous schools has also been abandoned. And those who were most persistent, who warned that it is punishable if a public institution does not have a national flag hanging in front of its entrance, have lost their strength.
The flag of BiH is therefore a burden to many, an undesirable or unacceptable coat of arms. But that is why for decades we have been building a society that is used to highlighting and seeing mono-national symbols or religious elements as a feature of the institution placed in the most prominent places on the premises.
And those who give up on the state will tomorrow see how every local community wants its flags, its religious flags, and emblems on all institutions in its environment.