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Bosnia and Herzegovina

Updated: Oct 3, 2022

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Country Name

Bosnia and Herzegovina is sometimes called Bosnia–Herzegovina and often known informally as Bosnia.


Bosnia is a country in South and Southeast Europe, located within the Balkans.

Bosnia and Herzegovina is bordered by Serbia to the east, Montenegro to the southeast, and Croatia to the north and southwest.

It is not entirely landlocked; to the south, it has a narrow coast on the Adriatic Sea, which is about 20 kilometers (12 miles) long and surrounds the town of Neum.



Reason for Naming

The name is believed to have derived from the hydronym of the river Bosna coursing through the Bosnian heartland.

According to philologist Anton Mayer, the name Bosna could derive from Illyrian "Bass-an-as", which would derive from the Proto-Indo-European root "bos" or "bogh"—meaning "the running water".

According to English medievalist William Miller the Slavic settlers in Bosnia "adapted the Latin designation Basante, to their idiom by calling the stream Bosna and themselves Bosniaks.

The name Herzegovina "Herzog's [land]", from the German word for "duke" originates from Bosnian magnate Stjepan Vukčić Kosača's title, "Herceg (Herzog) of Hum and the Coast".

Hum, formerly Zahumlje, was an early medieval principality that was conquered by the Bosnian Banate in the first half of the 14th century.

The region was administered by the Ottomans as the Sanjak of Herzegovina (Hersek) within the Eyalet of Bosnia up until the formation of the short-lived Herzegovina Eyalet in the 1830s, which remerged in the 1850s, after which the entity became commonly known as Bosnia and Herzegovina.

On the initial announcement of independence in 1992, the country's official name was the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina but following the 1995 Dayton Agreement and the new constitution that accompanied it the official name was changed to Bosnia and Herzegovina.


The flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina was adopted on 4 February 1998.

The flag consists of three colors Blue, Yellow, and white. It contains a wide medium blue vertical stripe on the right side with a yellow right triangle joining the band and the top of the flag; the rest of the flag is medium blue with seven full five-pointed white stars and two half stars top and bottom along the hypotenuse of the triangle.

The flag features colors often associated with neutrality and peace, white, blue, and yellow, they are also colors traditionally associated with Bosnian culture and history.

The blue background is representing the flag of Europe, the blue and white colors are from the Pan-Slavic Tricolore.

The gold shield is taken from the arms of King Stephen Tvrtho, 1376-1391.

The three points of the triangle stand for the three main ethnic groups or "constituent peoples" of Bosnia and Herzegovina: Bosniaks, Croats, and Serbs. The triangle represents the approximate shape of the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The stars, representing Europe, are meant to be infinite in number and thus they continue from top to bottom.