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  • Jerome Kocher

55. Blue and Gold

After declaring Independence in 2008 Kosovo had a competition to design a flag as the newest nation in Europe. Being mostly of Albanian ethnicity, there was a tendency to model the new design after the Albanian red and black double headed eagle. But to its credit Kosovo looked forward and not backward. Kosovo created a golden outline on a blue field under six stars.

The new flag is reminiscent of the European Union’ s circle of twelve golden stars on blue. In fact Kosovo’s auto license plates, on the right side, have a blue square with a white circle, waiting for membership approval into the EU when that circle will become stars.

But back to the flag. It’s the only one I know of (outside of Cyprus) that shows an outline of the country itself. Since most people, especially Americans, don’t know where it is, and since half the countries in the world do not recognize Kosovo as a sovereign nation, and it’s not even included as a member of the United Nations, it’s not surprising that Kosovo reminds us of its shape and what it looks like.

But then there are the six white stars in an arc above the outline. They represent the six major ethnic groups living within Kosovo: Albanians, Serbs, Bosniaks, Turks, Romani and Gorani. This is a show of solidarity with the goal of balance and stability in a diverse world. On the other hand, the EU’s stars do not represent member countries but rather the archetypal number of twelve perspectives or viewpoints to complete a whole understanding, a union.

While the Blue and Gold is only fifteen years old, the Albanian Red and Black double headed eagle goes back to the 15th century when their legendary hero, Skanderbeg, used his family heraldry to unite various Albanian tribes against the Turks. When I traveled through the countryside I saw mostly the Albanian eagle flying proudly, deeply rooted in centuries of ethnic tradition. But Kosovo is a modern nation struggling to move beyond ethnicity to take its place among the nations of the world. It deserves our recognition. And hope for its six stars.

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BlueFlame NoenDragon
BlueFlame NoenDragon
May 06

Love the flag design and story of each one! Hopefully someday there will be under the United Nations! Long Live!

-Catherine Torres


Aug 03, 2023

Your stories inspire recognition and respect for this unique and striving nation. Thank you for your insight and first hand portrayal.

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