If you ever travel to Bosnia, you are going to notice the fleur-de-lis everywhere you turn. It’s on magnets, cups, T-shirts, windows of the apartment buildings, carved into the walls, on our former flags.
But what is the significance of it and how did it come to be Bosnia’s national symbol?
The importance of the lily primarily comes from the fact that the golden lily or Lilium bosniacum is an endemic species of flower in Bosnia.
L. bosniacum has often been lumped and split and lumped again. Some results of molecular studies support it as an infraspecific taxon of Lilium carniolicum. Lilium bosniacum, together with Lilium albanicum and Lilium jankae have been treated as varieties of Lilium carniolicum.
Of course, there is a more complex explanation. The Kotromanići dynasty, perhaps the most significant dynasty of Bosnian rulers had a fleur-de-lis on their sigil.
Some people think that it has to do with the golden lily flower, however it seems more likely that the Kotromanic dynasty used fleur-de-lis on their emblem because they were catholic rulers, and it was a common symbol for catholic rulers all throughout Europe in The Middle Ages.
After the Ottoman Empire conquered Bosnia, they kept the symbol as a sign of transition from one dynasty to another.
In the 1990’s the symbol was reintroduced to the Bosnian flag and sigil, representing the possibility of Bosnia gaining its independence for the first time since the Ottoman conquest.