The Bosnian Fleur-de-lys (Lilium bosniacum)

The flag of the Banate of Bosnia, and then of the Kingdom of Bosnia, was based on the coat of arms of Bosnian Kotromanić dynasty, King Tvrtko I  and his successors. The flag of medieval Bosnia was white with the coat of arms in the middle representing the dynasty Kotromanić. The  flag of the Bosnian Kingdom differed from the flag of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina (1992-1995.). In that it had a crown with the heraldic lilies. You often hear the question of how the lilies got into the Bosnian state insignia and what they mean ? There is a belief that the lily was taken from the French, from the Angevin dynasty who in their royal insignia also had lilies.

However, it should be noted that the lily in medieval Europe was widespread, and it is found on the coats of arms and flags of many dynasties and feudal lords, both in France and in Spain, England, Hungary, Flanders, Italy etc. In this particular, France stood out, which is the reason that some historians believe that its origins lie there, and that was transferred from France to other countries. The explanation is that it came about through political influence or marriages between dynasties. Since then Hungary took it over. Given that medieval Bosnia had this sign in its insignia, many think that Bosnia took it over from Hungary. However, the lily was used in Bosnia as an artistic motif for hundreds of years before the advent of European dynasties. On Ilidža (part/suburb of Sarajevo) a Roman monument decorated with a lily symbol of 2,000 years ago was found . As an architectural and decorative element in the basilica buildings it occurs in Bosnia in late Antiquity ( V - VI century). In the Middle Ages, the motif was used so much that it became in the true sense  a trademark of the Bosnian people .

Medieval Bosnians put it on their tombstones (stećaks), their jewelry (earrings, diadems, belts, etc.), their decorated books, their woven fabrics, and their decorative architecture. The lily as well was described in poems. The lily was so favored in medieval Bosnia that the Bosnians of the time were renowned for their association with it. Pope Gregory IX in 1236. wrote a letter to the Bosnian noble lord Sebislav, who ruled the area of north-eastern Bosnia (Soli), and praised him for having remained in the Catholic faith unlike his countrymen. Pope Gregory IX called Sebislav a true lily among thorns, suggesting that other Bosnians had become thorns for being heretics (because they were Bogomils).

It would be wrong to think that the love for this flower refers only to the Middle Ages. The same remained in the Ottoman Empire. For it is at that time was usually called zambak. It was grown in courtyards, it was described in poems and songs, manuscripts were decorated with its pattern, it was cut on tombstones, used in decorative architecture, especially in mosques.


Bogomil Bonev - “Tyaloto Ti V Ritam”


Lazar Drljača (1882- 1970) - The Last Bosnian Bogomil 

Лазар Дрљача- Последњи Босански Богумил

Лɖӡɖϸ Дϸʌѣɖvɖ- ПосʌѣєΔɴѣн Босɖɴскн Богɣʍнʌ

He lived in seclusion, creating for himself and not showing his works to anyone. He left a deep trace, not only with his artistic works, which are regarded as one of the tops of European and world paintings but also with his life, for which he is called the last Bosnian Bogomil.

He was born on the 10th October 1882 in the small village Blatna near Bosanski Novi, in a family of peasants. Regardless of his family’s poverty, his parents decided to educate him. They sent him to Sarajevo in 1896, where he finishes locksmithing craft. In October 1906 he left for Vienna, where he takes the entrance exam at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts. He was accepted by Professor Christian Griepenkerl. 1911 he receives an invitation and participates on the international exhibition in Rome.

In the 1920s he returns back to Bosanska krajina, among his mountains, then spends the days navigating on the river Una, in a boat he made himself, “modeled by a Phoenician ship”. Drljača got already then prepared for a multi-decade Bogomil life, by building a painter’s shack.

Before  he definitely became a prisoner of the mountain beauty, in 1931., Drljača travels intensively. First, turning aside from his home place, heading for Sarajevo with his wooden cart, then Herzegovina, visiting the river Drina, city of Mostar and under Durmitor.

He had exhibitions across Europe, and on one occasion he said that he paints because he loves it, and exposes just to survive.

All of his life he lived humbly, but he was a real treasure of spiritual wealth. His specific and unique relationship with nature should be pointed out. He lived in nature, painted motifs from nature, although he had great successes with his remarkable portraits. On Drljačas rarely preserved oil works, it is best to see the artist's power of expressionism. After long wanderings around the world, his banishment to Sardinia, where he spent 4 years during the First World War, he returned home to his village Blatna.

Four years he lived freely, unfettered, in nature and of what she gave to him. He discovered a whole new world, a world outside of civilization and he felt much better after all those years of wandering and suffering that are left behind him.This time will become crucial for his further life.

In early spring 1930 in his wheeled cart (wheel carriage) that he made by himself, Lazar Drljača arrives first time in Konjic, and in 1931 he definitely decides to settle on Boračko Lake. Until WWII he lived in Šantić villa (until his death in 1970), but during the WWII, he moves into a mountain shack.

The life in pure and cruel nature, on the slopes on mountain Prenj, turned him into a real logger. After a fire in 1946, that broke out in his hut, all of his paintings got burned, except one. The painter never got over it,  because the most prolific period of his painting disappeared in a flash.

Lazar Drljača died on July 13, 1970 at 9:30 am. In the early 1932, he said for himself:

“You see, after Rome and Paris where I worked and exhibited, I became a true tough Bosnian peasant. I am, in fact, a Bogomil.”

His only wish was to be buried as a Bogomil, and on the graves of Bogomils are specific tombstones called stećci. His wish was finally fulfilled, 40 years after his death, in 2010. a stećak was put on his grave. 1 , 2

Let it be known
Since a stećak was put on me
No passengers on earth
No stars on the sky
Cannot get lost
…Dead, I became for the living ones a guide mark.  (Inscription on his stećak)

More about him on Wikipedia (French).



A being that appears in the second ‘Book of Enoch’ as a member of the Grigori and their prince who was cast out of heaven because he performed evil deeds even though he knew the difference between good and evil.

He would also appear in Bogomilism, a sect of Gnosticism as the oldest son of God who became dissatisfied and rebelled against the Lord, with a third of the angels. When they were cast out, Satanael declared himself God and created the Earth, becoming the the ‘God’ of the Old Testament.

When he created Adam however, he found him defective, as his life trickled out from him in the form of a serpent. When Satanael breathed life into the first human, it trickled out again, actually becoming a snake. Satanael had to turn to God for help who agreed because the ranks of his angels had been depleted. Another story says that Adam was born lifeless and after three hundred years of eating unclean animals, Satanael returned to the body and vomited into Adam’s mouth, trapping his soul in uncleanness.

He then laid with Eve in the form of the snake, who then gave birth to Cain and Calomena. Satanael was then punished to become twisted and ugly and later gave the laws to Moses in order to keep his control over humans. He was defeated when Christ came to Earth and Satanael was banished again becoming simply Satan.