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Office of the High Representative and European Union Special Representative Flag

May 22, 2017


About the flag

There is a new OHR flag hanging right outside the OHR building in Sarajevo. I believe it had the Bosnian map outlined and a bunch of laurel leaves with the inscription "OHR" on it. 

I have one small observation and that is that the photograph of the Admiral and the HR/EUSR shows the lettering beneath the logo to be in a Times Roman Bold font. This is not a United Nations institution, but an ad hoc international one, established by the The General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, commonly known as the Dayton Peace Accords or Dayton-Paris Peace Accords of 14 December 1995. The United Nations, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR), UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) are members of the Peace Implementation Council (PIC) - and formerly UN Transitional Administration of Eastern Slavonia (UNTAES) - comprising fifty-five countries and agencies, but no UN institutions are members of the Steering Board of the PIC and the UNHCR is a permanent member of the Board of Principals.

Furthermore, from February 2002, the European Union's General Affairs Council (GAC) appointed the High Representative the EU's Special Representative (EUSR), which is a position held concurrently. Thus, when acting as the EUSR, it is very much a European Union institution and not a United Nations one.

Here are some photos of OHR flag, here it can be seen that there is no inscription "Office of the High Representative" below letters OHR, only a line:

It is impossible to say for sure that there is no inscription, given the available evidence, from the official web site. At best, it would be possible to say that there are two or three variants in use. I checked the 2009 and 2008 photographs on the official web site, but there is no clear image of the flag.

It is quite clear from the photograph of the Admiral, dated July 2007 that certainly at that date, a flag bearing the inscription was used, so I'd be very wary of saying that the official flag is without an inscription and that it is better to make clear, as I have cited, that there are a number of variants in use between the relevant dates. Eugene's image uses a dark grey / black line, for the outline of the map, but some photographs show it in blue:

although it is very hard to tell in most photographs, due to the fact that the subject is not the flag, but the visiting dignitary.