Flag, ensign, banner, standard, a symbol that a nation can be identified with. It gains its special significance in times of revolts and war campaigns, when it has a particular and invaluable symbolic meaning. For the preservation or recovery of a flag, quite often human lives are sacrificed. Another type of flag is a square one. Like most of the Christians, in the past, Serbs used a cross-flag, a flag with cross sewn on.
The Serbian word barјаk [bar-yak] comes from Turkish, whereas the words zаstаvа or stеg are the Serbian ones. A flag-bearer was a person carrying a flag. A mediaeval title of a flag-bearercarried great privileges and was related to royal courts. A flag-bearer could only be a member of aristocracy. (Serb. stegonoša). The Serbian word, bаrјаktаr, denotes a standard-bearer, which is a military rank, particularly honoured in Montenegro, where one could earn it only through brave and heroic deeds in a battle. Ensign is a modern military rank, that is below lieutenant junior grade.
RELIGION AND TRADITION
Besides a military or a state purpose, flags and banners have their place in Orthodox Church divine services. They are carried at the front of a procession, arranged on church or town festivities.