Why is a ship such a prominent feature on the flag of a land-locked area?
Obrenovac is a municipality in the Serbian capital, Belgrade.
The colours of the flag are from the Pan-Slavic tricolour of the Serbian Flag, but what about the symbols within the flag; the sailing ship and the cross?
The ship is the more curious of the two, since Obrenovac is 350 kilometres (218 miles for the metrically challenged) from the nearest sea port. However, this ship is not for sea-faring or transglobal explorations; rather it is for river transport along the Sava that flows along the northern edge of the town.
In Belgrade the Sava meets the Danube, which stretches from the Black Forest in Germany and empties 2,000 km away into the Black Sea.
Today, the ship symbolizes the water that Obrenovac is famed for. Beneath the town is an underground stream of mineral water, supposedly beneficial for one's health and vitality. Would a submarine be more appropriate than a sailing ship?
The cross is less of a curiosity. Its spread over the flag reflects the extent of Serbian Orthodox Christianity through the area's many old churches.
These include the St. Nicholai Monastery near the Vidan thermal spring in Grabovac, rebuilt in 1973 on the foundations of a monastery built in the time of King Milutin (13th century).
The ruins of St. Christopher Monastery in the woods of Mislodjin also date from the same period and were razed by the Turks in 1521.
Later churches include the Church of the Mother of God's Birth in Zvecka, the Church of the Mother of God's Shroud in Baric and another one of the same name in Stubline, the oak Log Cabin Church in Orasac (rebuilt in the 1980s), the Descent of the Holy Spirit Church in Obrenovac, the Church of Saint Petka in Urovci, and the Church of Saint Apostle Toma in Piroman.
Go back to the main Serbian Cross page.