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After a text that the wolf should be one of the official symbols of Serbia, many started thinking, and a great number of readers left their propositions in the comments. Some proposed a lion or a griffon vulture for the official symbol of Serbia, and some even say that a tiger would be a better solution.
Veselin Cajkanovic, the greatest Serbian ethnologist, wrote that every nation is related to a certain animal, and in a certain way, it is equal to it.
"For a Serb, that is a wolf, for example, and that is perfectly fine since a wolf is a mythical relative and an ancestor of Serbian people, the mythical representative of Serbian nation" - he wrote.
When we wonder, if a wolf is a right animal for the symbol of Serbia, let's recall of its abilities. Wolf is strong, brave, lonely, quiet, quick, careful, family oriented, mistrustful, predator, loyal, conqueror, attacker, consistent, free, wild. Belief that a wolf is an animal ancestor of Serbs is manifested in many customs. Some were preserved to this day and we can reconstruct the basic characteristics of the Wolf Cult.
A lot of winter holidays are dedicated to wolf in Serbia. "Wolves' dinner" was prepared for Christmas which had the aim to please the wolf and to protect the cattle. This "wolves' dinner" would be brought to the crossroads by a family member, most often that would be a child, which brought the food, or the sacrifice, to the wolf, and then would turn around to go home without looking back. When a child is born, its birth would be announced in the village by "A wolf was born!".
Besides the wolf, there were more propositions. Many also suggested a lion as a king of all animals, and it is the strongest and the most dangerous. Some think that a combination of an eagle and a wolf would be perfect, and others think of it as a joke, so they propose a sloth because "our society is like that".
"Wolf is certainly a good choice. And besides, there were other things besides animals that were proclaimed as official symbols of countries, there are official trees, plants, birds, fish etc. For example, our official tree could be an Oak tree (Serbian - Hrast, and the names Rastko, Ras, Rasku are tied to the tree), the official fruit could be a plum (or a raspberry), the official bird would be Griffon vulture, and so on. That means everything that is special to our country, and we really have all of that", one of the suggestions.
There are many animals among the proposals, a lion, a tiger, a sheep, a dragon.
However, Dragomir Acovic, heraldry expert, thinks that Serbia doesn't need any animal symbol, because it already has it.
- What is the point of some other animal for the symbol when we already have our coat of arms and the two-headed eagle on it? Eagle has its history which is very important. It appeared for the first time as an emblem during the rule of Stefan the First-Crowned, who got the right to use the symbol of the two-headed eagle together with the Byzantine rule of the Sevastrocrator. In time, since Stefan Dusan, the version of a white (silver) two-headed eagle became custom on a red field, unlike the Byzantine one, which is gold, and it is known to be a royal priviledge since the time of Komnenos dynasty.
In the Christian aspect, the two-headed eagle signifies the unity of the heavenly and the earthly. This is a unique symbol of Serbian statehood, and as such it has been on the coat of arms of Serbia since the declaration of the Kingdom in 1882, it represents the entire history of the Serbian state, since the Middle Ages, since the start of its existence. How can something else be more adequate? - Acovic asks.
He said that he doesn't understand symbols that are "stuck" to other countries.
- In various caricatures, Russia has been represented as a bear, and why not Alaska? How are an elephant and a donkey American political symbols? Why the donkey? Why don't we take the donkey? I don't have the answer to all of those questions. We are exterminating the wolves, why should a wolf be our symbol? - Dragomir Acovic said.
He doesn't have a different opinion on the other two flags, he thinks it's a nonsense.
- The problem in our country is that a flag is represented as a caricature. But, people are not the only ones to blame for that. It is a nonsense that you can't carry one flag to a wedding, and you can take the other one, come on - he adds.
No historian that we contacted didn't want to speak about this public discussion that was started.
Vote, what animal would you choose to be the official symbol of Serbia?
Leave your answers in the comments.
(Telegraf.co.uk / M. Antonijevic / m.antonijevic.rs)