The flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina contains a wide medium blue vertical band on the fly side with a yellow right triangle abutting the band and the top of the flag. The remainder of the flag is medium blue with seven full five-pointed white stars and two half stars top and bottom along the hypotenuse of the triangle.
The three points of the triangle are understood to stand for the three constituent peoples of Bosnia and Herzegovina: Bosniaks, Croats, and Serbs. It is also seen to represent the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina which is shaped like a triangle. The stars, representing Europe, are meant to be infinite in number and thus they continue from top to bottom. The flag features colors often associated with neutrality and peace white, blue, and yellow. The colors yellow and blue are also seen to be taken from the flag of Europe; the color blue was originally based on the flag of the United Nations. The present scheme is being used by both the Council of Europe which owns the flag and the European Union which adopted the Council of Europe's flag in 1985. They are also colors traditionally associated with Bosnia.
Until recently, the idea of a Bosnian-Herzegovinan nationality mainly applied to the nation's Muslims, also referred to as Bosniaks. Bosnia and Herzegovina's Croatians and Serbs looked to Serbia and Croatia for guidance and as the mother country and both had aspirations for political union with either Serbia or Croatia once the Yugoslav state began to fall apart in the early 1990s. This of course spelled disaster for the state of Bosnia-Herzegovina and as a result a bloody civil war was fought between all three groups. In the end the Croatian-Muslim alliance fought the Serbian forces on the ground whilst NATO attacked the Bosnian Serbs from the air. A peace treaty followed with a heavy handled role of the U.S. Clinton Administration helping seal the deal. The result was that Bosnia would be a federation comprising a Croat-Muslim unit alongside a Serb autonomous entity. Things have rapidly improved since then but the two regions of Bosnia still have a long way to go towards complete political and social union. As of now, it could be said Bosnia-Herzegovina functions as one country with two or even three different parts. However, the central government lies in Sarajevo and there is one common currency, the Mark (KM).
Bosnia and Herzegovina ranked next to The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia as the poorest republic in the old Yugoslav federation. Although agriculture is almost all in private hands, farms are small and inefficient, and the republic traditionally is a net importer of food. Industry has been greatly overstaffed, one reflection of the socialist economic structure of Yugoslavia. Tito had pushed the development of military industries in the republic with the result that Bosnia-Herzegovina hosted a large share of Yugoslavia's defense plants. The bitter inter ethnic warfare in Bosnia caused production to plummet by 80% from 1990 to 1995, unemployment to soar, and human misery to multiply. With an uneasy peace in place, output recovered in 1996-99 at high percentage rates from a low base; but output growth slowed in 2000 and 2001. GDP remains far below the 1990 level. Economic data are of limited use because, although both entities issue figures, national-level statistics are limited. Moreover, official data do not capture the large share of activity that occurs on the black market. The konvertibilna marka - the national currency introduced in 1998 - is now pegged to the euro, and the Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina has dramatically increased its reserve holdings. Implementation of privatization, however, has been slow, and local entities only reluctantly support national-level institutions. Banking reform accelerated in 2001 as all the communist-era payments bureaus were shut down.