Institute for Recent History of Serbia

Srpska zastava – The Bulletin of Serbian Immigrants to Argentina (19491956)

Abstract: Relying on available sources and literature, this article examines the establishment, activities, orientation and destiny of Srpska zastava, a bulletin published by Serbian immigrants in Argentina. It will scrutinize the bulletin’s views on the solution to the Serbian Question, as well as its approach toward resolving the Serb – Croat dispute and its attitude toward the new Yugoslav authorities. Close attention has been paid to the links and cooperation the bulletin had with Milan Stojadinović, former Yugoslav prime minister (including foreign affairs) and finance minister, the most prominent figure among the Serbian immigrants.

Key words: Srpska zastava, Milan Stojadinović, Argentina, Yugoslavia, Emigration, Dušan M. Filipović


Bojan Simić

Srpska zastava – a Bulletin of the Serbian Immigrants in Argentina (1949–1956)

Srpska zastava, a bulletin of the Latin American Serbs, was published in Buenos Aires from the end of the 1940s and through the first half of the 1950s. Its correspondents were Serbian emigrants on several continents. The bulletin’s principal program called for the Serbs to unify and rally to create an independent Serbia. Basically, it was an attempt to homogenize the Serbian people in Latin America and all across the world by evoking an emotional version of its history characterized by epic bravery and extreme suffering. The bulletin stood firmly against both the government of socialist Yugoslavia and the Ustasha crimes during World War II.

The bulletin and its activities were closely linked to Milan Stojadinović, former Yugoslav prime minister, who arrived in Argentina in 1948 after an eight-year internment. He did not accept any formal engagement in the bulletin or in immigrant affairs, but he had a huge informal influence on the bulletin's policy, whether through the articles he wrote or the financial support he provided. With the passing of time that influence was almost tangible in the writings of the paper, which became a playground for Stojadinović and his supporters.

Stojadinović tried to cash in on his significant impact on the bulletin during the talks he had with the representatives of the UDBA in 1952 and 1953. The regime officials were profoundly disturbed by the writing of Srpska zastava so they kept insisting on shutting the paper down or at least softening its stance toward the FPRY and diverting its attacks to the Ustashas. On the other hand, Stojadinović was trying to get his brother Dragomir out of prison.

Apart from the termination of Stojadinović’s direct support, the shutdown of Srpska zastava was caused by a dire financial situation of the editor and his associates, as well as the political and economic crisis in Argentina, which affected the entire press in the country. Srpska zastava, a bulletin of the Serbs from Latin America, is an important source for getting a deeper understanding of the activity and way of thinking of the Serbian emigrants who ended up in Argentina after the World War II. Also, the bulletin’s writing has been instrumental in reconstructing the latter phase of the life and work of Former Yugoslav Prime Minister Milan Stojadinović.

(Translated from Serbian by Darko Perišić)