Vladimir Labat Rovnjev is a genuine and unique multimedia artist; sculptor, painter, graphic designer, songwriter, composer, musician, poet, and designer, acknowledged and multi-awarded for his work in our country and the world. In partnership with Mirko Stojnic, one of the most renowned heraldists in Serbia, he designed and constructed a series of coats of arms for the Yugoslav Army in the 90s and for national security later. He is also the author of hundreds of various conceptual designs, coats of arms, symbols, logos, state medallions, medals, decorations, and visuals for various institutions.
Even though the relation between the Balkans and the double-headed eagle is very long, starting from the dynasty Nemanjić will be enough to weigh its value and connection with us, since we have it in the artifacts of our monasteries, on the church chandeliers, cloaks of imperial dignitaries, priest garments, etc.
It has been so widely applied throughout history that we can truly consider it as our landmark, which has continually followed our Christian identity throughout the centuries. This symbol is, in fact, our alphabet of identity, religion and national integrity which should be the opening of every public appearance or presentation.
We need to have better knowledge and critical view of the essence of symbols to come to their true content and universal essence characterized by preciseness, agreeableness and a clear intention of the creator to unite, point to, warn or suggest specific content that is creatively transmitted as a “code” from one generation to the next.
When the five-pointed star was to be redesigned in the 90s, I responded to the state institutions of the Army of Yugoslavia and state security’s call to create new symbols as a way out of the then situation for all peoples living in Serbia - through adequate symbolism of historical and traditional values.
Having realized positive power of the original double-headed eagle symbol so prevalent in both our and world history, religion and political past, but especially in our national history, I decided to take this symbol more seriously as a designer and renew its usage in the years of the breakup of the SFRY and revert it to our region as a symbol that characterizes eighth-century long spiritual and religious essence and new hope for future generations.
The essence of somewhat forgotten and neglected double-headed eagle, which has long been incorporated into the heritage and genetics of our peoples as a record and testament, represents an atom of good will, good power, positive effect. Therefore, if we look at the spiritually energetic aspect, and not just the heraldic one, we have a symbol that is charged with the energy of hope and survival, goodwill, repentance and aspiration towards the unity of mundane and spiritual, or the unity of opposites.
As a spiritual seed, this symbol carries a strong positive structure, and in order for it to work, we must draw that structure from the depths of the past and collective memory to the surface of the present for the future of survival. That is why we must have the knowledge of our tradition in the first place, we must absolutely know the national and historical facts, and interrelations between the church and state in our past. Only then, with experience and knowledge, we can connect a whole host of other conditions through creativity in order to make symbols for new generations.
There are many established principles that have to be harmonized and compatible by converting certain character values into our archetype that unites us and only then can the energetic effect of the archetypal preserved structure be reached. All the details that have been highlighted are at the heart of the problem, and they are keepers of covenantal historical truth. Knowing all these factors, I have combined them in my own way for various government institutions and other users.
For me, the double-headed eagle is not primarily valuable for its design-aesthetic creation we are talking about and which could have been designed differently, but it is far more valuable as a medium to reach the inner unifying power that carries sound and light from the past as temporal cohesive energy. My associates and I had to agree on the basic principle by which we reached common positions and conclusions on all issues, and then our Army and its esteemed expert team, comprised of professionals in various fields, made a great contribution to all this – especially historians, who have chosen my completed double-headed eagle design solutions (from the many I had been working on for the celebration of eight centuries of the Monastery Hilandar).
Every expert gave their opinion, in effort to reach compatibility and harmony between all of us who worked together, without losing sight of our common goal – to create an acceptable and effective structure of the national and military symbol, which I later only transformed designer and sculptor wise into a spatial work of military structural designations which adorned many facilities, public places, and also uniforms of soldiers of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Serbia and Montenegro.
The Yugoslav Army’s double-headed eagle sublimes all historical, spiritual and numerological values, without losing sight of mathematical and geometric relations. Numerologists who know this aspect of thinking understand how important it is to revitalize repressed and forgotten knowledge and experience of the past and still remain in harmony with tradition. By considering a multitude of data and gathering knowledge from various fields, a powerful symbol of double-headed eagle of the Serbian people was created with raised wings to raise alertness, awaken consciousness and protect tradition among the people.
There is no symbol that traditionally belongs to us more than this one, and which in the created construction of the double-headed eagle in the new national and military symbol is not in present in some way in all aspects of the Balkan and Serbian territories’ landmarks.
Without the right team, serious work, positive and planned self-presentation, there is no real patriotic success. This is solely the job of propaganda that, unfortunately, we still plan randomly and in the short term and do out of necessity, often to our detriment, while forgetting that a well-designed symbol in its construction of knowledge, experience and expertise guarantees the survival and future on the now devastated space of chipped and tortured Serbia, on the eternally blustering Balkans where over the last thousand years the Serbs have succeeded in becoming, surviving and endowing the world with so many spiritually civilizational and cultural shrines as centers of Orthodox Christianity widespread throughout the Balkans.
On every place where the Serbs were building their spiritual state, they also left traces of the art of construction and spiritual culture. Through hard work on the insignia of the Army Signs project, many of my views have seen their rebirth, I have come closer to tradition and heraldry, and thus have simply been pushed into spiritual waters. I realized that we must first get to know and love our spiritual and folk history, and then it will build upon us providing a ring to the chain that connects us with the past and enabling us to see our present and future.