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Lika-Senj County (Croatia)

Licko-Senjska zupanija

Last modified: 2004-07-17 by dov gutterman
Keywords: lika | senj | county | croatia | licko-senjska | zupanija | gospic | degenia |
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by Zeljko Heimer, 25 May 2000

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The County of Lika and Senj (Lic<ko-senjska z<upanija, number IX. in the official listing) is situated in central and coastal parts of Croatia, in background of Velebit mountain range (Lika) and coast called Croatian litoral (as opposite to Dalmatian coast further south). It is one of the less developed counties, many parts being in high elevations with little possibilities for intensive agriculture and with little developed coast. It also include the northern part of the island of Pag. However, the county include several national parks and nature protected areas, most well known being Plitvice lakes and Velebit mountians. Also, several imortant transit rutes are going through it. Inner parts of the county were historically parts of Military Border, the bulwark against Turks, when considerable number of Serbs inhabited it. After the declaration of independence, the Serb separatists proclaimed Republic of Serb Krayina in eastern parts, and held it occupied until 1995 (as the beggining of uprising are counted the incidents around Plitvice lakes). The county capital Gospic - one of only few counties whose name dous not contain the name of its capital.
Zeljko Heimer, 21 June 1999 and 25 May 2000

There are some interesting things in the numbers of the local official gazette available on-line at <> (year 2002 and further).
In number 24/02 there is a conclusion permiting the use of the county coat of arms to the International Heraldic Academy from Bratislava for use in their Encyclopedia. The conclusion quote the name of the decision adopting the coat of arms and the flag as: Odluka o grbu i zastavi Licko-senjske županije, Županijske glasnik 11/95, 3/00 i 5/00.
Now, we know of the 1995 decision, and presumably the two references to the year 2000 are minor (or not so minor) modifications introduced after the Ministry of Administration suggestion enableing their approval. This would be consistent with what we know already, now positining the final adoption date to 2000 (though maybe no changes in design were introduced since 1995).
The number 6/03 include an other decision granting use of county Coat of Arms in a female basketball club "Gospic-Industrogradnja" bulletin (so not quite flag related).
Zeljko Heimer, 5 September 2003

The Flag

Below, you can read about two Previously Reorted Flags of Lika-Senj county of Croatia The two designs are reported by Mr. J. Ehrlich Zdvorak and me, and are basically the same regarding the Coat of Arms (apart from "artistical redention"), while the flags are different (also the shade of blue). You can also read on some of mine assumptions regarding the second (Ehrlich's) reported design. Anyway, I can now provide the rest of the story, if not its end as yet.
Contacting the County officials, I was told that the flag and Coat of Arms were adopted, but are not currently in use since the "accordance with the new laws" is being made. That would be the law "Zakon o izmjenama i dopunama Zakona o lokalnoj upravi i samoupravi", Narodne novine 128/99" . However, the flag was adopted in 1995 by the decision issued in local official gazette:
"Odluka o grbu i zastavi Zupanije Licko-senjske", 22-DEC-1995, Zupanijski glasnik Zupanije Licko-senjske, no. 11/95, pp. 313-5".
The text of the Decision in the Gazette does not include an image, so the image is still according to description from the gazette and previously reported image of the coat of arms. The header of the paper on which I received the answer from the County also included the coat of arms (that is "not used"), and that is again in the light blue shade, I decided to go for light blue, even if the specified colour in the decision is only called blue (on the other hand, the ceremonial flag, that I shall mention latter on is specifically called as "dark blue").
The elements, and their symbolic is already discussed below, so just to repeat, the coat of arms is blue triangular shield with golden flower of degenia. (so article 5 of the decision quoted above) . The flag is white with blue strpes allong upper and lower edge, and with the coat of arms bordered golden in the middle. Ratio 1:2. (Article 8)
The Decision prescribes also a Ceremonial Flag in shape of gonfalon (Article 9), dark blue with golden bordered coat of arms in the middle, the name of the county inscribed above and ornament of branches of olive, oak and vine trees in three tongues at the lower edge. The olive, oak and vine in the gonfalon are symbols of wellfare and fertility, of power and wisdom, and of life and imortality respectivly.
The article 21 of the decision prescribes that it comes into effect on eight day after issue in the official gazette, that would be an undetermined date in 1995. Obviously, since the Ministry of Administration refuzed to confirm that flag and coat of arms (don't know what was reason behind it) they never came into wide usage. However, since both Janko and me have seen that flag and coat of arms in use (not to mention it use on the official writing paper as told above), it was at least partially in de facto use.
In March 2000 I was informed about "accordance efforts" being made to the decision, and it may be that until it was readopted.
I was unable to obtain the image of the ceremonial flag described, and the description is surely not enough to provide for an image. Possibly the real ceremonial flag was never made, indeed (it would, also need redesign since today the official name is "Licko- senjska zupanija" and not "Zupanija Licko-senjska" as it was when the decision was made).
Zeljko Heimer, 25 May 2000

In 2002 I noticed the flag started to be used hoisted on the county hall in Gospic. It might have been used even before, but summer 2002 is my first visit to Gospic for quite some time. The use of the flag on the county hall would indicate that the Ministry issued the approval in the mean time, probably.
Zeljko Heimer, 4 September 2003

Ceremonial Flag

by Zeljko Heimer, 10 July 2004

The County of Lika-Senj has the ceremonial flag described in the 1995 decision. I think that I could provide a reconstruction based on that description, though it may be interpreted in sevral way, so the confirmation would be ideal.
Zeljko Heimer, 10 July 2004

Coat of Arms

by Zeljko Heimer, 3 November 2000

Previously Reported Flags

by Zeljko Heimer, 21 June 1999

The coat of arms of county are: Azure, a degenia flower Or.The flag is light blue filed with the coat of arms in the middle.
The flower of the spieces Degenia Velebitica is endemic of the region, very delicate small yellow flower with four petails.of the flower. The coat of arms is drawn according to the coat of arms found on the road sign on the road entering the county, while the flag is based on several sighting of the flag on TV coverages. I believe that the flag, as presented here was not approved by Ministry of Adminsitration (due to their rule, requiering county flag fields to be of two colours).
According to some previous sighting, I'm inclined to believe that the current coat of arms is simplification of the previous proposal (probably induced on MA request) wich included the flower (only 4 petails) and the white circular lace-work (broidery?) characteristic and famous from Pag island (this emblem could be seen on - not availible at the moment).
It may be that the flag would be changed to fulfill the MA rules, but inspite of that it is used, as confirmed in several spottings on TV, by the county in official ceremonies at least from 1996.
It may be interesting to note that the political magazine "Globus" issued in several of its numbers the coat of arms of the county that consisted of the blue shield and yellow 4-petailed flower from the emblem mentioned above. This coat of arms was issued in the list of counties (used in several public opinion measurements by counties) among the coat of arms of other counties that were taken from my FAME pages (including all errors and inacuracies that were there at the time). Since the one was missing altogether, Globus journalists "invented" one, but obviously based on some knowlage of what was used. No need to tell that they refuzed to cooperate with me on the project, nor they ever reacted on my objection on using my graphics without quiting the
authorship. But, that is already another story...

- photos of the road sign at highway entrance to the County near Plitvice, taken 30 May 1999, in my collection.
- sightings of the flag on TV on several occasions.
- <>, official pages of the County of Lika and Senj, consulted 21 May 1997.
- "Globus" nacionalni tjednik, br. 415, 20-NOV-1998, Zagreb. pp 18-19.
Zeljko Heimer, 21 June 1999

by Janko Ehrlich Zdvorak, 21 June 1999

I think the last posted image of the Licko-Senjska Zupanija is a wrong one. I saw recently this one.I saw this flag and arms on TV-news covering their provincial assembly seat about three weeks ago. Only evidence I have is that "Hrvatska danas" (Croatia Today) news, where the flag and coat of arms were shown. I made quick sketch then...
Janko Ehrlich Zdvorak, 21 June 1999

Of course, it is quite possible that recently the new design was adopted - as indeed I assumed it would happen eventually - since the design I posted is not quite according to the flag regualtions - it has to have two coloured field - something that is "rectified" on the design you posted now.I would assume that the coat of arms is basically the same one, and what you have is only another artistic redention (that would make third one!), but I would not dare to gainsay without better confirmation then I have now.Anyway, the pure blue field was seen by me on TV coverage from some event in Licko-senjska county assembly around 6 mounth ago (more then enough time to adopt a new - proper design).As I said, my info is from TV news several months ago... I would hope that the new flag that Janko reported is adopted. I have a (snail) mail prepaired and addressed to L-S county that I hope to post tommorow. let's hope I'll get some anwser. Another thought just crossed my mind while writing this - The flag of Gospic, that I so on another TV news covering is just the same BWB "Spanish" flag with Gospic coat of arms in it (see on my pages a provisional image, since I do not have exact image of the coat of arms). It might be possible that the two flags got confuzed. On the other hand, it may be me who confuzed it (remember that those coverages show flags for just few seconds as a rule!). However, it may equally imaginable be that the assembly found that the same patterned flag is just fine.
Zeljko Heimer , 22 June 1999

Historical Coat of Arms

I have bought a book: Csa'ki, Imre: A magyar kira'lysa'g va'rmegyéinek ci'merei a XVIII-XIX. sza'zadban, Corvina, Budapest, 1995 , in which are shown (one big coat of arms in each page!) all the coats of arms of the counties of the Hungarian part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the XVIII. and XIX. centuries.
The Hungarian "Lika-Krbava va'rmegye" had as coat of arms a simple shield divided per fess: 1- divided per pal: a- gules a swan (?) goose (?) argent crowned or with a medal or at his neck; B- argent an eagle sable, armed and crowned or, tongued gules; 2- chequered of 24 [6 x 4] gules and argent. This coat of arms was adopted in 1873.
Pascal Vagnat, 28 June 1998