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Rab (The Coast-Gorski Kotar, Croatia)

Last modified: 2005-05-28 by dov gutterman
Keywords: rab | primorsko-goranska | san marino |
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by Željko Heimer, 4 May 2005

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  • Collection of Croatian Local Flags at FAME


Rab is a city on an island of the same name near the coast beneath Velebit mountain range some 60 km south of Rijeka. City has about 10000 inhabitants. It is known in Italian as Arbe, a name originating from ancient Roman times when the city was established, when it was known as Felix Arba. The attribute Felix was given to cities in Roman times as especial gratitude.
The traditional coat of arms used since Middle Age contains representation of St. Christopher. He is shown as crossing a river carrying an infant - Baby Jesus, and in his right hand a staff with branched end. A crescen and mullet also appear regularly. In a coat of arms redention used nowdays, a slihuete of the city is also shown with characteristic four bellfrys. The shield is crowned and within a wreath with white and blue ribbon inscribed "Felix Arba".
A modernized version of the Coat of Arms is shown in [osg02] (prepaired presumably by Heraldic-art d.o.o. from Rijeka, responsible also for many other modern Coat of Arms in the region). It is noted in the book, though, that this version is not (yet?) used, and that the traditional version is still in use. (It is not clear weather this means that the design is adopted in city assembly but for some reason not used or what, and it is not clear if the Ministry approved it etc.)
The modern design is surely accompanied with a (monocoloured?) flag but we shall need more info about it - and if the Coat of Arms is not used that the flag is also not used. The ribbon in the Coat of Arms suggest that a
bicolour flag might have been used traditionally. In Rab are organized traditionally a chivalry games (most well known for cross- bow competitions) that suirely would include lot of flagging, but I have no detailed information.
Sources: [osg02] Oštric Goroslav: Monumenta heraldica, izbor iz heraldicke baštine primorsko-goranske županije, Pomorski i povijesni muzej Hrvatskog primorja Rijeke, 2002. Croatia Tourist Guide, Leksikografski zavod Miroslav Krleža, Zagreb, 2000.
Željko Heimer, 29 June 2003

In all issues of the official gazette from 1993 (i.e. the first number) until August 2003 there is not a single act regarding the symbols of Rab. As we know from other sources Rab uses a traditional Coat of Arms, and a porposed modernization is "in circulation" but no decision was made, apparently.
The white and light blue ribbon in the traditional Coat of Arms certainly refer to the flag of San Marino. Namely the saint that established this republic was born in Rab - and his tradition is still well respected there.
Željko Heimer, 19 August 2003

Until now I had no info on the flag, but today on the TV in a programe reporting something from the City of Rab there was shown the City Assembly Hall where the city flag is displayed between the county and the state flag.   The flag is diagonally divided white and very light blue with the ("traditional") coat of arms in the middle. The direction of the diagonal I am not quite sure, the shots from there were very brief, but on a Tourist Association site it is shown partially.
The flag is most certainly not approved and its use is therefore unofficial.
Željko Heimer, 4 May 2005

Coat of Arms

Modern Coat of Arms (not in use [yet?])
by Željko Heimer, 29 June 2003

Traditional Coat of Arms (from Croatia Tourist Guide)
by Željko Heimer, 29 June 2003