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Varazdin County (Croatia)

Varaždinska zupanija

Last modified: 2005-11-19 by dov gutterman
Keywords: varazdin | zupanija | county | croatia | varazdinska |
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[Varazdin County]
by Željko Heimer, 14 October 2000

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The flag of Varaždin county is the same as the flag of the city of Varazdin, with addition of the county coat of arms.
Željko Heimer, 12 August 1996

The County of Varaždin is situated north of Zagreb, around the city of Varazdin, former capital of Croatia (until XVIII c.). The flag of the County is the same as the flag of the City, with County's arms added on it. The escutcheon is the arms of Erdody family that gave, among others, several Croatian bans - on a mount vert a wheel proper, issuant therefrom a deer proper.
Željko Heimer

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.
For Varazdin, the coat of arms of the Hungarian "Varasd va'rmegye" was: a circular shield with embellishments, quartered: 1- gules a crowned eagle tongued gules; 2- and 3- azure two six-pointed stars or between two wavy fesses argent; 4- gules a city wall with a tower argent, the door closed, stones apparent. On the whole an inescutcheon or a little mount vert from which is issuing a wheel and an upright deer natural. The shield is surmounted by a royal crown or. The coat of arms was adopted in 1763.
Pascal Vagnat, 28 June 1998

The county in central northern Croatia. The establishment of the county is lost into IX or X century, and was certainly in existance when Hungaian dinasty took over the Croatian crown. It was one of the few regions of Croatia that remained under jurisdiction of the Parliament in Zagreb when everithing else was lost to Turks. When in 1593 there was a great battle fought against Turks by the city of Sisak, the victorious Croatian army was lead by the ban, count Toma Erdo:dy. For this victory he was given in 1607 the inheritable title of the z<upan of the County of Varazdin. The Erdo:dy family held the hereditary title (and administration) until 1845, and even latter there were several z<upan from that noble family. Therefore it is of little wander that in 1763 empress and queen Maria Teresia confirmed the coat of arms of the County, which is essentially equal to the family coat of arms of the counts Erdo:dy. This was: quartered, 1. Guels, a crowned spread eagle Or: 2. and 3. Azure, two wavy bars Argent, between them two sixpointed mullets Or; 4. Gules, a massonry wall with tower Argent, gated and windowed Maroon. Inescutcheon Or, on a triplle-mount Vert rising half wheen Maroon from which rises a deer proper. The shield was oval in 1763, with baroque ornamented goled border, and crowned.
This remained the coat of arms of the County until 1922, with one notable exception in 1848, which I shall describe latter on.
There exists a preserved flag of the County from some time in XIX. century, which is of five stripes red-white-red-white-red, with a rectangular patch with blue background and painted in black and white the county coat of arms.
During the events of 1848, there was a new coat of arms proposed, and used for short time, as well as a flag to accompany it. The coat of arms was Azure, on three mounts Vert three figures of men shaking hands, accompanied with a crescent and star Argent. The three men were said to be C<eh, Leh and Meh, three borthers of Slavene mitology. There is a story connecting the brothers with the city of Krapina, then within the Varazdin County, and star and crescent are taken up from the "Old Croatian" coat of arms (compare with the first coa in the "crown" of the modern Croatian coa). The flag made according to this idea seems to be yellow with rectangual patch bearing the image of that coat of arms, but I have not found a good picture of it to try to reconstruct it.
When the County of Varazdin was reestablished in 1993, the question on the coat of arms was rised. Some of the members of County Assembly objected to the old coat of arms for several reasons - that the family arms is not appropriate of the County (being "personal" coat of arms), that the family is in origin Hungarian and therefore not appropriate - to name a few.
However, consluting heraldrists and historical archives in Zagreb, it was concluded that the coat of arms as it is was already adopted and used as the County coat of arms for more then 200 years, and that therefore it can not be considered a family coat of arms any more. The guidelines that the Ministry of Administration (MA) gave only supported that idea, giving right to counties to use their historical coat of arms, and requiering the flags to be of two colours pattern with coat of arms in them.
Therefore, the modernized (simplified shield-only) version of the historical coat of arms was adopted on the County Assembly session on 21 June 1995 (decision signed on 26 June), and the flag to go with it is of five stripes red and white, with the coat of arms to the hoist. This was approved by the MA on 18 July 1995.
The modern coat of arms is on a semi-cicrular shield, retaining all the elements of the historical coat of arms, only modernizing a bit the artistical redention. The coat of arms is offset to hoist, so that the vertical axis is from hoist 6/10 of flag height. The size of the coat of arms in flag is rather waguely established in the decision, prescribing that it should "cover the upper red stripe only with its insignificant part, and the lower red a little bit more" (sic!). Accoring to my calculations, that makes its' height be just
about 2/3 of the flag height.
Finally, to mention that in sveral my previous reports, I was wrong regarding the position of the coat of arms in the flag, reporting it to be not only offset towards the hoist, but also towards the top. This was either simply my error (most probably), of what I saw hoisted in the Assembly was errorneous, maybe some earlyier proposal
for the flag (which I rather doubt, but do not what to exclude entirely)

1. Csaky, Imre: A magyar kiralysag varmegyeinek cimerei. A XVIII-XIX. Szazadban, Corvina, Budapest, 1995. ISBN 963-13-4234-4
2. "Zupanija Varazdinska", Garestin, Varazdin 1995.
3. Atlagic, Mr. M.: grbovi plemastva u Slavoniji 1700-1918, Zrinski, Cakovec, 1998.
4. Odluka o opisu i uporabi grba i zastave Zupanije Varazdinske, Varazdin, 26. lipnja 1995. (Decision on description and use of the coat of arms and the flag of the County of varazdin, 26-JUN-1995).
5. Rjesenje Ministarstva uprave, Kl. UP/I-017-02/95-01/03 Ur. br. 515-04-03/1-95-2, zagreb 18. srpnja 1995. (Approval of the Minsitry of administration, 18-JUL-1995)
Željko Heimer, 29 July 1999

Coat of Arms

by Željko Heimer, 14 October 2000

1995 Concourse

The deign of the Coat of Arms and the flag was aquired though a concourse held in 1995. The jurry gave two prises - one for the proposal for the flag (won by Tomislav & Edita Goluban from Zagreb, who kindly provided the information), and the other for the proposal for the Coat of Arms (won by Ivica Kruhoberec).
Among several designs that I was provided with by Golubans, I chose to show two:

the winning flag proposal, blue with two wavy stripes and three 9-pointed stars in between:

by Željko Heimer, 14 October 2000

a proposal for a flag including the winning Coat of Arms proposal by Kruhoberec, red flag with two white strips (1:1:2:1:1), CoA quartered: 1 & 4, Gules two barrulets Argent, 2 & 3, Azure two Mullets between two barrulets wavy-counterwavy Or, in escutcheon Or issuant from triple Mount Vert a Wheel proper from which is isuing a Semi-Deer rampant proper:

by Željko Heimer, 14 October 2000

The jurry called upon the artist to work together for the common design of the Coat of Arms and the flag based on their winning designs and (apparently) in regard with guidelines from the Ministry of Adminstration ending with the historical Erdody Coat of Arms (i.e. the historical Coat of Arms of Varazdin County) modernized in shield shape only, and with the flag being the same as the flag of Varazdin City defaced with the Coat of Arms.
Željko Heimer, 14 October 2000