Last modified: 2006-01-21 by dov gutterman
Keywords: croatia | hrvatska | balkans | europe | checquy | star | ribbon |
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image by Carlos Esparza, 21 January 2001
Official Name: Republic of Croatia (Republika
Location: Southeastern Europe
Government Type: Presidential/Parliamentary Democracy
Flag adopted: 21 December 1990
Coat of Arms adopted: 21 December 1990
ISO Code: HR
Other Croatian pages in FOTW:
Basically, the situation about croatian flags is like this:
eljko Heimer, 9 March 1997
I was asked several times for the Pantone references of the
colorus used in the Croatian flag (and similar), and in the
process I noticed a useful page in this regard at <www.flags.co.uk>.
The figures (red 032, blue 286) are slightly different from those
given in the Album, but not significantly, as far as I have
noticed. The two sources use slightly different shades for their
"basic heraldic" colours - which is utterly
The Album colours are, I blieve, provided more or less in full on the Mello Luchtenberg's Vexilla Mundi site.
eljko Heimer, 22 July 2004
The Croatian flag carried in front of the team at Sydney 2000
Olympic games ceremony, was not quite as it should be - the coat
of arms was moved a bit too much down, the space between the
crest and shield was white (should be "transparent",
and therefore red). The shield should be positioned so that four
rows of squares come into white stripe, and only the fifth enters
the blue field. The shield should not enter the red field at all,
only the crest, that should be fimbriated with white and red (as
well as the shield, in fact). However, this error is very common
among foreign flag manufacturers.
The flag was very clearly visible in one moment when the director of the coverage choosed to show what's being done white the flags when the athletes reach their final point - they were gathered on the stage, and the moment of setting of the Croatian flag was shown.
eljko Heimer, 15 September 2000
Today Croatia is celebrating 10 years since the EU recognized
Croatian independence. Few states recognized Croatia even before
that date e.g. (Vatican, Ukraine, Iceland), others followed soon
(e.g. USA recognition came in April 1992), however, 15 January
1992 is the day generally accepted as the date of the
international recognition of Croatia.
In May 1992 Croatia was admited to United Nations. As I was reminded in a documentary I just saw on TV, the Croatian flag was first hoisted ceremoniously infront of the UN HQ in New York on 22 May 1992. (At the same time B&H white flags w/lilies was also hoisted for the first time there.)
eljko Heimer, 15 January 2002
I cannot make certain the ratio of this flag/banner, but I
will guess it is 1:6. The photo is at <www.osijek-online.com>.
Zachary Harden, 1 January 2005
The photo showes the main square in the city of Osijek. The
longish flags that I also estimate to 1:6 are not unusual in such
places. Such flags are to be seen on the main square in Zagreb
(nowdays together with similarly shaped flags of EU and Zagreb)
and I am sure that they are present in many other cities around
Showing of those long flags is custom of the Central Europe (an "Austrian" custom, if you wish), and while in Austria and southern Germany the tradition is longer preserved and they include either the flags without the coats of arms (i.e. Landesfarben only) or with the coat of arms properly rotated. The tradition in Slovenia and Croatia is taken up after some years of breaking, and there it is felt that the flags withotu the coat of arms are not appropriate (unrecognizable), so the coat of arms are retained and not even rotated, but could be "read" along the vertical axis.
eljko Heimer, 1 January 2005
image by eljko Heimer and Zachary Harden, 27 November 2005
This a drawing of the Croat table flag that eljko kindly
sent me. One thing I motice is that no matter if I flip the flag,
it will still have the red facing towards the honor
point. The flag was made with two cardboard like flags
stiched together. One flag has the red facing the
honor point, but if you flip it over vertically, you will see the
Croatia flag like it was rotated at a 90 degree angle.
Zachary Harden, 24 January 2005
After five years, I saw the flag with the red star on the news
on the national TV. It was displayed on a celebration of some
partisan (anti-fascist) unit in Istria. Beside this flag there
was also the Italian flag with a red star (see: Flag of Italian Minority in Yugoslavia).
It is the first time since the declaration of independence that
this flag is displayed publicly. (Maybe to mention, government
officials and high army commanders were there, so it wasn't any
kind of "rebellions" or demonstrations against the
I have nothing against it, moreover, I think it is (one of the) historical Croatian flags, and should be respected as any other historical flag. Many fine Croatians fought under it, for the freedom of their homeland.
eljko Heimer, 13 November 1995
I have seen rarely that the coat of arms is rotated for 90
degrees, when the flag is hanging vertically, but this is not
If there is need of a "short" flag, there is a tendency to "shorten" the horizontal flag so that instead of being 1:2, it becomes e.g. 5:3, as it was on the parade on 30 May 1995 (Statehood Day).
eljko Heimer, 16 September 1995
See also: Croatia - Other Proposals and Unofficial Variations
Not really, but possibly in some time... Recently a discussion
in newspapers were (re)introduced about the need of the flag
change. Now the discussion was induced by an article in
"Vecernji list" (Zagreb newspapers) transmiting opinion
of one of the presidential candidates (after the elections) dr.
Slaven Letica. He questioned constitutionality of the current
coat of arms (therefore the flag, too) regarding the
"zoo" (the crest) above the shield. He was answered by
several historians and law experts, claiming that he is wrong in
that assumption, and that there is no question of
constitutionality, but however, the Pandorra box is opened... A
designer came forward with his ideas on a new flag, and with
argumentation going further from the constitutionality question.
So, maybe it is best that I left the articles to speak for
themselves. One can see them in two numbers of mentioned
newspapers (in PDF format, with images), but they are rather
large (500K and 2,5M) in Croatian at: <arhiva.vecernji-list.hr/Arhiva/000125-05.pdf>
There is also a good vectorial image of Croatian Coat of Arms,
Here is translation from Vecernji list, 25 January 2000., [my notes in brackets]:
Is the Crown on the Croatian Coat of Arms unconstitutional?
The Constitution regulates only the basics of the Croatian coat of arms: 25 red and white fields "The coat of arms of the Republic of Croatia is the historic Croatian Coat of Arms that is basically 25 interchangeably red and white (silver) fields. The description of the historic Croatian Coat of Arms and its use and protection is determined by law." That are two lines from article 11 of the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia on the Croatia Coat of Arms, while the detailed layout of the Coat of Arms is regulated by the Law on the Coat of Arms the flag and the anthem of the Republic of Croatia and the flag and the sashe of the President of the Republic of Croatia. According to the Law, a crown is added to the Coat of Arms basics, that features the oldest known Croatian Coat of Arms and Coat of Arms of the Republic of Dubrovnik [Ragusa], Dalmatia, Istria and Slavonia. Does the Law steps over the constitutional limits? According to opinion of dr. Slaven Letica, former councillior to dr. Tudjman, that he repeated these days, the crown of the five Coat of Arms is added to the Croatian red- white chequy shield unconstitutionally. As he claims, Letica has warned the late President that it is beyond the Constitution, but dr. Tudjman then replied that it was already decided about the layout of the Croatian Coat of Arms. Was there need to change the Constitution because of the layout of the Coat of Arms, for what 2/3 mayority is needed in parliament? In the time when the Law on Coat of Arms was being adopted, in 1990, Croatia had more pressing issues, so that the discussions that rised from time to time, were left on side. Even if today there are again more pressing matters, the question of the Coat of Arms might intrigue the public again. Should the Croatian Coat of Arms be changed and why is the question with many answers. Many prefer only the chequy shield, others would say that the five Coat of Arms in the crown does not represent the entire Croatia, and maybe there fund reason for constitutionality discussion. The third would discuss if the chequy shield should begin with white or red field (now it begins with red), another thing not regulated by the Constitution. Some would be bothered that there is a crown above the shield, a symbol of royalty, while others would not like that the five Coat of Arms refer to Croatian regions. However, the constitution experts that we consulted could not say if the five Coat of Arms crown above the shield was really unconstitutionally added. That is, the Constitution prescribes that the Coat of Arms hav "basics of 25 fields", that would mean something can be added to the basics, but how much could be added not to change the general layout, is the question without simple answer. Together with the announced Constitutional changes, maybe the question of the Coat of Arms shall be dealt with again in the Parliament, even if there are ideas that the citizens should decide on their Coat of Arms on a referendum, that is if a referendum would not be to expensive for us. According an other opinion, the crown is not added unconstitutionally, sinc ethe Constitution prescribe ofly the basics of 25 red-white fields, and the current five Coat of Arms crown can be changed by law.
Dr. Petar Strcic: Chequy fields can not be argued
Dr. Petar Strcic, the director of the Croatian arts and sciences academy archive, talked about Coat of Arms and flags for our newspapers several years ago. On the origin of the chequy fields he said that they are firs noted in use by Apennine bishop, but how they found their home in Croatia it is not known. - The cheap-political accusations that the current state Coat of Arms is taken from Ustasha Independent State of Croatia [WWII axis state, in territory of current Croatia and B&H] are really funny. highlighted then dr. Strcic. The oldest known Croatian Coat of Arms is the crescent with six-pointed star, set in first field of the crown of the Croatian official Coat of Arms. Dr. Strcic said that the chequy fields as base of the state Coat of Arms are not and can not be argued about, but the same can not be said about all other elements of the Coat of Arms. - The Coat of Arms of Dubrovnik set in the crown is, in fact, a fraud version, but the biggest problem is with the Coat of Arms with goat charge, that should represent Istria - said dr. Strcic, pointing out that the Coat of Arms with a goat was among Istrian Croats considered expressive symbol of romanization and italianization. It is in use only from 19th century, and was prometed only by small Italian and pro-Italian circle. - You can imagine what would be reaction to the goat in the Croatian Coat of Arms of the Istrain reformators, bishop Dobrila, Spincic or Laginja? asked dr. Strcic.
eljko Heimer, 30 January 2000
See also: History of the National Flag