Buy State Flags from Allstate FlagsBuy US flags from Five Star Flags
This page is part of © FOTW Flags Of The World website

Croatia - Historical Flags (Pre-1848)

Last modified: 2003-08-21 by dov gutterman
Keywords: croatia | hrvatska | zagreb | hungary |
Links: FOTW homepage | search | disclaimer and copyright | write us | mirrors

See also:

Other Sites:

Croatian Historical Museum

I was recently contacted from the staff of the Croatian Historical Museum, informing me that they have put up their site with lots of images of the items they are preserving. For those who are not familiary with the exhibition on flags from their collection that the Museum made in 1996, this is a great place to start. The catalogue of that exhibition still remains the most through book on Croatian flags. The Museum site is at <>.
However, naigating through the site is not quite easy, so if you are interested only in flags, go directly to the page considering their flag collection <>.
and for even more flags (those that are parts of other collections), see: <>.
There is also many other interesting stuff of all kinds on the site - heraldry, maps, uniforms, to name few that are flag related .
Zeljko Heimer, 17 April 1999

Coronation Flags

Here are few explanations on the coronation flags used on the Habsburg coronation ceremonies in the city of Bratislava (then called Pozsony in Hungarian, Pozun in Croatian and maybe something more). My main source is [bor96] exhibition cataloge of the Croatian Hitorical Museum in Zagreb that I shall exhensivly quote. There exisits [bor96a] the same book in English. Translation is mine from the Croatian version. [My comments in brackets.] This book deals with Croatian vex-history, so it is no wander that the focus is much on the Croatian flags used on the ceremonies.
Quoting from footnote 64 on page 42 (the main text here only mentiones the coronation flags):
" The Ceremonies of crowning the Habsburgs for the Hungarian-Croatian kings was held in Pozun [Bratislava]. For such occasions were being made flags of the kingdoms, prinicipalities and adjoined lands, and so the flags of the Croatian Kingdoms [i.e. Croatia, Slavonia, Dalmatia] that would in a symbolical way highlight their sovereignity. Those [flags] were in the shape of the cavalry two-tailed flags and adorned with painted coat of arms of the kingdom and the date of the corronation. Flag HPM/PMH inv. nr. 11751 [this is reference to such flag in inventory of the Museum, so latter on]. See more in Stefan Holcik: "Krunovacne Slavnosti Bratislava 1563 -1830", 1986."
The page 61 of the catalogue conatins a bit longer article on the subject :
"Corronation flags of the Kingdoms - Even if we have in our collection only two flags of that type - flag of the Kingdom of Croatia (inv. nr. 11752) and flag of the Kingdom of Slavonia (inv. nr. 37100) made in 19th century, they are important source because in a symbolic way they illustrate the place and position of the Croatian Kingdom within the Habsburg crownlands. The flags are made with praticular goal - for the corronation ceremonial for Habsburgs for the Croatian and Hungarian kings. In that occasion they symbolize the Triunar Kingdom of Croatian, Slavonia and Dalmatia. The Croatian "bans" [viceroys, palatins] and the most important members of the Croatian nobility participate in the corronation ceremony. On the coronation of Maximilian (1564-1576) for the Croatian and Hungarian king on 8 September 1563 in Pozun (today Bratislava) participated ban Nikola IV. Zrinski with his sons Juraj and Krsto accompanied with 168 riders. On the occasion Nikola Zrinski carryed the royal orb, while the other noblemen carryed the flags of Kingdoms; Ladislav Bánffy carryed the flag o Kingdom of Croatia and Nikola Báthory that of Kingdom of Dalmatia.
Footnote: Stefan Holeik: "Krunovaeke slavnosti Bratislava 1563 - 1830", Bratislava 1986. The same author notes that Matija Keglevia carryed the flag of Bulgaria, as the tradition says that Keglevia family comes from that country. [As you might have guessed, Zrinski, Bánffy, Báthory and Keglevia are Croatian-Hungarian noble families. The same about Frankopan and Erdedi mentioned latter on.]
For the corronation of Ferdinand II on 1 July 1618 it was ban Nikola Frankopan that carryed the royal scepter, and count Krsto Erdedi (Erdödy) carryed the flag ofthe Kingdom of Slavonia. The illustrations of the corronation in Pozun (Holcik, p. 18) are preserved in form of graphic prints. So, on a contemporary print showing the corronation of Leopold I on 26 June 1655 are pictured dignitaries with flags of the Kingdom of Croatia and the Kingdom of Dalmatia. (Holcik, p. 100).
The corronation flag of the Kingdoms are made according a determined principle; they are in shape of cavalry flag (so called swallow tail) just as are the "ban" instalation flags [those are covered earlier in the catalogue, the same shape as cavalry swallow-tailed guidons, as we would maybe classify their shape] and have painted on them heraldical device and inscription. On the obverse it is the name of the ruler being corronated and the date, while on the reverse it is the coat of arms and the name of the Kingdom. The flag field is bordered with fringe and along the edges it is ornamented with painted vegtablile border. (Holcik, p. 49)"
The mentioned print of Leopold I corronation is shown from the collection of the museum, but differing in one detail from the image shown on <> - it is not coloured! When analyzing this image we should therefore have in mind that it was coloured afterwards and prossibly by someone who was not rpesent on the ceremony and the colours therefore are assumed. In particular, it may be noted that the flag filed of the Croatian flag (third from "top") is chequy while all others are multistriped in various directions. It wouldbe interesting to identify each of the flags .But, to get back to the catalogue, on page 91 are given catalogical entries for the two flags:
"1. Corronation flag of the Kingdom of Croatia, 1830. yellow silk damast, pozamantery fringe, painting size 131 x 200 cm, staff 290 cm Swallow-tailed flag with painted coat of arms, inscription and vegetabile ornamentation. Obverse: on the flag field horizontal inscription in Latin: "FERDINANDUS V. / IN / REGEM HUNGARIAE / CORONATUS POSONII / DIE ... SEPT. / 1830." Reverse: in the middle of the flag field a crowned coat of arms of Croatia and above it inscription "CROATIAE". The flag is made for the corronation ceremony of Ferdinand V in Pozun. The staff is painted spirally red white green, and the finial is not preserved. HPM/PMH 11752. [see: Flag of the Croatian Kingdom 1830].
2. Corronation flag of the Kingdom of Slavonia, 1867. silk damast, pozamantery, painting size 80 x 120 cm. - Cavalry flag on both sides ornamented in golden paint. Obverse: in the middle of the flag field a crowned coat of arms of Slavonia and above it inscription "SLAVONIAE". Border ornamented. Reverse: "FRANCISCVS JOSEPHVS I. / IN REGEM HVNGARIAE CORONATVS / BUDAE PESTINI / DIE VIII. IVNII. / MDCCCLXVII." HPM/PMH 32446. The delegation of the Croatian palrilament was not present on the corronation in [Buda]Pest in 1867."
The flag with number HPM/PMH 11752 was published on a phone card issued by Croatian telecom.
Zeljko Heimer, 9 June 2001

Flag of the Croatian Kingdom (1830)

by Zeljko Heimer, 9 June 2001

This is, so called corronation flag of the Kingdom of Croatia, used in occasion of corronation of the Austrian emperor Ferdinand V for Croato-Hungarian king in Bratislava 28-SEP-1830. Such flags were used on corronations representing each of the realms. The high representatives of the realms would carry such flags together with other regalia.
Zeljko Heimer, 16 March 2000

Coronation flag from 1830 coronation of Ferdinand V (know as Ferdinand I of Austria). Also there is a a scan from the phone card showing the same flag. The damasqued silk used for the flag field look the flag even more rich then it looks on my image. I believe that by changing the shield of the CoA and the inscription above it would yeald all the flags present at the ceremony. Now we only have to get the list of countries that were represented. From the Hungarian site that incited this discussion we learn that there were flags of Hungary, Kumania and Bulgaria. If I am counting rightly, there seems to be 10 flags shown on verious images shown on that site. Unfortunately, the scans are too small to identify details.
Zeljko Heimer, 9 June 2001

Flag of Governor Franje Vlasica (1832)

Before 1848, when tricolours were introduced, the main flags representing Croatia were the inaugurational flags of bans. Since originally ban was a military commander of Croatian kingdom, the flags were cavalry guidons as used at the time - red and swallow tailed. The image on a phone card shows a detail from the center of the flag reverse. The obverse had Vlasic family CoA in this place. The flag is semee of "tulips" which are also visible on the card. Ban Vlasic was inaugurated in 1832, and this must be the inaugutrational flag. The museum cataloge clearly date it 1832, and it is unknown why the card call it "first half of 19th century" (that is what "prva Polovica XIX" means).
Zeljko Heimer , 16 March 2000

Flag from the time of Croatian National Rebirth (1842)

It is a flag from the time of the Croatian national rebirth. It is a square flag. On obvers there is the "Illirian" CoA Gules, a crscent and mullet Argent, while on reverse the Coat of Arms is Croatian chequy 4x5 Gules and Argent. It is unclear what was the flag's purpose (maybe decorative)
Zeljko Heimer, 16 March 2000