Last modified: 2011-08-20 by ivan sache
Keywords: croatia | stojic (mladen) |
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The Republic of Croatia is divided since 1 January 1997 in 20 counties (županija) and the the Town of Zagreb (not part of the Zagreb County). Counties are divided into Towns (grad) and Municipalities (općina). In 2006, there were 127 towns and 429 municipalities in Croatia.
The local symbols are prescribed by Article 9 of the Law on local Self-government and Administration, adopted on 29 December 1992, as follows.
The municipalities, towns and counties can have a coat of arms and a flag, to be approved by the central state administrative body that is competent for local self-governement matters.
The coat-of-arms should be described in accordance with the rules of heraldry and displayed in a special document of which one copy shall be kept in the National Archives.
The representative body of the local self-government unit can approve the usage of the coat of arms by natural persons and legal entities, if it decides that this is in the interest of the municipality, town or county.
The central state administrative body competent for local self-government matters can withhold the approval as per Paragraph 1 of this Article only if the contents of the coat of arms do not match the historical or real state of affairs or if the coat of arms insufficiently differs from the coat of arms of another local self-government unit, while a flag can be rejected only for reasons of public consideration with regard to its contents or its colour symbol.
The symbols are precribed in more detail in Pravilnik o postupku davanja odobrenja grba i zastave jedinici lokalne samouprave (text) - Regulation on the Procedure for Confirmation of the Coat of Arms and the Flag of a local Self-government Unit -, issued by the Ministry of Administration and published on 10 July 1998 in the Croatian official gazette, No. 94.
The coat of arms of a unit of local self-government [county, town or municipality] should be designed according to the rules of heraldry. A coat of arms consists of a shield and its contents. The coat of arms of a unit of local self-government should not contain the State coat of arms or a part of it. A unit of local self-government, as a rule, takes its historical coat of arms with the shield and its contents. Article 3.
The heraldic colours should be used when designing a flag: White, blue, yellow, red and green*. A county shall use for the design of its flag, as a rule, two colours, and a town and a maunicipality shall use, as a rule, one colour. On the flag of a county there should be the coat of arms of the county, on the flag of a town there should be the coat of arms of the town, and on the flag of a municipality there should be the coat of arms of the municipality. The coat of arms shall be placed in the middle of the flag or in hoist position. The proportions of the flag should be 1:2. Article 4.
A unit of local self-government should apply for confirmation of its coat of arms and flag at the Ministry of Administration.
* Black is not listed among the accepted colors. An obvious reason for this might be the association of the black color with mourning. There might be other reasons, though: black flags are associated with anarchism, or they are locally connected with extreme-right movements from the Second World War ( (for instance, Četniks; Ustaša often used black, too, although not on flags). There might be other theories, also, but a fact remains: black is banned from the local Croatian flags.
Several counties, towns and municipalities changed their flag, soon after their local adoption by, after they had not been confirmed by the Ministry of Administration. After minor changes, new, improved flags were adopted.
Željko Heimer & Pascal Vagnat, 4 June 2000
In a lecture (report) organized by HGZD (Croatian Heraldic and Vexillologic Association), Pr. Josip Kolanović presented the coat of arms and flags of the units of local self-government (counties, towns and municipalities; hereafter referret to as ULS) in Croatia. Pr. Kolanovic has been the Head of the Croatian State Archives since 1991 and a member of the Government Commission for approval of coat of arms and flags of ULS in the Ministry of Administration since its establishment, on his initiative, in 1994, until his retirement in 2003.
Until the end of September 2007 the Commission (today within the Central State Office for Administration) approved the coat of arms and flags of all the twenty counties, of 93 towns (out of 127) and of 262 municipalities (out of 429). Accordingly, 375 out of 576 ULS (c. 65%) have had their symbols approved.
There are more flags in use than those approved, and there are yet a dozen flags that we know are in use, but their design could hardly fit the approval criteria.
We know from various sources that the heraldic company from Rijeka Heraldic Art d.o.o. and its director Mladen Stojić are the designer of the majority of the modern Croatian local coat of arms and flags. Four posters made in 2006 by Mladen Stojić (Official coat of arms designs approved by the Ministry of Administration based on a positive evaluation from the Commission for approval of coats of arms and flags - Likovna rješenja službenih grbova odobrena od
Ministarstva uprave a na temelju pozitivne ocjene od Povjerenstva
za odobrenje grba i zastave) include together 160 coat of arms, most
probably the majority of Stojić's approved designs at the time.
It is fairly obvious that he is the desginer of at least 50% of the approved coat of arms and flag designs.
In several cases the drawing included on the posters is not the finally adopted design, being a proposal that got far into the adoption process. There are also a few cases where I suspect that Stojić's design was adopted and approved, but eventually the unti decided to appoint another artist for a slight redesign - usually heraldically insignificant - and this being now used - probably without Stojić's knowledge.
Željko Heimer, 23 May 2008