Last modified: 2003-08-21 by
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During the funeral of the Croatian president Tudjman, there was chance to see the procedure for folding of the Croatian flag. To the best of my knowlage, this proceidure is followed only in the most solemn occasions (only other occasion it was done that I am aware of is the funeral of Defence Minister Susak, last year). I guess that the custom is, more or less "imported" from US - the folded flag is given to the nearest of kin (Tudjman's wife, Susak's youngest grandson). I describe the proceidure as best I have managed to gather it.
The flag is taken down from the flag pole followed by the tunes of the national anthem. As the flag is lowered so that it is within the reach of man, the two of the flag guard prevents it from touching the ground, and as it is lowered more, they give the fly end further "backwards" to next two guards. There are eight flag guards alltogether. When the entire flag is lowered, and detached from the halyard, it is held horizontally, with obverse on the top, four guards holding it allong each longe edge.
The folding starts with upper third of flag (red stripe) being fliped allong its edge with the white stripe, (view from top),
followed by folding of the blue stripe over it
The hoist and fly edges are then simultaneously "triangulated" by the outermost two pair of the guards - the white stripe showes now in the top view
The triangles are repeatedly folded three more times
After the second fold of this three, the outermost pair of the guards leaves the flag, and step backwards, leaving the inner four guards to finish it. The last fold of thos three results in a white lozenge with parts of the cheques showing on top.
The "trangles" are now halved by folding the "white" points to the "chequy" ones, gaining the square.
The crucial fold is now made by vertical axis. It is not a simple fold now, since the "white" points from previous step are now to be "interwoven" preventing the folded flag to unfold. This is not easy to describe (nor to draw), but it is fairly logical when one have real flag infront of him. The result is the triangle of chequy pattern
The flags folded in the two mentioned cases were bot measuring 1.5 x 3 m (one of the standard sizes here), therefore resulting in the triangle with long side measuring 0.5 m.
Images and text by Zeljko Heimer, 21 December 1999