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Vodnjan (Istria County, Croatia)

Grad Vodnjan, Dignano

Last modified: 2004-03-06 by
Keywords: istria | vodnjan | croatia | dignano |
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[Flag of Vodnjan]
by Zeljko Heimer

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Yellow flag with coat of arms - white shield with red cross, bordered black. I am not quite sure if black lines are part of the design, but they were so prominent on the flag I saw that I added them in my image, too. Althought the flag maybe doesn't look special as drawn, I can tell you it is very good sight to see it flying. It make good contrast with stone houses and green mediterrainean vegetation. Vodnjan is community in southern central Istria, withous sea access (and therfore not so turistically exponated). However, it was one rather important place, before port of Pula was heavily build by Austria-Hungary. As it is usual in Istrian places with considerable amount of Italian population, in Vodnjan (or Dignano in Italian) is displayied Italian flag too. The proper arrangement is in the middle the Croatian flag, to observers left the community flag and to observers right Italian flag.
Zeljko Heimer, 2 August 1997

The community of Vodnjan (Dignano) has Argent a cross Gules, coat of arms in shape very similar to the one of Pula. On flag it is outlined in black on yellow field. The coat of arms of Vodnjan is not unlike several other Istrian cities and towns. The flag is yellow with the coat of arms in the middle.
Zeljko Heimer, 1 March 1999

In 2003 Vodnjan status was rised from a community to a city. Also, as recently the county flag was adopted, in the  proper display order of flags in Vodnjan is added the county flag to the observer's right, so the left to right order is: Croatian, Vodnjan, Italian, Istria; as could be seen on the photo fo the city hall at <>.
The ceremonial flag is shown on a photo in an article in "Nacional" political magazine issued on 14.07.1999. The flag is partly obscured by the mayor and the vice-mayor, so the text is not entirely legible, nor all the tails are entirely visible, but I believe that my reconstruction can't be that much wrong.
The ceremonial flag is a yellow gonfalon with the coat of arms in the middle, topped with a mural crown and surrounded with an olive and an oak branch tied with a light blue ribbon. The name of the community is inscribed in two arched lines below in Croatian and Italian: "OPCINA VODNJAN/COMUNE DI DIGNANO". Probably when the community was was granted a city status the inscription was to be corrected (but weather this was actually performed is not known). Possibly the time was yet too short for that...
Zeljko Heimer, 28 Febuary 2004

Dignano is still the Italian name of the city, since the city is bilingual, it uses Croatian and Italian languages as equal. The Croatian name has a distinct clearly recognizable root 'voda' meaning water, i.e. presumably the city had good acess to water fo some kind. I believe that Dignano is "italization" of the name usig "sounds-like" principle, which is used very much in Istria otherwise. Weather the Italian name has some meaning, I could not say, also I am unaware which of the two is older.
At <> there is a story on the name that I translate with some shortening: "The Ancient Romans defeated Histrians and setteled here in 2nd century BC. About this time the territory of Vodnjan was given for keeping to some Attinivs, so the place was known soon as VICUS ATTINIANUM, that gave probably ADIGNANI and latter DIGNANO. The local Croatian folk provided the Croatian transcription with expressions of direction 'in Dignano'... va Dinjane, va Vodnjane, and finally Vodnjan."
The same page include an earlier photo of the city hall with three flags only, observer's left to right: Vodnanj, Croatian, Italian.
Zeljko Heimer, 29 Febuary 2004

Ceremonial Flag

by Zeljko Heimer, 28 Febuary 2004

Coat of Arms

by Zeljko Heimer