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Zagreb - Historical Flags (Croatia)

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Zagreb XVIII century

by Zeljko Heimer

The flag of Zagreb from XVIII century that is preserved in the Zagreb City Museum is red vertical banner with golden embroidered stylisation of the civic coat of arms.
In the exhibition catalogue "Flags", 1996, p. 26, Jelena Borosak-Marjanovic writes: "The first mention of the flag of the city of Zagreb is connected with the descriptions of the civic government from 15th century (1422) by I. K. Tkalcic in the Historical monuments of the Free and Royal City of Zagreb, on page L: The civic flag vexillum communis - it is the flag of the municipality under which, in ceremonies is gathered civic council. It was hoisted as a sign in time of armed conflicts on a belfry of the church of St. Mark. It was coloured red, but regarding the design we can only guess."
Zeljko Heimer

Flag of the Zagreb Chapter 1753

From: Croatian History Museum site by courtesy of Jelena Borosak Marijanovic.
Bigger image at: :

"Flag of the Zagreb Chapter 1753, made to welcome Maria Theresa on her visit to Zagreb
Multicoloured silk, appliques, wood, gilt bronze
244 x 244 cm, staff length 344 cm, finial 27 x 10 cm

A rectangular flag made of three parts of blue silk, edged with interchanging white and red flame-like shapes. In the centre of the flag field on both sides there is an iconographic depiction of the Immaculate Virgin."
J. Borosak-Marijanovic, Zastave kroz stoljeca, Zagreb, 1996, catalogue number 10, page 98.

Just a few notes. Until the beggining of 17th century (or so), Zagreb was actually formed by two seperate towns on two hills - "civilian" city known as Gric< or Gradec, and "church" city on nearby hill Kaptol (i.e. Chapter). The mideval towns where officially separate, with different municipal rights, until merging de facto some time in 16th century, and latter officially too.
Anyway, this flag is the flag of the "church" city of Kaptol formed around archbishops palace, but it is unclear to me if it is supposed to represent the city or church government (or something) of it.
However be it, another thought might be asked - is it coincidence that the colours chose for the flag are red, white and blue? If it is not, it would be one of the oldest Croatian tricolour existing. But this is pure speculation, and Mrs. Borosak-Marijanovic in her book doesn't give a clue for any such connection.
Zeljko Heimer , 28 September 1999

Zagreb (Agram) Flag, 1832

by Zeljko Heimer

On the reverse of this flag preserved in Croatian Historical Museum there is an image of St. George slaying the dragon in place of the shield. Under it is the inscription: 'MDCCCXXXII.', the year (1832) when the flag was, presumably, made. This is probably a flag of a banderium (military unit). Adopted: after 1759.
The County of Zagreb is formed on 17-JUL-1759, when the empress and queen Maria Theresia granted the coat of arms, basically the same as used in current County, in a golden baroque cartouche and with a golden crown. Historical County of Zagreb was much larger then the current one, mainly including the areas of current counties of Karlovac and Sisak-Moslavina.
Source: Jelena Borošak-Marjanović: “Zastave kroz stoljeća, zbirka zastava i zastavnih vrpca Hrvatskog povjesnog muzeja”, Hrvatski povjesni muzej, Zagreb, 1996.
Zeljko Heimer

Flag of the Zagreb National Guard, 1848

by Zeljko Heimer

Ratio: 3:4~
Use: flag of the Zagreb national guard, 1848
Reverse: on the two flags of the same basic layout in Croatian Historical Museum, the cartuche on the reverse is painted 1) Madonna with child; 2) owl, book, hive as symbols of wisdom, erudition and knowlage.
Inscription: embroidery 1) Obverse Za ustav i narodnu slobodu (For constitution and national freedom), Reverse Za bratinstvo slavjansko (For Slavic barotherhood); 2) Obverse Za Slavjanstvo (For Slavicness), Reverse Za Slobodu (For freedom)
Fringe: golden, all edges except hoist (not completely preserved)
Streamer: tricolour, with embroideried ornaments and inscriptions.
Zeljko Heimer from FAME

The fist croatian tricolours were used by military units organized in Zagreb area during 1848 unrests. Several flags of this patter are preserved, differing somewhat in the details of picture in the cartuche. The obvers is always the COA of the "tripple kingdom", on reverse are some alegorical picutres. In the case of the flag on the card, on reverse is Madonna with child. On an other flag there is a picture containing a bee-hive, books and owl (for laboriousness, knowlege and wisdom). In the red stripe there are broideried mottoes, different on each side. On the two mentioed flags the mottoes say: "For the Slavicness", "For the Freedom", "For the Constitution and People's Freedom", "For the Slavic Brotherhood".
This one is also available on my page mantioned above.
Zeljko Heimer , 13 March 2000

Zagreb 1945-1990

by Zeljko Heimer

In socialist years, the flag was used with a red star over the shield, or in the upper hoist position. Of course, the star was removed in 1990.
Zeljko Heimer, 18 March 1996