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Croatia - Naval Flags - Legislation

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Legislation

Croatia adopted naval ensign and jack, series of rank flags for military and high government officials, and number of pennants (some two dozen flags).
It was issued in the official gazette of 13 October1999, efective with that date . The text of gazette is available at <www.NN.HR/1754.htm> and <www.NN.HR/1755.htm>. The first being the law on those flags (including some very rough images of the flags) and the other one is regulation signed by defence minister on their use.
Here is the translation of the text From "Narodne novine", nr. 105/99, 13.10.1999. (Act nr. 1754):
"The President of the Republic of Croatia Based on the article 100 line 1 of the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia and the article 63 line 2 of the Law on Defence (Narodne novine nr. 74/93 and 57/96), I make the DECISION on naval, command and rank flags and pennants on the naval ships of the Republic of Croatia

I. This Decision establishes the naval, command and rank flags and pennants on the naval ships of the Republic of Croatia.

II. The naval flags of the naval ships of the Republic of Croatia are:

III. The command flags of the naval ships of the Republic of Croatia are:

IV.The command pennants of the naval ships of the Republic of Croatia
are:

V. The rank flags of the naval ships of the Republic of Croatia are:

VI. The Defence Minster of the Republic of Croatia is entitled to prescribe the Rules on technical manufacturing conditions, procedures and manners of rising and hoisting of the flags and pennants on the naval ships of the Republic of Croatia defined by this Decision.

VII. Graphical layout of the naval, command and rank flags and pennants defined by this Decision is in the attachment to this Decision and forms its integral part.

VIII. This Decision is effective by the day of its issuing in Narodne novine. Nr: 01-04-99-361/2-A19

Zagreb, 18th August 1999.

President of the Republic and the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces
Vrhovnik dr. Franjo Tudjman, m.p.

[captions to the images attached to the Decision:]

[Modes of equipping of the rank and command flags and pennants of all sizes, and of the naval flags of sizes 2 though 5. The naval flags of the site 1 are equipped with a string [phy] = 6 mm. [showing the hoist heading of 2 cm, a string of phy=4 mm, length 20..30 cm on lower end and eye of 3 cm at upper end ]

Here is translation from the text From "Narodne novine", nr. 105/99, 13.10.1999. (Act nr. 1755)

The Ministry of Defence Based on the article 22 line 4 the Law on Defence (Narodne novine nr. 74/93 - updated text and 57/96), and point VI. of the Decision on naval, command and rank flags and pennants on the naval ships of the Republic of Croatia, nr 01-04-99-361/2-A19 of 18th August 1999, I issue the                              

RULES
               on technical manufacturing conditions,
           procedures and manners of rising and hoisting
            of the flags and pennants on the naval ships
                     of the Republic of Croatia

                    I. General Decision

Article 1.

This Rules determine the procedures and manners of rising and hoisting of the naval, command and rank flags and pennants on the naval ships of the Republic of Croatia, and technical conditions of their production.

                          II. Naval flags

Article 2.

The naval ships of the Republic of Croatia (further on: RH) hoist the ensign on the stern ensign staff, i.e. on the stern mast. The motor vessels and oar vessels hoist the ensign on the ensign staff.
The sail vessels hoist the ensign on well visible place on the stern end of the ship.

Article 3.

The ensign should be rised to the top of the staff or the mast. The ensign is hoisted on half staff according the Rules of the Service and Rules of the Conduct of the Armed Force of the Republic of Croatia.

Article 4.

The naval ships hoist the ensign though the whole time of the duration of the navigation and during the battle on sea.If the ensign is destroyed or detached during the navigation or the battle, another ensign should be hoisted on its place or some other appropriate place on the stern end of the ship.

Article 5.

Docked or anchored naval ships of RH hoist the ensign from 8 oclock AM to sundown. The docked or anchored naval ships of RH hoist the ensign after sundown only when it is necessarily to show the nationality of the ship.

Article 6.

On a vessel that belongs to a ship, the ensign is hoisted only when the vessel is navigating, as well as in cases when the ship to which the vessel belongs is hoisting the jack.On a vessel that do not belong to a ship the ensign is hoisted when the vessel is navigating, as well as on holidays and in cases when other naval ships of RH are hoisting the jack.

Article 7.

The naval ships of RH are hoisting the jack on the jack staff. The naval ships of RH are hoisting the jack on holidays and in ceremonial occasions. Throughout the duration of a naval ship of RH being in a foreign port, the jack is hoisted daily.

Article 8.

When the naval ships of RH hoist the jack daily, it is risen and lowered in the same manner as the ensign. When the jack is hoisted during the ceremonial occasions, it is risen and lowered independently from the ensign and without special onboard ceremony.

Article 9.

The naval flags are manufactured so that the ratio of the flag length and width is one and a half to one, in following sizes:
1. 3.75 m x 2.50 m;
2. 2.10 m x 1.40 m;
3. 1.20 m x 0.80 m;
4. 0.75 m x 0.50 m.

                        III. Command flags

Article 10.

A command flag is hoisted on a naval ship of RH when a person or an officer of the appropriate rank is on board.The command flag is hoisted on the main mast.

Article 11.

A command flag of certain person is risen when that person is boarding the naval ship of RH, and lowered when he boards out. If a person, that is permanently boarded on the ship hoisting his command flag, is boarding an other ship, the ship on which the person was boarded lowers the command flag of that person, while the ship on which the person is boarding is rising it.

Article 12.

If there are in the same time on the ship boarded several persons with right to a command flag, the ship is hoisting only the flag of the most senior commander.

Article 13.

The command flags are manufactured so that the ratio of the flag length to width is one to one.
The command flags are made in following sizes:
1. 1.50 m x 1.50 m;
2. 1.00 m x 1.00 m;
3. 0.50 m x 0.50 m.

                        IV. Command pennants

Article 14.

The command pennants on the naval ships of RH are hoisted on the stern mast (mizzenmast) , or main mast if the ship have no stern mast (mizzenmast) .The command pennant of the senior commander of a ship on docking is hoisted on right [starboard ] outer side of the lower cross of the main mast.

[A clarification of terminology.  I said that "stern mast" is normally "mizzenmast" in English.  Actually, that's true only if the ship has three or more masts.  If there are only two, they are named the fore and the main.  In prescribing where flags are to be hoisted, US Navy Regulations refer to what you call the "stern mast" as the "aftermost mast." - Joseph McMillan]

Article 15.

A command pennant is risen when a commander of the appropriate rank is boarding the naval ship of RH, and it is lowered when he boards out.When there are boarded more then one persons, i.e. officers with right to hoist a command pennant, the ship hoists only the command pennant of the senior commander present.When there is on a ship a person with right to hoist a command flag, and a person with right to hoist a command pennant, the ship hoists only the command flag.

Article 16.

The command pennant of the senior commander of a ship on docking is hoisted permanently on the ship that have boarded the senior commander on the docking and when there is hoisted an other command flag or pennant.When the ship that hoists the pennant of the senior commander on docking while sailing out is [untied off the dock !!], the pennant of the senior commander on docking is lowered, while in the same time the ship of the next ranking commander or a commander determined by an order is rising it.When the ship of a senior commander is ports into docking his ship rises the senior commander pennant as soon as she [ties to the dock !!], while the ship that were hoisting the senior commanders pennant until then is lowering it.

[This seems like a complicated way of saying that the senior officer pennant is displayed only when not under way - Joseph McMillan

What the paragraph tries to explain (I guess), is the exact procedure when it is hoisted up and down to more details, so that there would be no misunderstandings. What I miss above is the expression for the moment when the ship is untied from the "coast" and began to float freely, in Croatian it is said literary "to leave the link". Similarly few lines latter there is exactly opposite expression ("to catch the link")
. - Zeljko Heimer

Well I would use "cast off" for the moment the ships lines are untied from the dock. Similarly I would use "tie up" for the opposite. If the ships are anchored the terms are "up anchor" and "drop anchor". So the paragraph could read:

"When the ship wearing the "Senior Commander" pennant casts off, or ups anchor, that pennant is lowered. At the same time the ship of the next ranking commander, or a commander determined by an order, raises the "Senior Commander" pennant. [I assume this refers to the next ranking commander who is not leaving on the same tide, otherwise you could end up with a farcical raising and lowering of flags as each ship leaves in turn!]

When the ship of a more senior commander ties up in port, or drops anchor, it immediately hoist the "Senior Commander" pennant and the ship that was flying the pennant lowers it.

This is more in the nature of a translation for meaning that a literal translation. -
Graham Bartram

I think that the simplest expression is, "under way", and "not under way".
This avoids the problem of whether a ship is, anchored, moored, along-side, tied-up, etc.
- David Prothero]

Article 17.

A commander of a naval unit may hoist his pennant only on ships of his unit, and a commander of a ship may hoist it only on the ship under his command.

Article 18.

The command pennant of a commander of a naval ships fleet, the command pennant of a commander of a naval ships brigade, the command pennant of a commander of a naval ships division, the command pennant of a commander of a naval ships group and the command pennant of the senior commander of a ship on docking or harbor, except the command pennant of a commander of a ship, are manufactured so that the ratio of the base of the pennant against its width is one to two.The command pennants from the previous line, except the command
pennant of a commander of a ship, are made in following sizes:
1. 1.80 m x 0.90 m;
2. 1.20 m x 0.60 m;
3. 0.60 m x 0.30 m.

Article 19.

The command pennant of a commander of a ship is manufactured so that the ratio of the base of the pennant against its width is one to ten.The command pennant of a commander of a ship is made in following sizes:
1. 3.00 m x 0.30 m;
2. 2.00 m x 0.20 m;
3. 1.00 m x 0.10 m.

                           V. Rank flags

Article 20.

The rank flags on the naval ships of RH are hoisted on the main mast. A rank flag is risen when a person of the appropriate rank boards the naval ship, and it is lowered when he boards out.

Article 21.

If there are on a ship in the same time several persons with right to hoist a rank flag, the ship hoists only the rank flag of the person with highest rank.

Article 22.

The rank flags are manufactured so that the ratio of the length agaist its width is one to one. The rank flags are made in following sizes:
1. 1.50 m x 1.50 m;
2. 1.00 m x 1.00 m;
3. 0.50 m x 0.50 m.

                        VI. Final decisions

Article 23.

A person with right to hoist an appropriate command of rank flag on a naval ship of RH maintains that right on a vessel.

Article 24.

The command and rank flags and pennants of military and civil representatives of foreign states that are on board of a naval ship of RH are hoisted in honor of the foreign representatives is they have them. When there is on a naval ship of RH a chief of a foreign state, the naval ship of RH hoists the flag of the foreign chief of state according to the rules that are valid for hoisting of the flag of the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Croatia [OS RH].
When there is on a naval ship, together with the Supreme Commander of the OS RH, a chief of a foreign state, the naval ship of RH hoists simultaneously the flags of the Supreme Commander of OS RH and the foreign chief of state, so that the flag of the foreign chief is to the right [starboard ] of the flag of the Supreme Commander of OS RH.

Article 25.

The command and rank flags and pennants determined by the Decision of the President of the Republic and by this Rules can not be hoisted in honor of foreign military and civil representatives when they are on board of naval ships of RH.

Article 26.

Except by the naval ships of RH, the naval, command and rank flags and pennants are hoisted also by enlisted (reserve) ships when they are incorporated in OS RH in peacetime and in war.

Article 27.

The naval, command and rank flags and pennants are manufactured from the best materials and they are equipped with a flag string.

Article 28.

This Rules are effective with the day of issue in Narodne novine.

Nr: 512-01-99-1352
Zagreb, 8th September 1999.

        Minister
Pavao Miljavac, m. p.

Contributed and translated by Zeljko Heimer, 24 October 1999

Comments by : Joseph McMillan, David Prothero and Graham Bartram


All these flags adopted by the recent acts are authorized only for use on the naval vesels - i.e. no table flags, car flags etc. I would not be surprised to find out that they exists sometime soon, but they are not authorized here.
Zeljko Heimer, 29 October 1999


Flag Hoisting After a Sucsessful Rescue

Few days ago I've been reading some regulations regarding the conduct on the naval vessels of the Croatian Navy trying to find anything connected with flags and flag usage customs. I have not find much reference, but there is one that I was unaware of. I suspect that such practice is not Croatian specific.
So, in regulations regarding the procedures connected with rescue of the men overboard from the sea, the rescue boat is required to hoist the flag (ensign, I guess, but there is no difference in the word here in Croatia) at the stern at the moment of a sucsessful rescue, no matter what other flag hoisting regulations and weather and other conditions require or do not require for a flag to be hoisted.
It is my guess that such flag hoisting is used as a signal to anyone wathich the rescue operation (and I guess there would be many eyes doing so), transfering message of the sucsess the fastest possible way. It may also have something to do with symbolizing the "victory" over the natural forces.
Note - This is about the rescue boat that is engaged in the rescue operation and not the "mothership". In the time of such operation, the mothership is no dbout to follow the international regualtions and customs regarding flags hoisting (including the "O" signal).
Zeljko Heimer, 8 October 2000


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