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Croatia: Obsolete naval flags

Last modified: 2014-03-01 by ivan sache
Keywords: commander in chief of the navy | chief of the general staff | anchors: 2 (yellow) | wattle (yellow) |
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Obsolete naval flags

In 2004, I had a chance to visit one of the ships of the Croatian Navy and the captain was kind enough to let me take a peek at the ships flag cabinet.
This was five years after the official adoption of the current naval rank flags, however the ships were at that time not yet fully equipped with all the flags prescribed in the 1999 regulations, due to the cost, as I was explained. However, all the flags were supposedly manufactured at the time and given out when the visits of high dignitaries were expected, as appropriate. The ship, of course, was equipped with the flags of the International Code of Signals, and to it there were several national flags, naval ensigns and naval jacks, as flags more or less regularly needed and used). In addition there was the flag of the President of the Republic.

There were also three flags of pre-1999 origin, the former naval ensign and jack and the two flags described below on this page.
To the best of my knowledges, these three flags were not regulated by any published Regulation, although there may be some internal Order which established them. It is my impression that they were manufactured as they were needed, especially the last one which might have been an ad hoc solution made in preparation for the visit of the Chief of the General Staff.

Željko Heimer, 1 October 2007

Commander-in-Chief of the Navy

[Commander-in-Chief of the Navy]

Former flag of the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy - Image by Željko Heimer, 1 October 2007

This flag is a "variation" of the current flag of the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy, blue with a white inner border with the naval cap badge consisting of the coat of arms, in the "curly" shield version, in front of two yellow anchors in saltire and surrounded with a yellow wreath of leaves.
Unlike the flag adopted in 1999, this one has 2:3 proportions; there are also some minor differences in the artwork, notably, a dark yellow outline of the wreath elements. This was, no doubt, used as the flag of the Commander of the Navy, as is its modern square version currently.

In the office of the Commander of the Navy that I visited on the same occasion, this flag was hoisted indoors, together with the Croatian national flag and the flag of the Navy (the naval jack), all in proportionns 1:2.

Željko Heimer, 1 October 2007

Chief of the General Staff


Former flag of the Chief of the General Staff - Image by Željko Heimer, 1 October 2007

The third flag was a green flag with the yellow depiction of a General's rank insignia painted in yellow. I was explained that the flag was used "some years ago", which might have been around 1997, when the Chief of the General Staff (CGS) was visiting the ship. At that time the CGS was holding the rank of General zbora, at the time shown by three pips and three stripes of triple wattle, of which the middle one is thinner (according to Decision Odluka o oznakama cinova i dužnosti u oružanim snagama Republike Hrvatske [text], adopted on 12 May 1995 and published on 9 June 1995 in the Croatian official gazette Narodne novine, No. 39). In spite of three pips, the rank is equivalent to 4-star General, as it was also equivalent to the rank of full Admiral in the Navy. This rank was given 4 pips in 1999 regulations, by which the ranks were made more similar to the NATO system.

The pips are squarish wattle ornaments based on a design found on an ancient Croatian relief from the church of Sveta Nedjeljica (St. Domenica) in Zadar, from the 11th century. The triple wattle, which is a traditional Croatian ornament, is also found on the same relief.

Željko Heimer, 1 October 2007