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Žiri (Municipality, Slovenia)

Last modified: 2011-03-18 by ivan sache
Keywords: ziri | beechnuts: 3 (yellow) | wave (white) | dragon (yellow) | lintvern | proteus | olm |
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[Flag of Ziri]         [Vertical flag of Ziri]

Municipal flag of Žiri, horizontal and vertical versions - Images by Željko Heimer, 22 October 2002

See also:

Presentation of Žiri

The municipality of Žiri was formed in 1995. Altough a small town, Žiri is a large industrial center. Not only the widely known sportswear factory is situated there (Alpina, known mainly for the ski shoes), but other as well.

Željko Heimer, 12 April 2000

Municipal flag of Žiri

The flag and arms of Žiri are prescribed by Decision Odlok o istovetnosti simbolih Občine Žiri, adopted on 6 December 2000 and published in the official Slovene gazette Uradni list Republike Slovenije, 26/2001.
The Decision was superseded by Odlok o istovetnostnih simbolih in priznanjih Občine Žiri (text), adopted on 1 June 2006 and published on 13 June 2006 in Uradni list Republike Slovenije, 61/2006, amended by Odlok o spremembi Odloka o istovetnostnih simbolih in priznanjih Občine Žiri (text), adopted on 6 May 2010 and published on 11 June 2010 in Uradni list Republike Slovenije, 47/2010.

The symbols were designed by Valt Jurečič of Heraldika d.o.o. and Heraldica Slovenica, who kindly provided drawings from which the images shown on this page were made.

The flag is rectangular, in proportions 2:5, with a blue square hoist part containing the three yellow beechnuts from the coat of arms and a fly end horizontally divided yellow-blue-yellow.

The attachement to the Decision gives the following colour specifications:
- Yellow: Pantone Yellow;
- Dark yellow: Pantone 116;
- Green: Pantone 355;
- Blue: Pantone 293;
- Red: Pantone 185;
- Black: Pantone Black.

Željko Heimer, 27 June 2010

Coat of arms of Žiri

[Coat of arms of Ziri]

Coat of arms of Žiri - Image by Željko Heimer, 22 October 2002

The coat of arms of Žiri is "Per fess wavy argent, in chief vert three beechnuts or and in base azure a lintvern or".
The lintvern is a kind of a dragon connected to the earthquake legends. The beechnuts (in Slovene, žiri) recall the name of the municipality.

In 1997 the municipality organized a referendum to decide on the municipal holyday and symbols, the call for referendum being issued as Odlok o razpisu zakonodajnega referenduma o dolocitvi praznika Občine Žiriin dolocitvi njenih simbolov, adopted on 22 October 1997 and published on 30 October 1997 in Uradni list Republike Slovenije, 67/1997.
Scheduled for 23 November 1997, the referendum included the description of the proposed coat of arms as "A blue lintvern on a silver field holding in paws a beech branch with a beechnut and two beech leaves.

There is no mention of a flag in the referendum call.

Željko Heimer, 22 October 2002

The lintvern is involved in the Legend of Žiri, recalled by Jošt Poljanšek and Simon Jereb, as follows:

Lintvern lived here. From time to time he came out of the hill to freighten people. The dragon was a princess. If you pick up the most beautiful flower on the highest hill, the dragon will change into a beautiful princess.

According to the website of the Lausanne Zoology Museum (Switzerland), the lintvern must indeed be the proteus, aka olm, depicted on the municipal flag and arms of Postojna.
The story tells that the head of the post office of Vrhnika once went on trout fishing in the source of the Lintvern river (located today in the municipality of Logatec, photo). The source was famous for its very irregular flow, swiftly increasing from a few to more than one thousand liters per second without any "natural" cause. Local people claimed that the source was supplied in water by an undergroud lake inhabited by a dragon; when the dragon frisked, the lake overflew and water gushed fourth in the surface. Modern hydrologists call this a karstic intermittent source. Eager to catch trouts, the Vrhnika postman removed a few rocks to increase the source flow and was rewarded with the discovery of a baby dragon, that is an olm.

Darren Nash recalls that the legend of the baby dragons from Lintvern was peddled by Valvasor in his famous compilation, The Glory of the Duchy of Carniola (1689). Valvasor made the incorrect assumption (wise, but too good to be true!) that the name Lintvern was related with the German word Lindwurm, "a dragon". Later on, the Italian naturalist Giovanni Antonio Scopoli (1723-1788) captured live olms in Idrija; the Austrian naturalist Josephus Nicolaus Laurenti (1735-1805), considered as the founder of herpetology (reptilia science), named the beast Proteus anguinus in 1768.
The Ljubljana dragon may also be related with the olm; it was "originally" captured by Jason in the marshes spreading between Vrhnika and Ljubljana.

Ivan Sache, 9 October 2010