Croatia Flag Colors, Meaning & History

Croatia flag
Color Palette
Red#C8102E200, 16, 460, 92, 77, 22
White#FFFFFF255, 255, 2550, 0, 0, 0
Blue#0014890, 20, 137100, 85, 0, 46
Sky Blue#00A3E00, 163, 224100, 27, 0, 12
Yellow#F9D700249, 215, 00, 14, 100, 2

The Flag of Croatia is a tricolor flag made of three equal horizontal bands, arranged as red on the top, white in the middle, and blue at the bottom of the flag. In the center, the coat of arms of Croatia is superimposed. The coat of arms is a shield with a checkerboard of thirteen red and twelve white squares, with five smaller shields placed on the top of the checker shield that is formed in the shape of a crown. In the first one, there is a golden morning star and a crescent moon. The second shield has a blue background with two red bands. The third shield features three lion heads. The fourth one displays a golden goat with red horns and hoofs. The fifth shield shows a golden morning star and two white lines. In the center of the shield is displayed a marten, an animal that lived in ancient Croatia.

Meaning of the Croatian Flag

Although the exact interpretation of the colors of the Croatian flag is not agreed upon, there is still a common meaning for these colors. The red color stands for the kingdom of Croatia, while the white color represents the kingdom of Slavonia. The blue color represents the kingdom of Dalmatia. These three kingdoms represent the historic states of Croatia. The checkerboard shield is the national emblem of Croatia. The crown on the top of the shield consists of other smaller shields representing Croatian regions throughout history. The first shield from the left represents Croatia which is said to be the oldest emblem of Croats from the 12th century. The second shield represents the city-state of Dubrovnik, an independent republic since the 19th century, known as the Republic of Ragusa. The third shield represents Dalmatia. The next one is for Istria, while the fifth is the shield of Slavonia.

History of the Croatian Flag

Croatia was under Hungarian rule and people were seeking independence. They adopted a tricolor flag to show their revolt against the Habsburg Monarchy. In 1941, Croatia proclaimed its independence, and the flag of arms was added to the tricolor flag. Several emblems were added to the flag during the fascist and communist rules that occurred between 1941 and 1990. Upon breaking with Yugoslavia, the current flag was adopted with the checkerboard shield in the middle, but the crown with the shields of the five historical regions of Croatia was added. The current flag was officially hoisted in December 1990.