In its weekly edition of March 28, 2021, the Croatian daily Večernji list published a special article entitled “Croatia – 30 Years of Independence”, which, along with forty other interesting articles and conversations about this key moment in Croatian history on 154 pages, also contains the text “Symbol of Identity: Croatian Flag through the History” by Željko Heimer and “How the Coat of Arms of the Republic of Croatia was Created – Tuđman: Let the Initial Field be Red” by academician Nikša Stančić. The Specijal includes also texts by and interviews with Zoran Milanović, President of the Republic of Croatia, Stjepan Mesić, former President of the Republic of Croatia, Gordan Jandroković, Speaker of the Parliament, Andrej Plenković, Prime Minister, General of the Army Antun Tus, the first Chief of the General Staff of the Croatian Army, General Pavao Miljavac, former Chief of General Staff and Minister of Defense, former Prime Ministers and Parliament members, members of parliament and a number of other prominent public figures.
Večernji list Specijal is also sold separately in the distribution network of Večernji list.
From the text by Željko Heimer:
Flags on land began to gain wider social significance only with the development of civil society, after the French Revolution, so that many European national tricolors first appeared in the revolutionary events of 1848. The colors red, white and blue derived from the heraldic colors of the united coat of arms of the Trinity of Croatia, Slavonia and Dalmatia, have already been associated with this kingdom, so, for example, Kaptol flags made in preparation for the imperial couple in Zagreb in 1753.
However, the red-white-blue tricolor appeared precisely in the revolutionary movements of 1848 and since then has been directly associated with the Croatian national idea. The first Croatian tricolors were recorded on the barricades in Vienna in March 1848, and shortly afterwards they reached Zagreb. The then organized units of the Zagreb National Guard were one of the first tricolors to be displayed in Zagreb, and the first official use of the red-white-blue flag took place during the installation ceremony of Ban Josip Jelačić.
Namely, in accordance with a long tradition, the ban as a symbol of his honor and power, as the commander of the ban units, receives his flag during the installation. Several flags of previous bans have been preserved, depicting the coats of arms of three Croatian countries and the ban’s family coat of arms, often on a red background in the form of a split equestrian flag. For the first time, Jelačić uses a tricolor flag decorated with the painted coat of arms of the Trinity on one side and his coat of arms on the other. It is the first Croatian official tricolor, put into use and awarded to Ban on June 5, 1848. It is also the date that the Croatian Heraldry and Flag Society, together with three important national institutions, the Croatian History Museum, the Croatian History Institute and the Society “Brothers of the Croatian Dragon”, declared Croatian Flag Day and proposed to Parliament the adoption of that date as a memorial day. marked by our national symbols. We hope that this initiative will also receive formal confirmation in some future formulation of legal provisions on holidays and memorial days.
All the more important to mark this date because Croatia is one of the few European countries that has preserved its first official flag, more than 170 years old. This flag is kept in the Croatian History Museum, and interestingly, it was displayed for a while in the Croatian Parliament during the democratic changes, on May 30, 1990. It is even more interesting to point out that although it is stylistically different, it is basically the same flag that Croatia uses and today – it is exactly the same red-white-blue tricolor with the state coat of arms in the center of it.