In the series of lectures for development education of the Tourist Gudes Association of Zagreb and the Central Croatian Macroregion (DTVZ), third year in the row, Željko Heimer held a lecture, on this occasion titled »Legends and Theories on the Origin of the Croatian Chequy Arms«.
The lecture presented nine legends and theories appearing in the Croatian historiography attempting to interpret the meaning of the gules-argent chequy fields of the Croatian “checkerboard”. The oldest explanations were provided by Pavao Ritter Vitezović in his Stemmatographia in 1701, where he interprets them as symbols of parts (counties) of Croatia and symbols of variable warrior’s luck. Vjekoslav Klaić recorded in 1880 in his History of Croats, the legend of a chess duel between the Doge Peter II Orseolo and King Stjepan Držislav,following which Držislav allegedly adopted the symbol as a memento. In 1909 the Croatian educator Vjekoslav Koščević explained the chequy fields as symbols of a stylized “flying bird” and a symbols of “souls of grandfathers” that would protect the bearers in fight. In 1944 Ante Crnica published in the regime newspapers Spremnost explanation that th3 “chequy coat of arms, in accordance with heraldic rules, represents a battle field or combat, that the armiger have led” and thus embodies fight and victory of Croats. Fra Dominik Mandić published in emigration in 1970 a study on Croatian coat of arms, where he link it with the theory of origin of Croats from Iran, finding proves in its appearance in prehistoric ceramics. The journalist Marijan Grakalić Senior in his Croatian coat of arms in 1990 claims that it is an authentic ornament in the Croatian national tradition, appearing in stone monuments since the 10th century and heraldized by the end of the 15th. A French heraldists Micheal Popoff set a thesis that it is a design of the Hapsburg heraldic office marking cadence – differential variation of family arms, after the horizontal bars of the Hungarian coat of arms, after similar recorded development in France (House of Vermandois as a branch of the House of Capet). Our Dubravka Peić-Čaldarović and Nikša Stančić, in their paper on the 30 ICGHS in Maastricht 2012 propose that the chequy arms was derived in a Hapsburg office patterned after some Croatian magnate house, providing possible candidates e.g. the Čupori Moslavački family, Korogh family and gens Keled as well as the Kačić family (though they sport horizontal stripes). The latest study on the origins, history, and symbolic of Croatian coats of arms in Medieval period was published last year. There the authors, Mate Božić and Stjepan Ćosić propose the theory that the chequy design is result of heraldic simplification of depiction of a wall – as illustration on at the period well known expression throughout Europe of Croatia as “bulwark of Christianity”, colored after the Hapsburg colors, where he coat of arms, apparently, apeared.