Visiting Vexillologists in the Netherlands

Rotterdam Flag Parade

Rotterdam Flag Parade

On 24 October 2006, the HGZD President visited the Dutch factory Shipmate ( in Vlaardingen near Rotterdam, which is not only one of the largest flag manufacturers in Europe, but is also acting as a focal point of the Dutch vexillology.

He was hosted by Mr. Gerard van der Vaart, the Shipmate Head of IT and the editor of the Flagchart web site (, that is probably the most up to date site showing the actual national and other flags of the world. The Shipmate company issues for several years already the flags of the world posters, that are authorized by Mr. Whitney Smith, who is known in Croatia as well. Mr. Heimer met also the Shipmate managing director, Mr. Martin Thumer, who is one of the leading initiators of vexillological actions in the Netherlands, especially regarding the Flag Museum in Rotterdam that is being established. As part of the initiative actions for the Museum, over 150 flagmasts were erected in Rotterdam in the so called “Flag Parade” hoisting the flags of all ethnic communities living in this port, and which are occasionally replaced also by some other flag exhibitions.

Jos Poels i Željko Heimer

Jos Poels and Željko Heimer

Two days latter, Mr. Heimer visited Mr. Jos Poels in Droetinchem in east of the Netherlands, a vexillologist who is in Croatia kind of famous as the creator of the current flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Mr. Poels faces these “accusations” with a smile and explains that his role in the process was but minor, defining the colour shades precisely and devising precise technical drawing of the design already selected by the Office of High Representative. Mr. Poels is collecting the legislative regarding national and subnational flags, on which he holds quite a library, that is is often willing to share with his fellow vexillologists, where Željko spent a pleasant and useful afternoon. Mr. Poels is the editor of the bi-monthly magazine Vexilla Nostra issued by the Dutch Association for Flag Sciences (Nederlandse Vereniging voor Vlaggenkunde, NVvV)

Dva dana kasnije, g. Heimer je posjetio g. Josa Poelsa u Droetinchemu na istoku Nizozemske, veksilologa koji je kod nas u medijima poznat kao kreator suvremene zastave Bosne i Hercegovine. G. Poels sa smješkom “izdržava takve optužbe” i objašnjava da je njegova uloga u tome bila neznatna, tek u preciznom definiranju nijansi boja i izradi precizne tehničke dokumentacije za likovno rješenje koje je Ured visokog predstavnika već bio izabrao. G. Poels se bavi sakupljanjem legislative u vezi s nacionalnim i subnacionalnim zastavama o čemu ima pozamašnu biblioteku, koju rado ustupa na korištenje kolegama veksilolozima, i u kojoj je Željko proveo jedno ugodno i korisno popodne. G. Poels je urednik dvomjesečnika Vexilla Nostra kojeg izdaje Nizozemsko udruženje za zastavoslovlje (Nederlandse Vereniging voor Vlaggenkunde, NVvV)