Zvonimir Milčec Writes on the Zagreb Coats of Arms and Flags Book

Zvonimir Milčec

Zvonimir Milčec

In his regular column titled “Zagrebačka plava” (The Zagreb’s Blue) in the bi-weekly magazine Zagreb.hr (nr. 16, vol. 2, 16 May 2009), run in 400.000 copies and freely delivered to Zagreb households, the legendary Zagreb’s writer Zvonimir Milčec writes in his particular “purger” style on the book “Grbovi i zastave Grada Zagreba”.

Entire PDF (in Croatian) zagreb.hr, br. 16, Zagrebački holding, Zagreb, 12.6.2009. (4 MB) , here translated text from the column:


Jeans with the Old Coat of Arms

The book ‘Grbovi i zastave grada Zagreba’ by Željko Heimer is a splendid palette of flags and coats of arms of the city, civic municipalities, institutions and clubs

My readers already know that every once and a while I make a tour around the old Zagreb. And that I feel just as much at home on the “purger’s” Gradec and ecclesiastic Kaptol with the Old Vlaška street and Nova ves, as in my own Bukovac, on the Kvaternik’s square, in the Jurišićeva Street as well as on the Jelačić’s Square. But, I have to admit, I would be lost in those wanderings in history if I have not had taken as my co-travelers and guides the honourable elders and remarkable historians from whom I learned and even stole bits and pieces of the antiquity to deliver them to my contemporaries. And I never forgot to mention the “source”. They are the two Horvat’s, Rudolf and Josip, then Emilije Laszowski, Đuro Szabo, Franjo Bundak, Ivan Uličnik and, of course, the two ladies – doctors for the old Zagreb, Lelja Dobronić and Olga Maruševski.

I had the honour of knowing the two venerable ladies in person. In the mean time, they also departed into the history forever. Just as I know personally the remaining female staff of the city history research – Prof. Dr. Snješka Knežević Prelog, Dr. Agneza Szabo and the Zagreb City Museum head consultant Nada Premerl. To my colleague writer Branimir Špoljarić (“Stari Zagreb od vugla do vugla”) and me, it is left nothing else but to stick to the mentioned ladies, who are by generations so close to both of us. I am acquainted with Prof Snješka already from the second half of the 50’s when we both begun working as journalists in “Večernji vjesnik” and when I could not fathom that she would raise so much – she, namely, lives in the High Street! And that she would feet into such shoes – for her capital scientific work she chose exactly the Lenuci horse-shoe!

And then, the last week, the waiters in my cafe greeted me with a book, with more then pleasing outfit and, of course, the contents: “Grbovi i zastave grada Zagreba”. From the impressuum (publisher – Leykam international d.o.o) I know only the name of the chief editor – Neven Budak. The name of the author – Željko Heimer, unfortunately, tells me little or nothing, unlike his valuable book that should find its place in any home in Zagreb. And, afterwards, we should remember the author’s name.

Nowhere yet have I found in a single place such splendidly spread historical palette of flags and coats of arms, and not only those of the city, but also of its municipalities, institutions and sports clubs. From there I extract the information that once the colour of Zagreb was red, and that only in 1896 it becomes – the Zagreb’s Blue. And, imagine, that is revealed to me by the author almost half as young as me – Željko Heimer (Zagreb 1971.)! After this book I feel easier at heart grasping that not everything has gone to heck with this ancient city of ours, since, lo, even our coca-cola and jeans generation is able to seriously travel back to the old Zagreb…

Zvonimir Milčec

(translation Ž.H.)