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Independent State of Croatia (1941-1945): Government flags

Last modified: 2011-08-20 by ivan sache
Keywords: independent state of croatia | poglavnik | pavelic (ante) | letter: u (blue) | wattle: triple (white) | cross (blue) | minister | minister of the armed forces |
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Poglavnik (Leader)

[Poglavnik flag]

Poglavnik's personal flag - Image by Željko Heimer, 4 October 1999

Article 3 of Law-Decree Zakonska odredba o državnom grbu, državnoj zastavi, Poglavnikovoj zastavi, državnom pečatu, pečatima državnih i samoupravnih ureda (Legal regulations on the State coat of arms, the State flag, the Poglavnik's flag, the State seal and the seals of State and self-governing offices), signed on 28 April 1941 by Ante Pavelić and published on 30 April 1941 in the official gazette Narodne novine, No. 15, defines the Poglavnik's flag as follows:

The flag of the Poglavnik [Leader], which is hoisted in his office, on his headquarters if he is present, and which is carried beside him in all ceremonial occasions, is a flag of 25 square fields, in turn white and red (the blood color), ordered in five rows so that in the upper first row the first field is white. In that row, in the first white field near the hoist is the curl ["curly ornament"] described in Article 1 made in silver on a white area, and in the middle of the curl is a big [capital] dark blue letter "U". Around these 25 fields there is a thin golden border, and around this an outer border consisting of squares diagonally divided by a white stripe. The upper triangle formed this way is red (the blood colour), while the lower is blue. Three such squares come to one square of the checky field of the flag.

Article 1 defines the "curl" as "... a star-shaped sign made of a triple wattle curl of the same red color, in which there is big [capital] letter 'U' in dark blue."
Here, "the same red color" is the color of the Croatian flag defined as blood red throughout the regulations between brackets. However, it is clear from Article 3 that in the Poglavnik's flag the "curl" is silver and not red; probably, it was actually made of silver threads.

Article 5 states that the images attached to the text are integral part of it. The width of the golden border is not defined, but, obviously, it was not intended to: it is "as thin as possible to be still visible". I would guess it was made as thick as the thread was. The white squares were actually silver (photo of a real flag), although the text explicitly says that they are white, on contrary mentioning that the "curl" is silver on a white "area".

A photo published in Jutarnji list, 8 January 2005, from the book in preparation 1941 by Slavko Goldstein, shows the reception of a foreign high delegation on the Borongaj military airfield in Zagreb, 1941. The Poglavnik's car is in front with his personal standard attached on the right fender. A black and white photo shows a ceremonial parade in Zagreb, 1941, probably in some other occasion, with the same flag on the car.

Željko Heimer, 8 January 2005


Detail of the emblem

[Curl detail]

Detail of the curl in Flaggenbuch - Image by Ivan Sache, 5 October 1999

The drawing in the official gazette, as well as Neubecker [neu92], shows two different, mirorred patterns of the curl for the Poglavnik's standard and the national flag.
This difference is nowhere prescribed; the text explicitly says that the curl should be the same apart from the color. Looking further into some other items where this symbol appears (postage stamps, money, matchboxes), it seems that the curl was made any way it suited the desginer, which made no difference.

Dr. O. Neubecker's papers include a whole list of flags of the Independent State of Croatia dated 1944, probably prepared for the next update of the Kriegsmarine's Flaggenbuch [neu92]. These flags certainly originate from Croatia, but their source and status are not confirmed. One assumption is that these are proposals that were never actually adopted. They were not confirmed by any other independent source.
In this source, the curls are all in the same direction, which is exactly the opposite of the one used on the national flag according to official gazette.

Željko Heimer, Emil Dreyer & Ivan Sache, 5 October 1999


Minister of the Armed Forces (unconfirmed)

[Curl detail]

Flag of the Minister of the Armed Forces, 1944, unconfirmed design - Image by Željko Heimer, 5 October 1999

Dr. O. Neubecker's papers include a whole list of flags of the Independent State of Croatia dated 1944, probably prepared for the next update of the Kriegsmarine's Flaggenbuch [neu92]. These flags certainly originate from Croatia, but their source and status are not confirmed. One assumption is that these are proposals that were never actually adopted. They were not confirmed by any other independent source.
This source shows the flag (stieg, "standard") of the Minister of the Armed Forces as a white square flag with a blue cross; the width of the cross is 1/8 of the flag's hoist, and over that is set the State coat of arms, of height 6/11 of the hoist.

Željko Heimer & Emil Dreyer, 5 October 1999


Minister (unconfirmed)

[Curl detail]

Flag of a Minister, 1944, unconfirmed design - Image by Željko Heimer, 5 October 1999

Dr. O. Neubecker's papers include a whole list of flags of the Independent State of Croatia dated 1944, probably prepared for the next update of the Kriegsmarine's Flaggenbuch [neu92]. These flags certainly originate from Croatia, but their source and status are not confirmed. One assumption is that these are proposals that were never actually adopted. They were not confirmed by any other independent source.
This source shows the flag of other Ministers as similar to the flag of the Minister of the Armed Forces, but with a blue border, of width 1/10 of the hoist, instead of the cross.

Željko Heimer & Emil Dreyer, 5 October 1999