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On this day in 1848: Order for Croatian tricolour – red white and blue

Red, white and blue (Photo: Rprpr/CC)

Throughout history, Croatian flags have most often used red, white and blue as the colours with a coat of arms.

Whilst it has changed over the years, the national flag of Croatia celebrates its 172nd anniversary this year. Whilst the tricolour started to appear on flags in Europe after the French revolution, the first mention of the order that it will be red-white-blue on the Croatian flag came on 2 May 1848 in the newspaper at the time – Narodnih novina. 

In an effort to make the Croatian national flag national and acceptable to all historical provinces, Ban Josip Jelačić and his colleagues at the time decided to take the basic colours of all three coats of arms of the Kingdom of Croatia and use it for the flag.

The unique flag included the colours from the historic coat of arms of the Kingdom of Croatia, red and white. The third colour of the national flag, blue, was taken from the historical coats of arms of the Kingdom of Slavonia and Dalmatia.

Combined coats of arms of the Kingdom of Croatia, Dalmatia and Slavonia was placed in the centre of the flag, with the Grand Illyrian coat of arms attached to them.

The flag made its first appearance at the ceremony of Josip Jelačić becoming a Ban on 5 June 1848. Count Laval Nugent, who recommended that Jelačić be given the title, carried the flag on the occasion.

Ban Jelacic’s flag (Photo: Croatian Institute of History)

Over the centuries that followed, the tricolour would go through periods of being banned, and the flag would undergo various transformations over the years. 

Jelačić’s tricolour would find itself next to the new Croatian flag on 30 May 1990 when the constitution of first multiparty Parliament was held. Today the flag consists of three equal-sized red, white and blue horizontal stripes with the coat of arms of Croatia in the middle.

(HRT)

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