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Croatia: Coast Guard

Last modified: 2011-08-20 by ivan sache
Keywords: coast guard | anchors: 2 (yellow) |
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[Coast Guard flag]         [Coast Guard emblem]

Flag and emblem of the Coast Guard - Images by Željko Heimer, 16 May 2009


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Presentation of the Coast Guard

The Coats Guard was established in 2007 by Law Zakon o Obalnoj straži Republike Hrvatske (text), adopted on 3 October 2007 and published on 24 October 2007 in the Croatian official gazette Narodne novine No. 109. It is part of the Croatian Navy, which recently reorganized its fleet into the Flotilla and the Coast Guard.
The Commander of the Coast Guard is a Vice Admiral of the Croatian Navy, and the officers and sailors wear uniforms of the Navy.

Željko Heimer, 16 May 2009


Design of the flag of the Coast Guard

Article 4, Paragraph 2 of the 1997 Law says:

The Coast Guard has its flag and official emblem, which is displayed on all vessels, aircrafts, vehicles and other objects of the Coats Guard.

Paragraph 5 of the same Article prescribes that the layout of the flag, official emblem (and some other items) is prescribed by the Minister of Defence in a separate Regulation.
Article 44 of the Law gives obligation to the Minister of Defence to issue, within six months, among others, the Regulations on the Coast Guard flag, official emblem, official ID and official uniforms of the Coast Guard members.

Regulation Pravilnik o zastavi Obalne straže, službenom znaku, službenoj iskaznici i službenim odorama pripadnika Obalne straže, adopted on 27 April 2009 and published on 13 May 2009 in Narodne novine No. 56 (text), prescribes the design of the flag of the Coast Guard in Article 5:

The flag of the Coast Guard is blue with red-and-white squares set along the left edge of the flag. The field of the red-and-white squares consists of three squares in the width [length] and thirteen squares in the height of the flag. In the middle of the blue field of the flag is set the emblem of the Coast Guard, its diameter being 1/3 of the flag's length. The ratio of the width to the length of the flag is 2:3. The picture of the flag of the Coast Guard is printed in attachment of these Regulations and it is integral part of them.

Article 6 describes the emblem of the Coast Guard:

The official emblem of the Coast Guard consists of two dark yellow anchors in saltire at 45 degrees over which is set a shield in the colors of the flag of the Republic of Croatia with a dark yellow edge and the coat of arms of Croatia in its centre. The background of the official emblem is bordered golden with two dark yellow concentric rings, between which is on the background of Navy blue color semi-circularly inscribed OBALNA STRAŽA REPUBLIKE HRVATSKE [Coast Guard of the Republic of Croatia]. In the base of the official emblem is a stylized traditional Croatian wattle. The picture of the official emblem of the Coast Guard is printed in attachment of these Regulations and it is integral part of them.

The emblem was designed by Božo Kokan, the artist who is commissioned to design most of the current military emblems.

The regulation also prescribes the new emblem to be set on the ship hull, consisting of slanted stripe of red and white squares edges with red and blue lines.

Željko Heimer, 16 May 2009


Use of the flag of the Coast Guard

Unfortunately, neither the Law nor the Regulations are precise in how exactly the flag is to be used. Even more, since the Croatian language does not make distinction between "a flag" and "an ensign", the intended use of the flag is even less clear. Accordingly, the new flag may be used instead of the naval ensign or of the naval jack, or as an additional flag to the flags/ensigns regulated by the naval Regulations, or, simply, as the unit flag of the Coast Guard.

Regarding the other flags that may be used on the Coast Guard ships, it seems clear from the Law and Regulatiosn that the legislation regarding the Croatian Navy applies, so the command flags and rank flags of the Croatian Navy are expected to be used on the Coast Guard ships as well.

Željko Heimer, 16 May 2009