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Primorje-Gorski Kotar County (Croatia)

Primorsko-goranska županija

Last modified: 2023-03-18 by rob raeside
Keywords: primorje-gorski kotar county |
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[County flag] image by Željko Heimer, 22 October 2000

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Presentation of Primorje-Gorski Kotar County

Primorje-Gorski Kotar County consists of three geographic regions - the Croatian Coast (the Coast under Velebit range, which since the Middle Ages has always belonged to Croatia, and was never [or rarely] claimed by others), the Kvarner Bay islands and the northeastern coast of Istria, and the hinterland mountainous region of Gorski kotar. The seat of the County is the town of Rijeka (known also by its Italian name, Fiume).

Željko Heimer, 28 June 1998

Flag of Primorje-Gorski Kotar County

The symbols of Primorje-Gorski Kotar County are prescribed by Decision Odluka o grbu i zastavi Primorsko-goranske županije, adopted on 15 June 1995 by the County Assembly and published on 26 June 1995 in the County official gazette Službene novine Primorsko-goranske županije, No. 13. The decision as issued contains two black-and-white illustrations, the flag and the coat of arms, each on a full page (ca. 23 cm. in size).
The amended County statutes Statut Primosko-goranske županije (text), published on 1 July 2009 in Službene novine Primorsko-goranske županije, No. 23, repeats the prescriptions of the previous Statutes (2001; consolidated text, 2006; updates, 2008) regarding the symbols.

The symbols were designed by the Heraldic Art d.o.o. company from Rijeka.

The flag is in proportions 1:2, light blue with the coat of arms in the middle and thin white stripes near the top and bottom (width of the stripe 1/16 of the flag's hoist, as is the offset from the flag's edge).

Željko Heimer, 25 April 2013

Coat of arms of Primorje-Gorski Kotar County

[County coat of arms] image by Željko Heimer, 22 October 2000

The coat of arms of the County is made of a shield in the so-called German shape, divided per fess and upper part per pale: 1. Checky gules and argent, 1a. Azure, a coastal fortified town argent with buildings roofed gules surrounded with mountains vert topped with snow and in chief a sword or and a spiked mace argent per saltire, 2. Azure, a sailboat proper with sails argent and a Croatian triband pennant at mizzen-masthead, in chief dexter a Frankopan mullet or all between cliffs proper.
The coat of arms is the same as used by Rijeka County between 1786 and 1886, that is in turn based on the coat of arms of Severin County. Afterwards, from 1886 to the end of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire, Modruš-Fiume County used the same coat of arms as the former Severin County. So, the modern County decided to readopt the one used inbetween by Fiume County.

Željko Heimer, 1 November 2007

Use of the symbols of Primorje-Gorski Kotar County

The use of the County's symbols is prescribed by Decision Odluka o utvrivanju mjerila za uporabu grba i zastave Primorsko-goranske županije, adopted on 16 March 2010 by the County Assembly and published on 17 March 2010 in Službene novine Primorsko-goranske županije, No. 9 (text).
This Decision abrogates and replaces the 1995 Decision that adopted the symbols; however, the new Decision does not describe the design of the symbols, which has been in the mean time included in the County Statutes. The Decision refers to the drawings attached to the Decision (but not included in the official gazette) and to the "Book of graphical standards" that regulates the color shades. What follows are basic "criteria" for the use of the County symbols, extracted from the Decision.

The use of the symbols is free for educational purposes and in artwork, provided that the reputation and dignity of the County is not offended.
The coat of arms shall be used in the usual places by the County administration itself, like at the entrance of the County administration buildings, on the letterheads, during the Assembly sessions, by the commercial firms established or owned solely by the County etc.
The coat of arms may be used by subdivisions of the County, that is town and municipality administrations, commercial firms established or owned partly by the County or its subdivisions, etc.
The coat of arms may be used on printed publications issued by the subdivisions, commercial firms partly or solely established or owned by the County or its subdivisions etc.
The flag shall be used on the County building, in the Assembly room and in other cases.
The flag may be used on buildings where the County administration is, where the subdivision administrations are, on determined public places during the public holidays etc.
The use of the symbols is mandatory during protocolar, scientific, cultural, sporting and other meetings if they are organized by the County, have auspices by the County and organized by the commercial firms solely established or owned by the County or by associations established in the county area; similarly, they may be used in the same events organized by subdivisions and under partial auspices of the County.
The other legal persons registered in the County area who want to use the symbols may do so provided that they file a written request, which is granted by the County Mayor within 30 days; such a grant may be limited in time, usage modes etc.
The Decision ends with the penal prescriptions.

Željko Heimer, 18 July 2010

Former symbols of Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, 1994-1995

[Former flag of the County]    [Former flag of the County]  images by Željko Heimer, 26 August 2007

The two Decisions Odluka o osnivanju Komisije za grb i zastavu and Odluka o imenjovanju clanova Komisije za grb i zastavu, adopted on 17 June 1993 by the County Assembly and published on 20 June 1993 in Službene novine Primorsko-goranske županije, No. 5, appointed a Commission to design symbols for the County. The members of the Commission were Academicians Lujo Margetić and Branko Fučić, Dr. Petar Strcić, Nenad Labus, Daina Glavočević, Berislav Valušek, Pr. Goran Crnković, Pr. Goroslav Oštrić, Branko Kundih, Dr. Rozalija Sokolić-Marušić and Pr. Dr. Nikola Matejčić.

Before the 1995 final Decision on the flag and arms, symbols were indeed adopted. It is questionable if they were ever in any use; however, they were official until the adoption of the current design in 1995.
Namely, the County Statutes Statut Županije Primorsko-goranske, adopted on 24 March 1994 by the County Assembly and published on 31 March 1994 in Službene novine Primorsko-goranske županije, No. 10, includes the description of the symbols.
The flag is described in Article 7 as follows:

The flag of the County is light blue with the County coat of arms in the middle on a white field surrounded with a dark blue ring containing the [white] inscription ŽUPANIJA PRIMORSKO-GORANSKA. The midpoint of the coat of arms is at the intersection point of the flag's diagonals. The ratio of the width to the length of the flag is 1:2.

The design of the flag is quite different from what was adopted afterwards. According to Commission member Nenad Labus (personal communication), the change was made after the State Commission has refused to approve it - since their rules required a two-coloured flag field (and I guess they insisted the inscription to be removed, as well), so the solution with thin white stripes was eventually adopted. It was very close that these stripes would be wavy, to show the sea.
According to Robert Grubiša, the County considered retaining the red-white checky border found in the historical flag of 1865, or adding a yellow triple wattle.

In contrast, the coat of arms is virtually the same as the current one, with a distinctive difference: the star in the third field is not in chief dexter, but is set under the ship in the base, and some further artistic differences. According to Nenad Labus, the mace and sword were considered to be removed from the original design (of the Modruš-Rijeka County of 1786), as some members of the Commission deemed them too aggressive for the nowadays touristic image of the County. The reason for adding the star in a wrong place is mysterious, though.

The graphical representation of the symbols was made by a couple of artists from Rijeka but the artwork was not published in the official gazette.

Željko Heimer, 2 September 2008

Historical flags

Severin County, 1778-1786

[Severin County flag]  image by Željko Heimer, 24 March 2003

Severin County was dismembered in 1786, most of its territory being transferred to the newly formed County of Rijeka.
The flag is supposed to be sideways: it has a sleeve at the left edge of the image, to be attached to the flagstaff. However, the design is properly viewed only when the flagstaff is held horisontally.

Source: Jelena Borošak-Marijanović, Zastave kroz stoljeca [bor96]

Imre Csáki shows in A magyar királyság vármegyéinek cimerei a XVIII-XIX. században (Corvina, Budapest, 1995) all the coats of arms of the Counties of the Hungarian part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the 18th-19th centuries. The coat of arms shown for the Modruš-Fiume vármegeye - Szeverin vármegyei (Modruš-Fiume County - Severin County) is so described: Cartouche shield divided per fess: 1. Per pale, a. Checky of 25 gules and argent, b. Azure an anchor argent with a palm leaf vert per bend and a sword argent and or per bend sinister, 2. Azure (light) on a sea azure between two cliffs argent a little ship brown with two sails tierced per pale gules, argent and vert and a banner of the arms of Hungary. On the whole an inescutcheon or with the letters "I.II.M.T" [for Joseph II, Maria Theresa]. The supporters are: Dexter, a lion regardant or langued gules, sinster an eagle regardant sable armed or langued gules. The shield is surmounted by a Royal crown or. The whole is on a board. The coat of arms was adopted as a seal in 1778.

Pascal Vagnat, 28 June 1998

Rijeka County, 1865

[Rijeka County flag] images by Željko Heimer, 22 December 2007

The Rijeka County was formed in 1861, of parts of former County of Severin and outskirts of the town of Rijeka, that remained under the rule of Hungarian crown. The flag, adopted on 25 May 1865, is shown in a painting from the ceremonial book of the flag consecration ceremony on Grobnik Field.

Source: Jelena Borošak-Marijanović, Zastave kroz stoljeca [bor96]
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