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Vukovar (Town, Vukovar-Srijem County, Croatia)

Last modified: 2016-08-04 by ivan sache
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[Town flag]

Flag of Vukovar - Image by Željko Heimer, 5 October 2009


See also:


Flag of Vukovar

The symbols of Vukovar were first prescribed by Decision Odluka o grbu i zastavi grada Vukovara, te načinu i uvjetima njihove uporabe i zaštite, adopted on 29 November 1996 and published on 31 March 1994 in the County official gazette Službeni vjesnik Vukovarsko-srijemske županije, No. 14.
The Decision was superseded by Decision Odluka o grbu i zastavi grada Vukovara, te načinu i uvjetima njihove uporabe i zaštite, adopted in 1995 and published in Službeni vjesnik Vukovarsko-srijemske županije, No. 6, possibly prescribing new symbols.
This was amended by Odluka o izmjeni i dopuni Odluke o grbu i zastavi grada Vukovara, te načinu i uvjetima njihove uporabe i zaštite, adopted on 21 November 2000 by the Town Assembly and published on 22 November 2000 in the Town official gazette Službeni vjesnik Grada Vukovara, No. 8 (text).
Decision Odluka o mjerilima i postupku za odobravanje uporabe grba, zastave i drugih znamenja Grada Vukovara, adopted on 12 February 2004 by the Town Assembly and published on 13 February 2004 in Službeni vjesnik Grada Vukovara, No. 1 (text) regulates the criteria and procedure for grant of use of the coat of arms, the flag and other symbols of the town.

The symbols are described in the Town Statutes Statut Grada Vukovara, published on 7 September 2000 in Službeni vjesnik Vukovarsko-srijemske županije, No. 6 (text); this is the consolidated text of the 1994 Statutes with subsequent amendments (1995, 1996, 1997, and, twice, 2000), which invalidated the Statutes from the Socialist period (1983) and the Temporary Decision on the Town structure (1993).
The description is repeated in the Town Statutes Statut Grada Vukovara, adopted on 25 October 2001 by the Town Assembly and published on 21 September 2001 in Službeni vjesnik Vukovarsko-srijemske županije, No. 7. (text).
The description is repeated in the current Town Statutes Statut Grada Vukovara, adopted on 14 July 2009 by the Town Assembly and published on 16 July 2009 in Službeni vjesnik Vukovarsko-srijemske županije, No. 4. (text).

The flag is described in Article 12 of the 1993 Decision as:

The flag of the Town of Vukovar is composed of two colors: light blue and white, with the coat of arms of the Town of Vukovar in the centre of it. The ratio of the width to the length of the flag is 1:2 (one to two). The colors are set horizontally in this order from the top: light blue, white, light blue. Each color makes 1/3 of the flag. The coat of arms of Vukovar is set in the centre of the flag, so that the top part, 1/6 of the coat of arms, enters into the top light blue field, and the bottom, 1/6 of the coat of arms, enters the bottom light blue field, while the central point of the coat of arms matches the crossing point of the flag diagonals.

[Town flag]         [Town flag]

Flag of Vukovar after Šalić, horizontal and vertical versions - Images by Željko Heimer, 16 January 2005

Unlike the description, Šalić [sal95] pictures also a vertical version of the flag, with the coat of arm rotated. However, he recalls that the images he shows do not match the descriptions and that, therefore, the Town Assembly shall dicuss the coat of arm and the flag again and probably decide on some changes.

Article 6 of the Town Statutes adopted in 2000 describes the flag as follows:

The flag of the Town of Vukovar is shaped as an oblong rectangle with a ratio of length to height of 2:1. The flag is divided into three equal horizontal fields. The top and bottom fields are light blue, and the central field is white.
In the centre of the flag is the coat of arms of the Town of Vukovar, with size 3/7 of the flag's height in the white field, with its top and bottom parts entering into the light blue fields. The coat of arms and the flag of the Town represent the Town and express the affiliation to the Town.

In the Statutes adopted in 2001, the flag is described in Article 4, with the last sentence of the description changed to:

The coat of arms and the flag are used in a way that expresses the tradition and dignity of the Town. The Town Assembly shall issue a Decision on the use of the coat of arms and the flag.

In the current Statutes, adopted in 2009, the flag is described in Article 6, omitting the aforementioned sentence and changing the wording of another sentence to:

In the centre of the flag is the coat of arms of the Town of Vukovar, in size 3/7 of the flag's height in the white field, with its top and bottom parts entering into the light blue fields, so that the central point of the coat of arms matches the crossing point of the diagonals.

Željko Heimer, 3 November 2007


Other flag of Vukovar

TV images (Arte, 15 April 1997) showed the flag of Vukovar as plain light blue with the coat of arms in the middle.

Ivan Sache, 16 April 1997


Coat of arms of Vukovar

[Town coat of arms]         [Town coat of arms]

Coat of arms of Vukovar, left, as used; right, after Šalić - Images by Željko Heimer, 5 October 2009

The coat of arms is described in Article 8 of the 1993 Decision as:

The coat of arms of the Town of Vukovar is in shape of a red shield, with the ratio of width to height of 1:1.75* (one to one seventy five). The shield is in the lower part at the level of 3/4 of the shield's length begining to bend into an arch forming the lower edge of the shield**. In the lower part of the shield at the level of 4/5 of the shield, the shield is along its width divided with a line (border) coloured green of with approximately 1/17 of the shield length.
On the top of the green line is set the main depiction of the coat of arms composed of two towers coloured silver set on each side on a base wall and footing each, connected with an arch, encircling opened town gates. In the area of the town gates a maiden is standing with golden-blonde hair, dressed in a green gown. The maiden hold in front of herself a dark blue shield on which is a golden lion turned to the left***. In the lower part of the shield, along the bottom arch, the name of the Town - Vukovar - may be inscribed. If is inscribed, it should be in Roman capital uppercase coloured silver.
* I have never seen such a very tall shield being used.
** This seems to imply that the lower edge of the shield is not a semi-circular arch, but the shields used are, as far as I have noticed, always simply semi-circular.
*** It is unclear weather this is meant heraldically sinister or simply viewer's left. It is not mentioned that the lion is rampant and that it holds the flag.

I have never seen the coat of arms with the green line version. The shield held by the maiden is in some versions, notably the one shown by Šalić, colored red; the lion is turned to dexter or sinister, mostly to dexter, but in Šalić's image to sinister. The font used for the inscriptions, when present, is, beside the prescribed Roman capital letters, also some kind of sans-serif Helvetica, and, in Šalić's drawing, yet some other fancy font.
Šalić recalls that the images he shows do not match the descriptions and that, therefore, the Town Assembly shall dicuss the coat of arm and the flag again and probably decide on some changes.

Article 6 of the Town Statutes adopted in 2000 describes the coat of arms as follows:

The coat of arms of the Town of Vukovar is shaped as a shield in ratio of width to height of 1:1.25. The top part of the shield is straight, the bottom part is at the level of 3/4 bent into an arch. The shield is, as the background of the entire coat of arms, colored red. In the centre of it is a figure of a maiden with long golden hair in a green gown, she is holding with both hands a smaller shield of irregular shape colored blue, under which is seen her footwear colored silver. On the smaller shield is a golden lion turned to the right raised on its rear legs, carrying over its left shoulder a small flag colored golden.

The coat of arms seemingly in official used today (municipal website), matches the legal description, except in a few points: the maiden is shown there in such position that the gown is not visible at all and she is barefoot, not in silver footwear.

Symbols with an "eastern man" (that is, a Turk) holding the inescutcheon were used in the 18th century seals. Afterwards the figure was replaced with a maiden, or as some claim, with an angel; however, there is no original written explanation of the symbolism, so the intention remained unclear. In this form the coat of arms was established in 1871, when Old and New Vukovar were merged into a single town, which is symbolised with two linked towers. It is said that the lion represents resistance and endurance.

Željko Heimer, 1 November 2009


Vukovar during Serb occupation

[Town coat of arms]

Coat of arms of Vukovar during Serb occupation - Image by Željko Heimer, 24 December 2013

The coat of arms used in Vukovar during the Serb occupation (image) is in a semicircular shape, made of a shield made in the style of the 1980-1990s (and even later) coats of arms produced in an unheraldic manner as kinds of graphical emblems (logos) aspiring to be heraldic. Quite a number of such designs can still be found in use today by municipalities in Serbia and Republika Srpska (Bosnia and Herzegovina).
The arms depict a characteristic arch with thick columns, typical for the architecture in the centre of Vukovar. Under the arch netween the columns is a red-white horizontally divided field with a blue Greek cross bottony pierced white, having in the dexter botton a white depiction of the Vučedol dove (a ceramic ceremonial vessel found in Vučedol near Vukovar, shaped like a bird, dated from ca. 2500 BC and) and in the sinister botton an other white bird. The top botton includes the coat of arms of the Republic of Serbian Krajina. From the bottom in the vertical crossbar is inscribed in white numeral "19" and in red numeral "91" within the white pierced square, reading "1991", the year of "liberation". The cross is connected with a thin vertical line with a blue semicicular shape ion the base, which may be indicating the confluence of river Vukar into the Danube. Above the arch, the white chief is inscribed with "VUKOVAR", written in traditional Cyrillic script.

The design is found, for instance, on the official tourist map of Vukovar and Borovo Naselje produced around 1995 (image), as presented by Goran Mladineo during his lecture at the "Semiology of Homeland War" conference (Zadar, 5 December 2013).

Željko Heimer, 24 December 2013