Last modified: 2017-02-19 by ivan sache
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Flag of Lastovo - Image by Željko Heimer, 25 July 2013
The municipality of Lastovo (835 inhabitants in 2001, 451 in the village of Lastovo) is located some 100 km west of Dubrovnik, covering the island of the same name and 45 neighboring, smaller islands. The largest islands of Kopište, Mrcara and Prežba are located to the west near Lastovo, the island of Sušac is some 20 km further west, and the groups of Lastovnjaci and Vrhovnjaci is to the east. The islands are the most outlying in the southern Adriatic and were therefore of large strategic value at some points in history, although the most outlying island, Palagruža*, is not part of Lastovo but belongs to the Town of Komiža, Split-Dalmatia County.
The island joined the Republic of Ragusa in the 13th century but enjoyed a large autonomy at times; as a curiosity, the last alleged outbreak of vampirism in Europe was reported here in 1737. In 1806, during the Napoleonic times, France took control of the Republic of Ragusa and also of the island, building fortification there; in 1813, it was taken and kept until 1815 by the British, who maintained the blockade of France here. The island then became a part of the Habsburg Empire and after the First World War it was occupied by the Italians and incorporated to Italy, based on the 1920 Rapallo Agreement; the island is known as Lagosta in Italian. In 1943, Tito's partisans took the control of the island. After the Second World War, the island was mainly used as a strategic military base and foreigners were forbidden to set foot on it. The Yugoslav Army left the island only in July 1992, being one of the last points from where they retreated from Croatia.
*The municipality of Lastovo started a formal procedure to "return" the island of Palagruža into its jurisdiction (municipal website; Slobodna Dalmacija, 19 February 2013). The issue of the most outlying Croatian Adriatic island has been a matter of long "traditional" dispute between the municipalities of Lastovo and Komiža/Vis. The local politicians bring out the issue usually before the elections.
Željko Heimer, 28 June 2008
The symbols of Lastovo were designed by the Heraldic Art d.o.o. company, from Rijeka, and approved by the Ministry of Administration / Central State Office for Administration before 2006.
The flag (photo) is in proportions 1:2, red with the coat of arms in the middle.
During the municipal feast of St. Cosmas and Damian (photo gallery), the stage is
decorated with the usual set of flags (Croatia, county, municipality),
but also with two flag-like ornaments obviously prepared by
Heraldic Art; however, I do not think that these may be considered
ceremonial flags, rather tapestries of kind-of. The one at the pulpit
is vertical with a semi-circular fly showing the coat of arms topped with the municipality's name and flanked with the "standard" grapevine branches. The one behind it looks more like a possible ceremonial flag, although it is also displayed as a tapestry - rectangular vertical red bordered yellow,
with the coat of arms in the centre, the name above and the grapevine branches with a bunch of grapes under them.
A long vertical banner is used in the procession and church service, attached from a crossbar on a crucifix (photo, photo). The banner is simply red with golden embroidery motives and no other emblems. It is probably a purely decorative, procession banner.
Željko Heimer, 25 July 2013
Coat of arms of Lastovo - Image by Željko Heimer, 25 July 2013
The coat of arms is "Argent two pharmacists clad gules aproned argent each holding a chalice or and jointly holding a mortar and a pestle also or and issuant from the chief a semi-sun in splendour or".
The historical seal (image), probably from around the 15th century, was, obviously, used as the base of the modern arms. It seems that the figures originally represented Sts. Cosmas and Damian, pharmacists and patrons of pharmacists. On the seal, the figures have a nimbuse; in the current shield, the saints have become laymen. There is indeed a church dedicated to these saints on the island.
Željko Heimer & Jan Mertens, 28 June 2008
Ceremonial flag of Lastovo - Image by Željko Heimer, 24 August 2016
The ceremonial banner of Lastovo is a vertical, rectangular flag hoisted from a crossbar and with a weight crossbar at the bottom, red bordered yellow with the coat of arms bordered yellow in the centre, the municipality name in two arches above and grapevine branches and a bunch of grapes below.
This banner is used in various ceremonial occasions in Lastovo (photo, photo, photo).
Željko Heimer & Ivan Grbac, 24 August 2016