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Metković (Town, Dubrovnik-Neretva County, Croatia)

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

Flag of Metković - Image by Željko Heimer, 31 July 2016

See also:

Presentation of Metković

The Town of Metković (15,384 inhabitants in 2001, 13,873 in the town of Metković) is located on river Neretva on the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina. During the Austro-Hungarian rule, it was a very important port and a trade place, and since recently its importance was renewed, being the border town on the main road from the coast into Bosnia.

Željko Heimer, 12 August 1996

Flag of Metković

The symbols of Metković are prescribed in Decision Odluka o grbu i zastavi Grada Metkovića, published in 1996 in the local gazette Neretvanski glasnik, No. 2.
The Decision was amended by Decision Odluka o grbu i zastavi Grada Metkovića, published in 1998 in Neretvanski glasnik, No. 3.
The symbols are described in the consolidated Town Statutes Statut Grada Metkovića (pročišćeni), published on 25 July 2007 in Neretvanski glasnik - Službeno glasilo Grada Metkovića, Grada Opuzena i općina Slivno, Zažablje, Kula Norinska, Pojezerje, No. 5.
This was repeated in the current Town Statutes Statut Grada Metkovića, adopted on 15 July 2009 by the Town Assembly and published on 27 July 2009 in Neretvanski glasnik - Službeno glasilo Grada Metkovića, Grada Opuzena i općina Slivno, Zažablje, Kula Norinska, Pojezerje, No. 4.

The adoption of the symbols was reported in Dolina neretve, 15 May 1996, as follows:

In the latest session of the Town Assembly of Metković, the Councillers have accepted (third time now) the proposals for the arms and the flag presented by the academic painter Nikola Vučković. He was commissioned by the Town government to propose arms. The two former proposals were accepted by the Town Assembly but were rejected by the commission of the Ministry of Administration, because they did not follow the rules of heraldry. This time the proposal got the green light from the commission before it was put in the agenda of the Town Council session.[...] The flag is red, horizontally hoisted, and has just the arms on it.

Željko Heimer, 16 January 2011

Coat of arms of Metković

[Town coat of arms]

Coat of arms of Metković - Image by Željko Heimer, 31 July 2016

The aforementioned article reports:

The arms are historically based on the arms of Neretva (Narent) which are described in Put oko svijeta (circa 1330 AD) by an anonymous Spanish friar [Book of All Kingdoms [f0f05]]. The new arms can be described as an half-circled, quadratic shield with the 1st and 4th fields blue, and the 2nd and 3rd silver, that is white. The arms are outlined with a black bordure.

Vjesnik, 20 October 2007, reports the outstanding discovery of the first edition of books by the major Croatian playwright and prose writer Marin Držić (1508-1567) from Dubrovnik. The books were found in the Milan library, from 1551; the oldest known copies by now were from 1630.
The frontispiece of one of the books shows the coat of arms of Metković (article, municipal website). The designer of the arms, adopted only in 1996, had, of course, no idea of these books. The author of the article supposes that the printer in Milan must have been acquainted with the popular portolanos by the 1330 "Spanish friar" [f0fXX], the 1339 Dulcert's map [drt39] and the 1375 Catalan Atlas, each showing a quartered flag set on the Neretva river, close enough to Dubrovnik that had no flags in those maps, and thus probably good enough for the printer to use it for illustration. Certainly, these protolanos were the insporation for the designer to propose the coat of arms in 1996.

The local magazine Metkovski vjesnik, 19 September 2008, has a story on the old hotels in Metković. A brass cup for spirits inscribed "Hotel Austria 1891" was recently discovered, engraved with floral motives a the coat of arms, uncanny the same as adopted by the town in 1996. At the time when the cup was made it must have been used as the historical coat of arms of the wider Neretva region. Similar cups of "Hotel Zagreb", built in 1914, were also found.

Željko Heimer, 27 September 2009

Table flag of Metković

[County ceremonial flag]

Table flag of Metković - Image by Željko Heimer, 31 July 2016

The table flag (photo) is a vertical version of the town's flag with the town's name inscribed in white beneath the coat of arms.

Željko Heimer & Marko Vitez, 31 July 2016

Former coat of arms of Metković (1980s)

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

Former coat of arms of Metković, black-and-white and colour versions - Image by Željko Heimer, 31 July 2016

The emblem pictures in an oval shield a man rowing a boat over two wavy lines and in chief dexter a mullet of five. Supporters: two cranes addorsed stooping regardant. In the base a ribbon inscribed with the municipality name.
The emblem was predominantly used in black and white, which was not unusual for the municipal emblems of the period.

The rowman represents a local inhabitant sailing in a characteristic trupica boat on river Neretva, while the cranes represented searching for food in marsh soil, symbolize the rich fauna of the Neretva delta.
This coat of arms featuring the trupica might have inspired directly or indirectly the "Neretva quarter" of the 1996 coat of arms of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County. In turn, the coat oif arms of Metković from the 1980s might have at least partially been inspired by the old coat of arms of Opuzen, also including the boat, as the coat of arms was displayed on the facade of the old Town Hall there; at the time, Opuzen was part of the Municipality of Metković.

According to Neretvanski vjesnik, No. 11, 1987, the coat of arms was designed by Živan Bjelovučić (1927-2007; obituary), an academic sculptor and teacher from Metković. Born in Šibenik, the artist gratuated from the Academy of Fine Arts of the University of Zagreb under prominent Croatian sculptors, and spent most of his career as arts teacher in the Metković primary school. He is credited for the design of the "series of the Town of Metković awards" and other works.

Željko Heimer & Jure Grm, 7 January 2015