National symbols of Croatia

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The national symbols of Croatia are flags, coat of arms, icons or cultural expressions that are emblematic, representative or otherwise characteristic of Croatia or Croatian culture.


Flag of Croatia.svg

Flag of Croatia. The red-white-blue tricolour has been used as the Croatian flag since 1848, and it was first officially used as an installation flag of ban Josip Jelačić. Red and white color come from Croatian coat of arms and the blue color comes from the Coat of arms of Dalmatia and Slavonia.

Flag of the President of Croatia.svg Presidential Flag of the Republic of Croatia. In use since November 1, 1990.


Lijepa naša domovino" ("Our Beautiful Homeland") is the national anthem of Croatia. Its opening words, "Lijepa naša" ("Our Beautiful"), are widely used as a metonym for Croatia.

The original lyrics were written by Antun Mihanović and first published under the title "Horvatska domovina" ("Croatian homeland") in 1835.

The complete song was first recorded and harmonized by Vatroslav Lichtenegger in 1861 in Zagreb, and it was first performed as the Croatian anthem in the same year, under the title "Lijepa naša".


Coat of arms of Croatia.svg The coat of arms of Croatia consists of one main shield and five smaller shields which form a crown over the main shield. The main coat of arms is a checkerboard (chequy) that consists of 13 red and 12 silver (white) fields. It is commonly known as šahovnica ("chessboard", from šah, "chess" in Croatian) or grb (literally coat of arms). The five smaller shields represent five different historical regions within Croatia. It is first recorded in 1495 in Innsbruck (Herzog-Friedrichstrasse 35) but the oldest source confirming the coat as an official symbol is a genealogy of the Habsburgs, dated from 1512 to 1518.

Flora and fauna[edit]

Martes martes, Clunes, Scotland 4.jpg The Marten is the national animal of Croatia.[1]
Iris croatica Botanicki vrt 1 080509.jpg The Iris croatica is the national flower of Croatia.
Quercus robur.jpg The Slavonian oak is the national tree of Croatia.


Saint Joseph with the Infant Jesus by Guido Reni, c 1635.jpg Saint Joseph is the patron saint of Croatia.

Unofficial symbols[edit]

Hrvatski pleter.jpg The Croatian interlace or Croatian wattle, known as the pleter or troplet in Croatian, is an important pattern of medieval Croatian culture. The wattle is found in virtually all examples of Croatian culture of greater or lesser importance of the time. It is mainly found on and within churches built by the Croats between the 9th and 12th century as well as monasteries from that time.
Missale Romanum Glagolitice.jpg Croatian Glagolitic script, special square form of Glagolitic script developed in Croatia.
Svetirok.tunnel.JPG Velebit is the largest though not the highest mountain range in Croatia. Its highest peak is the Vaganski Vrh at 1757 m. Velebit mountain range is famous for its fairies, the most celebrated called Velebitska Vila or Vila Velebita ("The Fairy of Velebit"). The Vila is described as being a good spirit, and is the patron of the Velebit mountain range, whose significance in Croatian culture has led to tales and songs of the Vila, the most popular one created in the 19th century titled Vila Velebita, which is still popular today.

The mountain range is also home to an endemic and protected species Degenia velebitica which has become a symbol of the region.


  1. ^ [Bousfield, Jonathan (2003). Croatia. Rough Guides. p. 72. ISBN 1843530848. Retrieved 4 July 2013.]