History of the Croatian Flag
The Croatia Flag consists of three horizonal bands in the colors of red, white, and blue and features the Croatian coat of arms in the center. The red, white, and blue colors have been used on the Croatian flag since 1848. The colors combined represent the Kingdom of Croatia, Kingdom of Slavonia and the Kingdom of Dalmatia. These were all fundamental states of the Croatian Kingdom. The color red symbolizes bloodshed and sacrifices made in the wars.
The color white symbolizes peace and harmony and the color blue symbolizes hope for the country and freedom. The coat of arms features a main shield, checkerboard, and five small shields above that represent the ancient arms of Croatia, Dubrovnik, Dalmatia, Istria, and Slavonia. The checkerboard is a national emblem of Croatia. The present Croatian Flag was adopted on December 22nd, 1990 and is one of the world's newest national flags.
Croatia is a country in South-Eastern Europe that shares borders with Hungary, Serbia, Bosnia, Herzegovina, and Slovenia. Its capital city is Zagreb. Croatia has endured a tragic and bloody history and has been governed by many different countries. In 1091, Croatia was conquered by Hungary and It eventually became part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Following World War I, in 1918, after the Austro-Hungarian Empire collapsed, the "Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes" was established. This establishment was defeated during World War II and in 1941, Croatia was under the control of the Nazis resulting in an army of Croats named the "Ustachi" who sought to slaughter and exterminate all Serbs and Jews. An opposing group named the "Chetniks" used terrorism to target the Croats. During World War II, it is thought that 70,000–100,000 people lost their lives due to the "Ustachi."
After World War II, when Germany was defeated, Croatia became a part of the new communist Yugoslavia, but many people were not satisfied with this and continued to battle for the country's independence. In 1990, elections took place for independence and in 1991 a declaration was made granting permission for Croatia to become independent from Yugoslavia. Following the declaration and the communists defeat, a six-month battle with the Yugoslavian army ensued leading to another loss of thousands of lives. Croatia was finally able to declare independence from Yugoslavia on June 25th, 1991. After gaining independence in 1992, the Serbs that lived in the Croatian territory also tried to claim their own independence, which resulted in another war. The Bosnian war took place from 1992-1995 and the battle between the Serbs, Croats, and Bosnians was described as "the bloodiest event in Europe since World War II." Approximately 100,000 civilians died during this war.
Despite all the wars and battles that Croatia has seen over the years, it has managed to re-establish itself, and is now a very safe country with many of sights and attractions to visit, which include "Zlatni Rat Beach," a beach that changes shape and color depending on the wind. The small town of "Hum" is also a popular attraction which consists of two streets, two churches and a population of 23 and is known to be the smallest town in the world. Another popular attraction is the "Pula Arena," which is the largest and longest surviving Roman Gladiator Arena in the world.
Croatia National Anthem
Our Beautiful Homeland (Lijepa nasa domovino)
Our beautiful homeland,
Oh dear heroic land,
Our father's ancient glory,
May you be blessed forever.
Beloved, you are our sole glory,
Beloved, you are our only one,
Beloved, where you are plain,
Beloved, where you are mountain
Sava, Drava, flow on,
Nor you Danube, lose your power,
Deep blue sea, tell the world,
That a Croat loves his people.
Whilst the sun warms his fields,
Whilst winds lash his oak trees,
Whilst his lost ones are with grave covered,
Whilst his living heart beats.