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Split-Dalmatia County (Croatia)

Splitsko-Dalmatinska zupanija

Last modified: 2010-01-30 by dov gutterman
Keywords: zupanija | croatia | split | dalmatia | splitsko-dalmatinska | vis |
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image by Željko Heimer

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The Flag

It seems that the county of Split and Dalmatia (Splitsko-Dalmatinska zupanija - most of counties have such a double names, naming a city and a wider region) adopted a yellow-blue flag, devided vertically in proportions 1:2 aproximately, with a blue shield in yellow field bearing a yellow crown (of king Zvonimir). I've been reading in newspapers that this flag was proposed, and I have seen it in use lately, but I don't know if it was addopted and confirmed from Zagreb.
Željko Heimer, 18 March 1996

The coat of arms is Azure a Crown of Zvonimir Or. The crown of Zvonimir is based on the representation of the crown on the head of Croatian king found on the old Croatian engraving on a baptistery in early romanic style of XI century. The baptistery is found in Split, and it is believed that the figure represent the king Zvonimir-Dmitar (?-1089, ruled from 1075), who liberated Dalmatia from Venetians, and organized capital and seat of Croatian parliament in Knin. The same crown design is used on the coat of arms of Sibenik and Knin County.
The flag is blue with yellow hoist in the middle of which the coat of arms is set.
The County of Split and Dalmatia is situated in the middle Dalmatia. Even if it is the only county that have the name of Dalmatia in it, since it does not encompass the whole historical kingdom, there is no sence in using the historical Dalmatian coat of arms of three golden leopard's heads in blue shied. However, the historical connection is retained by using of the same colours in the modern county symbols.
Source: Vjesnik, Zagreb, 29. svibnja 1998. str 21.
Željko Heimer

The flag was adopted in 1995, more pecisely on 12 December 1995 by the decision: Odluka o grbu i zastavi Županije splitsko-dalmatinske, 12.12.1995. "Službeni glasnik" br. 9/95.
This is also refered in a historical overview of the County at Povijesni pregled ustroja Županije splitsko-dalmatinske, Prvih 25 sjednica, Iz predbroja "Kronike Županije splitsko-dalmatinske" (Marijana Šundov) at <>. 
There is also a 2002 county decision alowing the use of the Coat of Arms to Zdenko G. Alexy, from Bratislava for his herladic encyclopedia at <>.
Željko Heimer, 20 March 2005

Coat of Arms

image by Željko Heimer

Heraldry of Dalmatia

The following blasons come from Siebmacher's volume on Dalmatia.

Dalmatia (I)
Gules, three leopards' heads affrontes argent, langued and crowned or. (From Konrad von Grueneberg's armory of the Constance Council, 1483).
Dalmatia (II)
Azure, three leopards' heads affrontes, crowned or, langued gules. (Siebmachers Wappenbuche, old edition; this was the version used in the Austrian state arms).
Dalmatia under Venetian rule
: quarterly, 1: Gules, three leopards' heads affrontes crowned or, langued gules (Dalmatia); 2: checquy Argent and Gules (Croatia); 3: Or, three horseshoes inverted sable (kingdom of Rascia); 4: Argent (or Or), a lion gules armed and langued azure (kingdom of Albania).
Dalmatia under Napoleonic rule
Gules, three leopards' heads affrontes or. (shown as escutcheon of pretence on the arms of marechal Soult, duke of Dalmatia).
Republic of Ragusa
Argent, on three bends azure the word LIBERTAS gules. (Arms of the republic).
Ragusa (duchy in Austria)
Argent, three bends azure.
Illyria (old arms)
Gules, a silver crescent beneath an 8-pointed star argent.
Illyria (kingdom, 1816)
Azure, an antique galley or.
Cattaro (lordship, Austria)
Argent, a lion gules armed and langued or.

Francois Velde, 30 June 1995

I received a question from a visitor of my web site regarding the flag and Coat of Arms of Dalmatia (azure three crowned leopard's heads or). Among other things, he claims that there is the original of the Coat of Arms and the flag from 13th century preserved in Belgium in the National Museum in Bruxelles, but of course, he provides no clue where he got this info from. Could that be checked?
I suspect that this is a bit deformed information regarding the first known image of the Dalmatian Coat of Arms that is as far as I am aware from literature in the Gerle Armorial, which is indeed in Belgium, but originates from the late 14th century. If I am not much mistaken, the Gerle book showes the Coat of Arms together with flags, so it may really be the origin. Of course, this can't be the original - only the first known representation, the original "grant of arms" being lost in he mists of time if ever there was one indeed.
Željko Heimer, 10 December 2003

I have no much knowlage on the procedure of the Coat of Arms grants in Austria-Hungary for Dalmatia. It seems that quite a few cities in Dalmatia were granted Coats of Arms in 1890's. Does anyone know how this was done? Were there any letter patents issued in Vienna? Where this was documented? (Unlike the "continental" Croatia where Coat of Arms grants were formally approved by the parliament, after they being granted by the Emperor (sic!) - I am not sure that there was anything of that sort in Dalmatia, and I have certainly never saw any Austrian-Hungarian armorial patent for Dalmatian cities.
H. G. Stroehl in his "Staedte-Wappen v. Oe-U", 1904, mentions (and he should know, as he was heraldic authority at the period) that the Coat of Arms were granted to Imotski (6 July 1890, basically the same as the current), Dubrovnik/Ragusa (25 August 1863 - showing St. Blasius), Split (6 May 1887, blue with Diocletian's palace). I would really like to learn a bit about these grants of arms, as I believe they are readily skipped over in Croatian histories.
Stroehl mentions several flags, most notably that of Split - being red-white-blue tricolour with the Coat of Arms in the middle. Then the same pattern for the flag is described for Bol, tricolour with the community Coat of Arms, basically of the same design as currently used, then for Herceg-Novi (Coat of Arms granted 28 Feb 1890; today in Montenegro), again red-white-blue tricolour with Coat of Arms (argent a masoned tower topped with a flag gules a cross of the first between two cypresses all issuant from on a base vert). Starigrad on Hvar a banner, possibly a gonfanon, is mentioned, blue with the city red-white-blue (a complex one quartered).
Željko Heimer, 20 August 2009

See also: Croatia - Historical Flags (1848-1918)