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Croatia: Legislation on naval flags

Last modified: 2014-01-11 by ivan sache
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Decision on naval flags

Decision No. 1754 Odluka o vojnopomorskim, zapovjednim i položajnim zastavama i plamencima na ratnim brodovima Republike Hrvatske (On Naval, Command and Rank Flags and Pennants on the Naval Ships of the Republic of Croatia) was published on 13 October 1999 in the Croatian official gazette Narodne novine, No. 105, woth some very rough images of the flags.

Article 1.
This Decision establishes the naval, command and rank flags and pennants on the naval ships of the Republic of Croatia.

Article 2.
The naval flags of the naval ships of the Republic of Croatia are:
1. The ensign;
2. The jack.

Article 3.
The command flags of the naval ships of the Republic of Croatia are:
1. The flag of the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Croatia;
2. The flag of the Minister of Defence of the Republic of Croatia;
3. The flag of the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Croatia;
4. The flag of the Commander-in-Chief of the Croatian Navy.

Article 4.
The command pennants of the naval ships of the Republic of Croatia are:
1. The pennant of the Commander of a Fleet of naval vessels;
2. The pennant of the Commander of a Brigade of naval vessels;
3. The pennant of the Commander of a Division of naval vessels;
4. The pennant of the Commander of a Group of naval vessels;
5. The pennant of the Senior Commander of a naval vessel on docking or harbour;
6. The pennant of the Commander of a Naval Vessel.

Article 5.
The rank flags of the naval ships of the Republic of Croatia are:
1. The flag of the President of the Croatian State Parliament;
2. The flag of the President of the Government of the Republic of Croatia;
3. The flag of the Staff Admiral [Admiral of the Fleet] of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Croatia;
4. The flag of the Admiral of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Croatia;
5. The flag of the Vice Admiral of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Croatia;
6. The flag of the Rear Admiral of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Croatia;
7. The flag of the Commodore of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Croatia;
8. The flag of the General of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Croatia.

Article 6.
The Minister of Defence of the Republic of Croatia is entitled to prescribe Rules on technical manufacturing conditions, procedures and manners of rising and hoisting flags and pennants on the naval ships of the Republic of Croatia defined by this Decision.

Article 7.
The graphical layout of the naval, command and rank flags and pennants defined by this Decision is in the attachment to this Decision and forms an integral part of it.

All these flags are authorized only for use on naval vesels, and not as table flags, car flags...

Željko Heimer, 24 October 1999


Rules on technical manufacturing conditions, procedures and manners of rising and hoisting the flags and pennants on the naval ships of the Republic of Croatia

Rules No. 1755 Pravilnik o tehničkim uvjetima izrade, postupku i načinu isticanja te vijanja zastava i plamenaca na ratnim brodovima Republike Hrvatske (On Technical Manufacturing Conditions, Procedures and Manners of Rising and Hoisting the Flags and Pennants on the Naval Ships of the Republic of Croatia) were published on 13 October 1999 in the Croatian official gazette Narodne novine, No. 105.

I. General decision
Article 1.
These Rules determine the procedures and manners of rising and hoisting the naval, command and rank flags and pennants on the naval ships of the Republic of Croatia, and technical conditions of their production.

II. Naval flags
Article 2.
The naval ships of the Republic of Croatia (further on: RH) hoist the ensign on the stern ensign staff, that is, on the stern mast. The motor vessels and oar vessels hoist the ensign on the ensign staff. The sail vessels hoist the ensign on a well visible place at the stern end of the ship.

Article 3.
The ensign should be rised to the top of the staff or the mast. The ensign is hoisted on half staff according the Rules of the Service and Rules of the Conduct of the Armed Force of the Republic of Croatia.

Article 4.
The naval ships hoist the ensign through the whole time of the duration of the navigation and during battle on sea. If the ensign is destroyed or detached during navigation or battle, another ensign should be hoisted at its place or at some other appropriate place on the stern end of the ship.

Article 5.
Docked or anchored naval ships of RH hoist the ensign from 8 o'clock AM to sundown. The docked or anchored naval ships of RH hoist the ensign after sundown only when it is necessarily to show the nationality of the ship.

Article 6.
On a vessel that belongs to a ship, the ensign is hoisted only when the vessel is navigating, as well as in cases when the ship to which the vessel belongs is hoisting the jack. On a vessel that does not belong to a ship the ensign is hoisted when the vessel is navigating, as well as on holidays and in cases when other naval ships of RH are hoisting the jack.

Article 7.
The naval ships of RH are hoisting the jack on the jack staff. The naval ships of RH are hoisting the jack on holidays and in ceremonial occasions. Throughout the duration of a naval ship of RH being in a foreign port, the jack is hoisted daily.

Article 8.
When the naval ships of RH hoist the jack daily, it is risen and lowered in the same manner as the ensign. When the jack is hoisted during the ceremonial occasions, it is risen and lowered independently from the ensign and without special onboard ceremony.

Article 9.
The naval flags are manufactured so that the ratio of the flag length to width is one and a half to one, in following sizes:
1. 3.75 m x 2.50 m;
2. 2.10 m x 1.40 m;
3. 1.20 m x 0.80 m;
4. 0.75 m x 0.50 m.

III. Command flags
Article 10.
A command flag is hoisted on a naval ship of RH when a person or an officer of the appropriate rank is on board. The command flag is hoisted on the main mast.

Article 11.
A command flag of a certain person is risen when that person is boarding the naval ship of RH, and lowered when he boards out. If a person who is permanently boarded on the ship hoisting his command flag, is boarding an other ship, the ship on which the person was boarded lowers the command flag of that person, while the ship on which the person is boarding rises it.

Article 12.
If in the same time on the ship several persons with right to a command flag are aboard, the ship is hoisting only the flag of the most senior commander.

Article 13.
The command flags are manufactured so that the ratio of the flag length to width is one to one.
The command flags are made in following sizes:
1. 1.50 m x 1.50 m;
2. 1.00 m x 1.00 m;
3. 0.50 m x 0.50 m.

IV. Command pennants
Article 14.
The command pennants on the naval ships of RH are hoisted on the aftermost mast, or main mast if the ship has no mizzenmast. The command pennant of the senior commander of a ship on docking is hoisted on the right [starboard] outer side of the lower cross of the main mast.

Article 15.
A command pennant is risen when a commander of the appropriate rank is boarding the naval ship of RH, and it is lowered when he boards out. When there more than one person are aboard, that is, officers with right to hoist a command pennant, the ship hoists only the command pennant of the senior commander present. When there is on a ship a person with right to hoist a command flag and a person with right to hoist a command pennant, the ship hoists only the command flag.

Article 16.
The command pennant of the senior commander of a ship on docking is hoisted permanently on the ship that has boarded the senior commander on the docking and when there is hoisted an other command flag or pennant. When the ship that hoists the pennant of the senior commander on docking while sailing out is under way, the pennant of the senior commander on docking is lowered, while in the same time the ship of the next ranking commander or a commander determined by an order is rising it. When the ship of a senior commander is ports into docking his ship rises the senior commander pennant as soon as she is not under way, while the ship that was hoisting the senior commander's pennant until then is lowering it.

Article 17.
A commander of a naval unit may hoist his pennant only on ships of his unit, and a commander of a ship may hoist it only on the ship under his command.

Article 18.
The command pennant of a commander of a naval ship fleet, the command pennant of a commander of a naval ship brigade, the command pennant of a commander of a naval ship division, the command pennant of a commander of a naval ship group and the command pennant of the senior commander of a ship on docking or harbor, except the command pennant of a commander of a ship, are manufactured so that the ratio of the base of the pennant to its width is one to two. The command pennants from the previous line, except the command pennant of a commander of a ship, are made in the following sizes:
1. 1.80 m x 0.90 m;
2. 1.20 m x 0.60 m;
3. 0.60 m x 0.30 m.

Article 19.
The command pennant of a commander of a ship is manufactured so that the ratio of the base of the pennant to its width is one to ten. The command pennant of a commander of a ship is made in the following sizes:
1. 3.00 m x 0.30 m;
2. 2.00 m x 0.20 m;
3. 1.00 m x 0.10 m.

V. Rank flags
Article 20.
The rank flags on the naval ships of RH are hoisted on the main mast. A rank flag is risen when a person of the appropriate rank boards the naval ship, and it is lowered when he boards out.

Article 21.
If there are on a ship in the same time several persons with right to hoist a rank flag, the ship hoists only the rank flag of the person with highest rank.

Article 22.
The rank flags are manufactured so that the ratio of the length to the width is one to one. The rank flags are made in following sizes:
1. 1.50 m x 1.50 m;
2. 1.00 m x 1.00 m;
3. 0.50 m x 0.50 m.

VI. Final decisions
Article 23.
A person with right to hoist an appropriate command of rank flag on a naval ship of RH maintains that right on a vessel.

Article 24.
The command and rank flags and pennants of military and civil representatives of foreign states who are on board of a naval ship of RH are hoisted in honor of the foreign representatives is they have one. When there is on a naval ship of RH a chief of a foreign state, the naval ship of RH hoists the flag of the foreign chief of state according to the rules that are valid for hoisting the flag of the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Croatia [OS RH].
When there is on a naval ship, together with the Supreme Commander of the OS RH, a chief of a foreign state, the naval ship of RH hoists simultaneously the flags of the Supreme Commander of OS RH and the foreign chief of state, so that the flag of the foreign chief is to the right [starboard] of the flag of the Supreme Commander of OS RH.

Article 25.
The command and rank flags and pennants determined by the Decision of the President of the Republic and by this Rules can not be hoisted in honor of foreign military and civil representatives when they are on board of naval ships of RH.

Article 26.
Except by the naval ships of RH, the naval, command and rank flags and pennants are hoisted also by enlisted (reserve) ships when they are incorporated in OS RH in peacetime and in war.

Article 27.
The naval, command and rank flags and pennants are manufactured from the best materials and they are equipped with a flag string.

Article 28.
These Rules are effective with the day of issue in Narodne novine.

Željko Heimer, 29 October 1999


Flag hoisting after a successful rescue

In regulations regarding the procedures connected with rescue of overboard men, the rescue vessel is required to hoist the ensign at the stern at the time of a successful rescue, no matter what other flag hoisting regulations and whether any other conditions require or do not require a flag to be hoisted.
It is my guess that such a flag hoisting is used as the fastest signal of success of the rescue operation. It may also have something to do with symbolizing the "victory" over the natural forces.

Željko Heimer, 8 October 2000