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Cres (The Coast-Gorski Kotar County, Croatia)

Last modified: 2003-08-16 by dov gutterman
Keywords: cres | croatia | panther | primorsko-goranska |
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by Zeljko Heimer, 18 June 2003

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The modern artistic redention was adopted around 1995 and seems to have replaced the Previous Flag and Coat of Arms by now in most cases.The flag and the Coat of Arms shown as "Previous" are two previously used variants of the heraldically the same thing.
The 2001 Statutes of the city (as no doubt the previous statutes also) blazon the coat of arms naming the beast a hipopanther: Azure a Hipopanther Or. The arms originate from 14th century.
The 2001 Statutes also include in the preamble description of the traditional flag of Cres, that was used by the medieval city and her ships "for at least seven centuries". The flag is described as "striped blue and golden-yellow with the coat of arms in the middle". Unfortunately, I have no managed to find out what this looked like exactly (e.g. how many stripes or even if the number was relevant).
The modern flag is, as required by the Ministry of Administration rules, monocoloured, light blue with the coat of arms in the middle, bordered yellow.
I believe that the modern artistic redention is designed by Heraldika d.o.o. from Rijeka, but I have no proves for that.
Sources: Grad Gres <>, Statut Grada Cresa, 11. listopada 2001, Službene novine Primorsko goranske županije Oštric Goroslav: Monumenta heraldica, izbor iz heraldicke baštine primorsko-goranske županije, Pomorski i povijesni muzej Hrvatskog primorja Rijeke, 2002. [osg02].
Today Cress has about 3000 ihabitants. In 1992 administrative reform it was gvien community status, but was upgraded to city in 1997 (due to historical tradition and its position on island where number of
inhabitants can not be used as qualification of civic "rights" - similar case we saw with Bakar, and shall be observed with many other cities on islands and coastal region). Cres is connected with a bridge over a tight chanel with the southern island Lošinj. The two were/are often known as one item named Osor (that is the name of the place where the bridge is).
Zeljko Heimer, 18 June 2003

Coat of Arms

by Zeljko Heimer, 18 June 2003

Previous CoA

by Zeljko Heimer

An example of a panther on a coat of arms is that of the Croatian city of Cres. It is azure, panther rampant or and goes back, at least, to the fourteenth century.
From the booklet Heraldicki Cres written by Jasmina Cus-Rukonic : "...The heraldic figure of a panther is composed of bodily parts from various animals. The head is horse-like, with long ears, oxen horns and a bent neck like a swan, the forelegs of a gryphon and the tail is crowned, The populace, not knowing of the use of mythical animals in classical heraldry and seeing that the figure in the Cres coat of arms was neither a horse nor a lion, invented its own story to explain this odd figure. They identified it with the attributes of the people of Cres: handsome and gentle as young horses, but when tampered with becoming as dangerous as lions and displaying their claws..."
Mario Fabretto, 8 May 1997

The coat of arms of Cres originates from XIV century, Azure a Panther Or. The modern shield is based on the historical examples preserved mainly as carved in stone in several places in Cres. The heraldic panther is a beast composed of horse's head, long ears, horns like oxen, long swan-like neck, griffon's (i.e. eagle's) forlegs, and horse's rear legs and lion's tail. It spits fire as a rule. A legend told by the Cres inhabitans explain it as symbolic for themself - tame and lovely (and ready to work hard) as young horses they become dangerous as lions and eagles when they are provoked. Until 1997 Cres had status of a community.
Zeljko Heimer

Previous Flag

by Zeljko Heimer