The Coats of Arms and Flags of Croatian Universities

During the medieval period universities were among the first corporate institutions to adopt coats of arms. Thus, Croatian universities also their symbols, that are seal-shaped, mostly circular, and although the universities themselves call them «coats of arms», they have no heraldic character, so they could not be considered heraldic coats of arms. Most contain inscriptions in Croatian and/or Latin. Generally, no colour is prescribed, except for use on flags. The flags are mostly mono-coloured, often matching the city flag’s colour.  As a rule the symbols are prescribed in the statutes of each university.

University of Zagreb has circular arms depicting the university building. Along the edge is the name and founding year (1669) in Croatian and Arabic numberals or in Latin and Roman numerals. The flag is blue, 1:2, with the arms in gold in the centre, half the flag width in diameter. (Statutes, Art. 4)

Josip Juraj Strossmayer University of Osijek uses circular arms bearing the coat of arms of the city of Osijek surrounded by the name in Croatian. The flag is a white-blue bicolour, 1:2, with the arms in blue in the centre. (Statutes, Art. 6)

University of Dubrovnik uses circular  arms depicting the Baroque staircase Uz Jezuite, in the centre of which is carved Collegium Rhagusinum (in fact, the inscription would be so small that is only hinted at by a plaque). It is surrounded by the name inscribed in Croatian and Latin. The flag is dark red with the arms in silver. (Statutes, Art. 18)

Zastava Sveučilišta u Dubrovniku
The University of Dubrovnik flag

University of Zadar has circular arms depicting the former lyceum of St. Demetrius, surrounded by the name in Croatian and Latin and the years 1396 and 2002. The flag is two-sided, the obverse blue with the golden arms and reverse white with the arms of the old University and an inscription in Latin. (Statutes, Art. 4)

University of Rijeka has circular arms with stylized depiction synthesizing several symbols: a double letter R, an owl, a Glagolitic letter S, but also recalling a mooring bollard and an anvil; and a stylized sea below. Surrounding it is the name in Croatian and Latin. The central symbol is golden-yellow on dark blue background; the outline and the text are also dark blue with the light blue background. The flag is light blue, 1:2, with the arms half the flag width in diameter. (Statutes, Art. 11)

Juraj Dobrila University of Pula is symbolized with a spiral drawing surrounded by the name in Croatian or Latin. The spiral is coloured old gold and the letters are grey. The flag is silver with the symbol in centre. (Statutes, Art. 3 and 8)

University of Split uses circular arms depicting Ivan Mestrovic’s sculpture the History of Croats, surrounded by the name in Croatian or Latin. The flag is blue with the arms in gold in the centre. (Statutes, Art. 5 and 7)

Croatian Catholic University prescribes a coat of arms in a semi-circular shield gules a Viseslav’s cross issuant between alpha and omega and in chief sinister a stylized eight-pointed star. Apparently, a logo seems to be preferred – a blue square with the eight-pointed  star. The flag is vertical with the logo in the upper and the name in Croatian and Latin in silver and blue stripes in the lower half. (Statutes, Art. 4)

The universities are composed of faculties, institutes, specialized centres, departments, chairs and other components, most of them having their own particular symbols, including “coats of arms” and flags. However, more on those will appear in these pages on some other occasion.

Ivan Dodig: The Coats of Arms and Flags of Croatian Universities, Grb i zastava vol. 14, November 2013. Full article with the Croatian translation You can find here.


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