This page is part of © FOTW Flags Of The World website

Rijeka, Croatia

Primorje-Gorski Kotar County

Last modified: 2023-04-29 by rob raeside
Keywords: rijeka | sušak |
Links: FOTW homepage | search | disclaimer and copyright | write us | mirrors

[Flag]  [Flag] images by Željko Heimer, 6 January 2022, 23 August 2002

See also:

Flag of Rijeka

On June 6, 2018, the city hoisted its historic flag, including all elements of its historic coat of arms, the imperial crown and a ribbon with an inscription.

Tomislav Šipek, 6 January 2022

The town of Rijeka now has two official flags. The blue flag of the town of Rijeka with a yellow framed coat of arms in the middle is still an official flag.

Tomislav Šipek, 15 April 2023

Coat of arms of Rijeka

[Coat of arms] images by Željko Heimer, 23 August 2002

The coat of arms is described in the aforementioned Decision as "In an oval shield gules a double-headed eagle sable both heads looking to sinister with raised wings beaked and membered or and langued gules standing with its dexter on a cliff and its sinister holding an amphora proper from which is pouring water filling the space around the cliff".
This is a stylization of the coat of arms granted on 6 June 1659 by the Croatian King and Austrian Emperor Leopold I. This coat of arms is a reference to Rijeka (lit., "river") and to the short, swift river Rječina for which the town is named.

Željko Heimer, 12 September 2009

Ceremonial flag of Rijeka

[Flag] image by Željko Heimer, 15 April 2023

In addition to the official blue flag with the Rijeka coat of arms in the middle, the town of Rijeka also has its own ceremonial flag, as another way of expressing belonging to the city (SN Grada Rijeka 8/20). The ceremonial flag of the City is the flag approved by the then Town Council in 1870. The flag is a tricolor with horizontal stripes of dark carmine, golden yellow and ultramarine. In the middle of the flag is the historical coat of arms of the town: in a red oval shield, standing on a rock with its right foot, a two-headed black eagle with raised wings, both heads looking to the left with golden beaks and feet and red tongues, with its left foot holding a pitcher of natural color from which abundant water pours out spills around the rock. Above the eagle is the Austrian imperial and Croatian royal crown with two blue ribbons hanging horizontally from it. Below the shield is a ribbon with the inscription "Indeficienter".

Tomislav Šipek, 15 April 2023

Former symbols of Rijeka

September 1998-2018

[Flag] image by Željko Heimer, 23 August 2002

The symbols of Rijeka are prescribed by Decision Odluka o izmjenama Odluke o grbu i zastavi Grada Rijeke, adopted on 26 September 1998 by the Town Assembly and published in the County official gazette Službene novine Primorsko-goranske županije, No. 24, modifying the symbols adopted a few months earlier, upon request of the Ministry of Administration.
Soon after the adoption of the new Town Statutes in 2009, the Decision was amendeded to Odluka o izmjenama i dopunama Odluke o grbu i zastavi Grada Rijeke, adopted on 23 July 2009 by the Town Assembly and published on 25 July 2009 in Službene novine Primorsko-goranske županije, No. 29, to reflect the new administrative structure of the town.
The current Town Statutes (2009) do not include the description of the symbols, just as the previous statutes, only prescribing their existence and a separate Decision to regulate them. In the Town Assembly when the new Statutes were discussed (news), an opposition party proposed that the descriptions were included in the Statutes as well, but the ruling party and the Mayor opposed, explaining that this was not necessary.

The symbols were designed by the Heraldic Art d.o.o. company, from Rijeka.

The flag is in proportions 1:2, blue with the coat of arms, bordered yellow, in the middle.

Željko Heimer, 6 December 2009

Symbols of Rijeka, March - September 1998

[Flag]    [Coat of arms]  images by Željko Heimer, 6 March 2005

Flag and arms of Rijeka, 1998

The previous symbols of Rijeka were prescribed by Decision Odluka o grbu i zastavi Grada Rijeke, adopted on 26 March 1998 by the Town Assembly and published on 31 March 1998 in Službene novine Primorsko-goranske županije, No. 24.

The flag is prescribed as a tricolor of red (dark carmine) over yellow (dark goldish yellow) over blue (ultramarine) with the coat of arms in the middle.
As it was a separate "crown-land" under the Hungarian crown, separated from Croatian background to serve as Hungarian port town, Rijeka had its own landesfarben, a three-striped flag based on the coat of arms. The colour order is quated differently in several sources as blue over red over yellow and red over yellow over blue. However, it seems that the last variant was more popular, even if possibly the first one may be more according to the letter of law.

The coat of arms includes the Austrian Imperial crown above the eagles' heads with two blue ribbons attached to it. Below the shield is a white ribbon inscribed "INDEFICIENTIER".

Željko Heimer, 12 September 2009

Symbols of Rijeka, 1967-1998

[Flag]    [Coat of arms]

Flag and arms of Rijeka, 1967-1998 - images by Željko Heimer, 6 March 2005

The symbols used in the Socialist period were adopted after a competition held in 1967. The winning proposal was made by Dorian Sokolić (1928-2005), a painter and scenographer in several theatres in Rijeka, Novi Sad and in various theatres in Europe, also Commissioner of the Croatian National Theatre in Rijeka, 1969-1980. The type-written sheet explaining the proposal says:

Idea: Rječina, the flow of which in history divided the two banks connects them today in a singular unit - the town of Rijeka.
Shape: the basic shape recalls the cross section of a ship's hull and the classic form of old coats of arms. In the middle is an amphora from which water is flowing as a symbol of endless movement and flow of life. At the same time this is also the oldest symbol of this town.
Colours: Blue - reflection of the sea and the sky; Golden - richness of the town in the past, present and the future.
Flag: simplified contents or stylization of the flow and the delta of river Rječina.

The flag is light blue with two white trangles next to the hoist representing the flow and the delta of the Rječina river. The flag has unusual, elongated proportions, 1:4. The width of the central blue stripe is 1/4 of the hoist size and the triangles are reaching 3/5 of the length.

The coat of arms is a variation of the historical coat of arms of Rijeka in accordance to the style of the period. Neither the coat of arms nor the flag did include the red five-pointed star, otherwise a necessary element in the emblems of the period.

This flag was often hoisted often in Rijeka, together with the contemporary flags of Yugoslavia, Croatia, the Italian minority and the League of Communists. The flags were usually hoisted publicly on the lamp posts, so that each lamp post was adorned with as many as 6 or 8 flags of the same kind. While all the flags except that of Rijeka were in proportions 1:2, the flag of Rijeka preserved its unusual proportions so that it was made equally long but noticably less wide. On several places in the town the masts were also set in a line where the order of the flags was from observer's left to right: Yugoslavia - League of Communists - Croatia - Rijeka - Italian minority. Houses used the usual combinations used at the time elsewhere in the country with only three flags Croatia - Yugoslavia - League of Communists. A large flag of Rijeka was also regularly hoisted from the watchtower of the Civic Dome on the Corso in Rijeka.

These historical symbols have not been totally forgotten, even if they were formally abandoned in 1998. The coat of arms was until today used in some occasions, for instance by the Rijeka public transport company Autotrolej and in the emblem of the F.C. Rijeka. Their fans use the blue and white flags (photo) together with the historical red-yellow-blue tricolours and as well as the current flags of the town.
At the time when this flag was official, its opponents mockingly compared it with hospital pajamas.

Željko Heimer & Robert Grubiša, 30 May 2005

Proposal of re-adoption of the flag, 2016

[Flag] image by Željko Heimer, 15 July 2016

The Town Assembly of Rijeka adopted unanimously (which is a rare occasion among dozen or more parties represented in the Assembly) on 14 July 2016 a proposal of Decision to change the town's flag back to the historical red-yellow-blue flag with the town's arms in the centre (report, report).
This is, basically, a reversal to the original 1998 Decision, when the tricolour was rejected by the central authorities (Ministry of Administration), arguing that the tricolour is used by an irrdentist organization in Italy. The Town Assembly explained that times are changed, and that the organization today cooperates with the town's authorities and recognizes the incorporation of Rijeka to Croatia. The Assembly also pointed out that the use of the town's flag by a civic society located in another country is irrelevant, at least, and should not be a reason for a town to shun its history.
The Decision has to be approved by the Ministry of Administration before the new-old flag may be officially used.

The material related to the proposal prepared for the Town Assembly includes the original 1870 documents and other interesting background information. Nenas Labus, former Vice President of the HGZD provided a short history of the town's flag.

Željko Heimer, 15 July 2016

Proposed symbols, 1996

[Flag]    [Coat of arms]  images by Željko Heimer, 15 July 2016

In 1995-1996, a Commission headed by Petar Strčić was working to define the town's flag. After a competition had been held, the final proposal was presented on 26 February 1996 to the Town Assembly, under the title "Lege Artis". As it was afterwards confirmed, the proposal was designed by the designer of the 1967 flag, Dorian Sokolić. The flag was formally adopted by a thin majority, but the final Decision was never drafted nor published, and the new (tricolour) flag was adopted in March 1998.

The 1996 proposal was quartered white and blue, with the coat of arms in the centre. The coat of arms was in a concave shield, quartered, chequy gules and argent, argent a muller of six or, argent and blue and overall a vase or from which golden water issues through the third quarter.

[After Robert Grubiša. Usvajanje riječkih simbola 1990-ih | Adoption of the Symbols of Rijeka in the 1990s, Grb i zastava 2012, 11, 14-16]

Željko Heimer, 15 July 2016

Symbols of Rijeka, 1924 – 1945

[Flag]  [Flag] image by Željko Heimer, 6 January 2022

The short-lived Free State of Rijeka was annexed by Italy on 16 March 1924. The city flag well established prior to World War I and used as the flag of the Free City were continued in use. However, the local Italian administration prefered the "beheaded" eagle with a single head, and soon introduced it instead of the double headed eagle, with no formal approval and grant from Rome (in spite of the royal heraldic comission suggesting otherwise). Eventually, on 24 July 1941 the president of the government granted a new coat of arms with the so called "lictorial chief" (capo del littorio) added. The tricolour red-yellow-blue flag with that coat of arms, and a gonfalon of dark red with three triangularly ending tails with fringe and trinagular cut-outs at the base of the indentation, withthat coat of arms in it were, also granated. This was formally retained through the German occupation since 1943, until the Yugoslav units entered the city on 3 May 1945.
There is, so far, no indication that the flags of this design were ever actually used. It seems that every single tricolour produced used a different unique variation of the coat of arms, often without the shield background.

Tomislav Šipek, 6 January 2022


[Flag] image by Željko Heimer, 6 January 2022

Flag of Rijeka, ca. 1900 – 1924

[Flag] image by Željko Heimer, 6 January 2022

The city tricolour established in 1870 was used with various forms of the coat of arms withou any standardized design - and by the end of the century the version without supporters was generally in predominant use.

Tomislav Šipek, 6 January 2022

Flag of Rijeka, 1870 – ca. 1900

[Flag] image by Željko Heimer, 6 January 2022

To resolve the earlier symbolic ambiguity, a separate flag was proposed to be displayed from the city standard, based on the armorial colours: carmine red, golden-yellow, and ultramarine blue in 1849. These colours were already used as the city colour in the revolutionary cocarde in 1848. However, no such decision on the flag was made and eventually the city administration was disbanded until 1857, thus using no flag. When the city flags were allowed again, the old defaced Austrian flag was reintroduced, and the city leaders begun a struggle to approve a genuine city flag, sucseeding it only in 1870.

Tomislav Šipek, 6 January 2022

Flag of Rijeka, ca. 1835 – 1848

[Flag] image by Željko Heimer, 6 January 2022

Eventually the city was returned to status of the corpus separatum of the Hungarian Crown in 1835 and the flag on the city standard was changed to the Hungarian tricolour with the coat of arms in it, reportedly without the supporters.

Tomislav Šipek, 6 January 2022

Flag of Rijeka, ca. 1813 – 1835 and 1858 – 1870

[Flag] image by Željko Heimer, 6 January 2022

After the Napoleonic Wars the city of Rijeka was returned to Habsburg control and was granted right to fly the red-white-red triband on the city standard defaced with the city arms granted by king Leopold I on 6 June 1659 depicting in gules a double eagle ensigned with an imperial crown facing sinister standing on a rock in a sea holding with its sinister claw a vase pouring water. The oval shield had a ribbon beneath inscribed “Indeficienter” (non-deficient, inexhaustible). By the time the supporters were usually added to this in figures of St. Vitus and Modestus, patrons of Rijeka, clad as Romans holding palm branches.

Tomislav Šipek, 6 January 2022

Polytechnic of Rijeka

[Flag] image by Tomislav Šipek, 3 June 2020

The flag of the Polytechnic of Rijeka (photo) is blue with the institute's logo.
The logo of the Polytechnic is round in shape. The plane of the horizon divides the sky and the sea, the vertical of the sail with the sail curve repeats the reflection in the water. The perfection of the circle defines the meaning of the Polytechnic of Rijeka.

Tomislav Šipek, 3 June 2020

Port of Rijeka Authority

[Port Authority flag] image by Tomislav Šipek, 30 September 2021

The flag of Port of Rijeka Authority (Lučka uprava Rijeka) is white with logo.
Tomislav Šipek, 30 September 2021

Port of Rijeka j.s.c.

[Port of Rijeka flag] image by Tomislav Šipek, 1 October 2021

Luka Rijeka d.d. (Port of Rijeka j.s.c.) is a joint stock company for maritime transport services, port services, warehousing and freight forwarding is the largest concessionaire for dry cargo transhipment in the Republic of Croatia, which performs economic activity in the port of Rijeka at specialized terminals in three port basins: Rijeka, Bakar and Raša.
Tomislav Šipek, 1 October 2021

Sports clubs

Sailing Club "3 May"

[Burgee] image by Željko Heimer, 27 June 2001

Burgee of Sailing Club "3 May"

The sailing club (website) bears the same name as a big shipyard in Rijeka. I guess it was founded by the workers, and it may still be strongly connected with the company.
The burgee of the club is a triangular pennant quartered white and light blue with two white sails over the two hoist quarters.

Željko Heimer, 27 June 2001

Sailing Club of Rijeka

[Burgee] image by Željko Heimer, 3 July 2001

Burgee of SCOR

The burgee of SCOR is a triangular pennant horizonatlly divided into purple, yellow and light blue stripes, the first being of double width with a white eight-pointed star. The shade of the upper stripe varies much in different sources from bright red to very dark purpule. The colors are based on the traditional landesfarben of Rijeka originating from the period of the Habsburg Monarchy.

Željko Heimer & José Carlos Alegria, 27 June 2001

Mountaineering Club "Duga"

[Flag] image by Ivan Sache, 20 June 2013

The mountaineering club "Duga" (laninarsko društvo "Duga" - PD "Duga"; website) was founded on 23 November 2000 in Rijeka.

The flag of PD "Duga" (photo, photo) is light blue (like the flag of Rijeka) with the club's emblem in the middle.
The emblem of PD "Duga" features a rainbow (in Croatian, duga).

Ivan Sache, 20 June 2013


[Coat of arms] image by Željko Heimer, 23 October 2016

While the town of Rijeka (Fiume) was part of the Austria-Hungary ruled as part of Hungary proper, the neighbouring parts, east of river Rječina (Fiumara), were under the administration of the Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia. The municipality was first called Trsat, with its seat just above the modern town; in the late 19th century the seat was moved to the coast and renamed Sušak. After the First World War, Rijeka proper was awarded the status of Free State, eventually annexed to Italy, while Sušak remained part of Croatia, within the newly forming South-Slavic state. Regent Crown Prince Alexander, in the name of hist father, King Peter I, signed on 23 October 1919 a Decree granting the status of Town to Sušak (text). The town soon became an important port and industrial centre of interbellum Yugoslavia.
During the Second World War, Sušak was first occupied and then annexed to Italy. After the Italian capitulation, the town was disputed by the Germans and the Yugoslav partisans,
The municipalities of Rijeka and Sušak were formally unified in late 1947; the first session of the united Town People's Commission was held on 12 February 1948. The municipality of Sušak continued to exist until 1962, as the 3rd Rayon of the Town Municipality of Rijeka.

Lašovski [lsv39] shows the arms of Sušak as a blue shield charged with St. Lawrence holding a gril. This design, based on the arms used by the community in the 18th century, were replaced in the 1930s by a new design (image*), probably granted by the King of Yugoslavia.
The Rijeka historic archives kept the proposal of arms sent by Omer Mujadžić, a renown painter born in Bosanska Gradiška, to the Magistrate. Whether this was the pinter's original proposal or his personal rendition of someone else's proposal is not known.
The municipality susequently released revenue stamps (image, image) depicting the coat of arms, which remained in use, with appropriate overprints of name and values, until the unification with Rijeka.

*This cast iron version of the arms is said to be probably from the facade of the Magistrate's house, kept in the Rijeka Maritime and History Museum and presented by Goroslav Oštrić (Monumenta Heraldica: Izbor iz heraldičke baštine Primorsko-goranske županije [osg02]).

Željko Heimer, 23 October 2016