🇭🇷 Croatia Flag Unveiled: Colors, Meaning, Coat of Arms, Flag Map, and Similar Flags

The Croatian flag stands as a proud emblem of national character, embodying the country’s journey through a rich historical tapestry. It merges tradition with resilience, symbolizing Croatia’s cultural depth and vision for the future.

Flag of Croatia

Flag of Croatia with horizontal stripes in red, white, and blue, and the national coat of arms in the center.
The official flag of Croatia

The flag of Croatia features a distinctive design, central to which is the iconic šahovnica, a red and white checkerboard pattern with deep historical roots. Above this, a crown of five smaller shields represents Croatia’s diverse regions, each symbolizing a unique aspect of the nation’s heritage.

Flag of Croatia: Color Palette



RGB: 255, 0, 0

CMYK: 0, 100, 100, 0



RGB: 255, 255, 255

CMYK: 0, 0, 0, 0



RGB: 0, 147, 221

CMYK: 100, 33, 0, 13



RGB: 23, 23, 150

CMYK: 85, 85, 0, 41



RGB: 247, 219, 23

CMYK: 0, 11, 91, 3



RGB: 0, 0, 0

CMYK: 0, 0, 0, 100

Map of Croatia with the country's flag overlaying the territory.
The territory of Croatia, painted in the colors of the national flag.

Croatia Flag Emoji: 🇭🇷

The color palette of the Croatian flag is both symbolic and visually striking, reflecting a blend of historical significance and culture. Each color chosen for the flag carries a distinct meaning, resonating with the nation’s past and present.

Meaning of Each Color

Croatian flag waving in front of the parliament building.
Croatian flag, waving proudly at the parliament building in Zagreb, the capital city of Croatia.


Red, a color often associated with valor and bravery, symbolizes the strength and courage of the Croatian people. It reflects their resilience in the face of adversity and their willingness to fight for their independence and national rights throughout history.


White represents the desire of the Croatian people for harmony and unity, echoing their pursuit of a peaceful and prosperous future. White also symbolizes purity and integrity, reflecting the noble aspirations of the nation.


Blue stands for freedom, perseverance, and the infinite possibilities that lie ahead. It also represents the Adriatic Sea, integral to Croatia’s geography and history. Blue symbolizes the nation’s progress aspirations and connection to the Slavic community.

The Checkerboard (Šahovnica)

Red and white checkered pattern, resembling the Croatian national symbol.
Croatian checkerboard, symbolizing the nation’s enduring history.

The šahovnica, or the red and white checkerboard, is a historic emblem of Croatia, dating back to the Middle Ages. It symbolizes the country’s long-standing sovereignty and its tumultuous history. This checkerboard pattern is deeply rooted in the Croatian nation, representing the country’s enduring spirit and cultural legacy.

The Crown of Shields

The crown of shields atop the Croatian flag symbolizes the harmony of Croatia’s diverse historical regions, each contributing to the nation’s rich heritage. This element underscores the harmonious blend of regional identities within Croatia.

Croatian Coat of Arms

Coat of arms of Croatia featuring a red and white checkered shield topped with five smaller shields on a blue ribbon.
The Coat of Arms of Croatia

The colors within the coat of arms, including the red and white checkerboard pattern of the šahovnica, hold a special place in Croatia’s history. The checkerboard has been a national symbol since the Middle Ages, representing the historical regions and the Croatian people.

The smaller shields in the crown echo the colors of their respective regions, weaving a tapestry of Croatia’s diverse cultural and historical landscape.

Historical Evolution and the Meaning Behind Changes

Red and white checkered shield, symbolizing the Croatian flag.
Croatia Historic Banner (Early 16th century–1526), reflecting Croatia’s early sovereign symbols.

The Croatian flag has evolved alongside the nation’s history, from the enduring šahovnica pattern to the red, white, and blue tricolor, reflecting political and cultural identity shifts and aligning with broader Slavic harmony and autonomy aspirations.

The Croatian flag’s evolution from regional symbols to the modern tricolor mirrors the nation’s journey through history. The adoption of the red, white, and blue, influenced by Pan-Slavism, symbolizes Croatia’s connection with other Slavic countries and its quest for national character and self-governance.

Flag of Croatia with horizontal stripes in red, white, and blue, and the country's coat of arms in the center.
Triune Kingdom Flag (1868–1918), representing the historic union within the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

In the 20th century, Croatia’s flag reflected its status in Yugoslavia with additions like the red star. The early 1990s marked a return to traditional symbols, with the modern flag featuring the šahovnica and regional shields, symbolizing Croatia’s rich heritage and its journey towards sovereignty and self-identity.

Overall Symbolic Meaning of the Flag

A pin with the flag of Croatia placed on a map, indicating the country's location in Europe.
Flag pin of Croatia in the approximate location of Croatia on the coast of the Adriatic Sea.

The Croatian flag symbolizes national unity and the enduring spirit of its people. Its design, featuring the historic šahovnica and regional shields, represents a deep respect for Croatia’s diverse heritage. The flag represents the nation’s resilience, bridging its rich past with a hopeful future, embodying Croatia’s collective identity and pride.

Similar Flags to the Flag of Croatia

Several flags worldwide resemble Croatia’s, reflecting shared histories or heraldic themes. Let’s explore the top flags similar to Croatia’s:


Flag of Serbia with horizontal stripes in red, blue, and white, featuring the national coat of arms in the center.
The flag of Serbia, sharing Pan-Slavic colors with Croatia.

The flag of Serbia shares the Pan-Slavic colors – red, white, and blue – with Croatia’s flag. These shared colors signify a common cultural and historical background among Slavic nations, emphasizing their interconnected histories and cultural heritage.


Flag of Slovenia with three horizontal stripes - white on the top, blue in the middle, red on the bottom, and the Slovenian coat of arms on the left side.
The flag of Slovenia, reflects a shared Slavic heritage and mutual historical narratives.

Slovenia’s flag also showcases the red, white, and blue color scheme, highlighting the shared Slavic heritage with Croatia. Despite different symbols, the common colors reflect a shared regional history and cultural ties within the Slavic community.


Flag of Slovakia with horizontal stripes in white, blue, and red, and the national coat of arms on the left side.
The flag of Slovakia, echoing Croatia’s tricolor scheme and Slavic history.

Similarly, Slovakia’s flag echoes the Croatian flag with the same color scheme, underlining the shared Slavic community connection. Though differing in design, the presence of a coat of arms creates a visual reference to the Croatian flag, emphasizing the shared historical and cultural narratives.


The Croatian flag embodies a rich tapestry of history and symbolism, marking its distinct place in the world’s flags. It represents not just national identity but a deep sense of pride and unity for Croatians, symbolizing their resilient spirit and heritage in a global context.

Image Sources and Copyright Information
  • Croatian Flag in Front of Parliament Building: © Bumble Dee/Shutterstock
  • Croatia Flag Pin on Map: © GR.Stocks/Shutterstock