Last modified: 2011-08-20 by ivan sache
Keywords: dubrovnik | ragusa | st. blasius | libertas |
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Primary ensign of the Republic of Ragusa - Image by Željko Heimer, 16 March 2000
Quoting the summary of O državnoj zastavi Dubrovačke Republike, by Josip Luetić (Zadar, 1967) [lue67]:
Our [Croatian] maritime communities in the past had their own flags. Our most prominent flag over the span of several centuries was that of the Dubrovnik Community or Dubrovnik Republic, wich, in 1272, was made official and recorded in the Statutes, as "VIXILLUM S. BLASIJ."
As a "seal" of statemanship in rectangular form, the Dubrovnik flag was made of cloth - domestic white woollen fabric called raša - or of imported linen, more rarely the fabric used was domestic silk. It was positioned at the stern flagstaff, or on the main mast, or on the jigger boom, or on the gaff of all Dubrovnik sailing-vessels.
In the Maritime Museum of Dubrovnik are kept original flags that were flown on the sailing vessels of the Dubrovnik Republic in the 18th century and at the beginning of the 19th century.
The author of this paper draws the inference that the true and only official State flag of the Republic of Dubrovnik was that in white colour with the effigy of St. Blasius, which was flown for centuries on the ships of this maritime State until 27 December 1807, when the French occupation General A. Lauriston ordered the Dubrovnik Senate to substitute this flag with the foreign flag of Napoleonic Italy.
Željko Heimer, 16 August 1996
The Dubrovnik Maritime Museum shows a flag (photo), dated c. 1800 and described as follows:
Fragmnts of the national flag which belonged to a sailing vessel from Dubrovnik that was commanded by Captain I. Birmisa. The flag is made of canvas that has turned dark. It has been preserved in its entire width with the figure of St. Blasius, while lengthwise a part is missing. St. Blasius has a grey beard and is wearing a miter and a robe that is red on the outside and blue on the inside. He is making a sign of blessing with his right hand, while in his left hand he is holding a triangular model of Dubrovnik with outlines of town walls (Minceta Tower). In the upper corners of the flag are two loops.
Jan Mertens, 26 October 2004
Norie & Hobbs (1848) [noh71] shows for Ragusa a white flag with a black "monk" detailed in white.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 12 November 2001
Flag of Ragusa, as shown by Steenbergen [stb62] - Image by Jaume Ollé, 27 April 2003
Secondary ensign of the Republic of Ragusa, two versions - Images by Željko Heimer, 16 March 2000
According to Luetić [lue67], the secondary flag of the Republic of Ragusa was white in colour, with in the middle the inscription "Libertas".
The flag is often shown on a white shield bordered in black with the word "LI/BER/TAS", on three lines (for instance by Belin, 1756 [bel56]).
Željko Heimer & Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 4 January 2001
Flag of Ragusa, as shown by Steenbergen [stb62] - Image by Jaume Ollé, 18 April 2003
Erroneous representation on a postage stamp
Erroneous representation on postage stamp - Image by António Martins, 22 June 2009
A Croatian stamp (image) issued on 19 April 1993 (800 HRD) shows a drawing of a tower on the Dubrovnik town walls with the flag of the Republic of Ragusa flying atop. The flag is represented as white with a blue border, inscribed LIBE/RTAS in two rows in the middle. As far as I know, such a flag was never used in Dubrovnik. This is simply an artistic, very stylized view of the flag of Ragusa, invented by the artist who designed the postage stamp.
Željko Heimer, 15 August 2009
Special ensign of the Republic of Ragusa - Image by Željko Heimer, 16 March 2000
According to Luetić [lue67], a special ensign, made of the coat of arms of the Republic of Ragusa drawn on a white field, used to be employed as a designation of a personality aboard.
Željko Heimer, 16 August 1996