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Croatian Civic Heraldry

National coat of arms of CROATIA

Origin/meaning:
The arms are first known from a coin from the Hungarian King Ludwig II from 1525. Croatia peacefully joined with Hungary in 1091 and thus formed part of Hungary and Austria-Hungary until 1918. For many centuries parts of Croatia were occupied by the Turks.
The meaning of the chequered field is not clear. Historically the arms were used with crest and helmet (see here). The present arms show the chequered field, with as a 'crown' the historical arms of the oldest known Croatian arms (a golden six-pointed star and a silver crescent on a blue shield), the arms of the Republic of Dubrovnik (two red bars in blue), Dalmatia, Istria and Slavonia.

There is a legend that tells that king Ludwig (Ludovik) of Hungaria got the right to have the Croatian crown by winning a game of chess against some of the noble knights. In memory of that event, he gave Croatia arms looking like a chessboard with undefined number of red and silver fields....



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