The flag of Croatia has three equal bands stretched horizontally across the flag. The top band is red, the middle band is white and the bottom band is blue. In the center of the flag is the Croatian Coat of Arms. The coat of arms is a large red and white checkered shield, topped with five smaller shields that form the likeness of a crown on the top of the main shield. The entire design ends up looking like one larger shield. The smaller shields from left to right are as follows:
– Shield one has a sky-blue background with the bottom half of a crescent moon and a gold six-pointed star above.
– Shield two has a triangular point of dark blue followed by a red band, a blue band, another red band and a final blue band.
– Shield three has a sky-blue background and three lion heads with crowns arranged in a triangle pattern.
– Shield four depicts a gold goat with red horns and hooves on a dark blue background.
– Shield five has a sky-blue background with a gold six-pointed star at the top and a middle red band with white borders and a running pine martin in the middle.
The flag’s current design combines elements of the Kingdom of Slovania, the Kingdom of Dalmatia and the Kingdom of Croatia, which were the historical kingdoms in what is now Croatia. All three kingdoms had flags of two colors. Slovania’s was white and blue, Dalmatia’s was red and blue and Croatia’s was red and white. The three different colors were combined to make the current tricolor flag. The current flag came into official use on December 21, 1990.
Before the current Croatia flag, the previous flag was in use from 1945-1991 and was the flag of the Socialist Republic of Croatia. It bore a similar appearance with the red, white and blue tricolor. However, it had the red five-pointed star limned with gold in the center that represented the socialist republics of the time. The tricolor design dates back to the Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia between 1868 and 1918. This flag had a coat of arms in the middle that included the red and white checked design, the running pine martin and the three lion heads.