Friday, May 18, 2012

Flag Day: Croatia



Happy Friday! Wow. Last night was really incredible, and it was only Thursday, so I can't wait to see what the rest of this charmed weekend brings. If you'd forgotten, last night I did Fleet Feet Sports' Sunset Run, which went from Marina Green/Fort Mason to the Golden Gate Bridge & back -- all during a gorgeous, albeit ridiculously cold/windy sunset. It was 5.20 miles, the longest distance I've ever attempted by 1.2 miles, and I did it. I did it!  I can't wait for Bay to Breakers on Sunday. I can't wait to do this all again.


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Anyway, today's Flag Day post is about a country I've wanted to visit for a long time, and where my friend Meghan will be shortly (the lucky duck!): Croatia.

Croatian flag (source: Wikipedia)

I've been interested in Croatia ever since I watched Babylon 5 and found out my favorite character (Delenn)'s actress, Mira Furlan, was a Croatian native. I grew up during the time of the war in the balkans but wasn't really aware of the minutia of the situation until I began reading about Furlan's experience in the war, and as an artist who has been forever impacted by it. I know, nerd alert, but whatever!

Soon after watching Babylon 5 and becoming interested in Croatia, I learned that Croatia was an it-destination. As in, everyone wants to go there, and wow, you know why? Well, if I'm going to guess, its probably because of features like this:

Dalmatian Coast // Croatia // Source

Oh my goodness, please take me there now.

But anyway, back to the flag. I love Croatia's flag because it has an awesome red & white checkered pattern on it. This pattern is woven richly throughout Croatia's history, though its exact origins are disputed. I think this is far too typical; I mean, what great flag story doesn't end in some kind of dispute?

Evidently at one point the Croats decided to use the flag without the coat of arms on it, and this caused a bit of a kerfluffle with the Netherlands, given that their flags suddenly looked identical. Oops! Back on there the coat of arms went, and along with it, that awesome checkered pattern.

I'm not sure I even knew what Croatia's flag looked like before I began really paying attention while watching the Olympics and the World Cup (soccer). Sometimes I wonder if I would be as versed in flags if I didn't watch world sporting events, but then I remember that most people watch these events and don't absorb what the flags look like, so ... I guess this is my recommendation to pay attention! You never know what you might learn; you might find out you're a flag nerd like me! Wouldn't that be awesome. 

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