Once a part of Yugoslavia, Croatia adopted its flag on December 21, 1990 as the country was gaining its independence. The colors of red, white, and blue were borrowed from the imperial flag of Russia. The red stripe at the top of the flag symbolizes the blood shed struggling for independence. The white stripe in the middle represents peace and the peaceful, amiable nature of the people of Croatia. The blue stripe at the bottom of the flag represents religion.
The national coat of arms is located in the center of the Croatia national flag covering portions of all three stripes. It features a checkerboard of red and white squares which represents the Croatian Kings from the tenth century. The checkerboard pattern is topped by shields that represent the five historical regions which formed the Republic of Croatia.
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