|Coat of arms of Croatia|
Waisai, 999-logo.blogspot.com - The coat of arms of the Republic of Croatia (Croatian: Grb Republike Hrvatske) consists of one main shield and five smaller shields which form a crown over the main shield. The main coat of arms is a checkerboard (chequy) that consists of 13 red and 12 silver (white) fields. It's also informally known in Croatian as šahovnica ("chessboard", from šah, "chess"). The five smaller shields represent five different historical regions within Croatia.
The checkerboard coat of arms (šahovnica) is first attested as an official symbol of the kingdom of Croatia on an Innsbruck tower depicting the emblem of Maximilian I, Archduke of Austria in 1495. It appeared on a seal from the Cetingrad Charter that confirmed the 1527 election of Ferdinand I, Archduke of Austria as king of Croatia in Cetin.
The origin of the design has often been purported as being medieval. Historic tradition states it to be the arms of Stephen Držislav in the 10th century. A Split stone baptistry from the time of Peter Krešimir IV (r. 1058–1074/5) has engraved falcons that carry something that resembles a chequy on their wings, and the bell tower of the medieval Church of St. Lucy, Jurandvor has a checkerboard pattern carved onto it.
The size of the checkerboard ranges from 3×3 to 8×8, but most commonly 5×5, like in the current design. It was traditionally conjectured that the colours originally represented two ancient Croat states, Red Croatia and White Croatia, but there is no historical evidence to support this.
Towards the Late Middle Ages the distinction for the three crown lands (Croatia 'proper', Dalmatia, Slavonia) was made. Thešahovnica was used as the coat of arms of Croatia proper & together with the shields of Slavonia and Dalmatia was often used to represent the whole of Croatia in Austria-Hungary. It was used as an unofficial coat of arms of the Kingdom of Croatia adopted in 1848 and as an official coat of arms of the post-1868 Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia (both unofficially known as Triune Kingdom). The two are the same except for the position of the šahovnica and Dalmatian coat of arms which are switched around & with different crowns used above the shield - the later employing St Stephen's crown (associated with Hungarian kings).
Source : Wikipedia, vectorise.net