Do Not Touch The HOS Flag


The trend in current, recent events in Croatia to do with HOS (Croatian Defence Forces) flag and symbols that it carried and carries, particularly the salutation “For Home Ready” (Za Dom Spremni) call for a somewhat amplified set of observations, which point in the direction of brazen attempts to insult and degrade the very spirit and the very sacrifice Croatia and its defenders in war made to win independence for Croatia in 1990’s; to win independence from communist Yugoslavia. When one of the flags under which a country was liberated from a bloody and cruel aggression is being treated with utter disrespect one knows that the time has arrived for action. And as far as Croatia is concerned this action can be nothing short of lustration and decommunisation! It is, without a doubt, from the former communist echelons, from the echelons that did not want an independent Croatia, that the attack on the HOS flag and its slogan “For Home Ready” is being waged.

While there have been numerous attacks against this flag in recent times, waged by Croatian authorities, one of those attacks of most recent dates was in the town on Knin on 5 August 2017, at the official celebration of the liberating military Operation Storm 1995 when war veterans were arrested for calling out in jubilation with “For Home Ready”. President Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic, as commander in chief of defence forces, was the patron of this event. Another attack occurred on Saturday 12 August 2017 at the Boat Marathon event in the Neretva River Valley, of which event president Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic is also a patron. news portal reports that the local police “intervened” by seizing the HOS flag from one of the boats with members of the Croatian Party of Rights and friends who had intended to follow the race.

Strong internal affairs forces seized the flag, and a member of our presidency, Ivica Vladava, was questioned by the police and breaching charges mounted against him. DISGRACEFUL!,” members of the Croatian Party of Rights commented.

Now, I am only too well aware that a president of a country cannot control everyone on the ground, that even the Premier cannot, but, surely, they are the ones who as leaders must set the standards and expectations clearly for what is and what should not occur in the country that affects the public and the battle for the country’s independence. True leaders set clear standards and expectations and this is crucial to controlling an overall, nationally responsible flow of matters that occur or don’t occur in the country. Even if laws may stipulate that symbols of totalitarian regimes are forbidden (For Home Ready is, wrongfully and increasingly being painted as such) it is absolutely unacceptable that any Croatian flags under which the very independence was won, with untold suffering, would not be excepted under the provisions of any such law.

Circling back to the observation at hand, “disrespect towards the HOS flag” as a motivation is a deliberate act, and its consequences must be attended to with equal and justifiable force of determined action in protecting the flag from the treacherous political elites in authorities who deliver treacherous laws.

So, which is worse: the expression of offensive thoughts, the motivation behind such thoughts, or violent responses to non-violent but intentional attempts to injure the country’s pride or spirit (HOS flag represents both pride and spirit of Croatia’s path to freedom)? I have absolutely no intention of giving lessons on this. But, if somebody wants to mistreat the flag to show disrespect, thereby making somebody else angry, and they succeed, then it’s up to “public opinion, and … the general spirit of the people and of the government” to decide on the proper response.

When veterans counter-protest against this behaviour of disrespect towards the flag, some people suggest that veterans should not protest saying soldiers die so that others might have the freedom to do with the flag as they please – seize it, burn it, make it unlawful …Many people find a bizarre acceptance in this tragic contradiction. They understand neither freedom nor flag.
Protecting the flag is not obvious to others in these times of moral relativism and the regretful thriving of communist mindset. Such people follow the worn-out liberal dogma that confuses freedom and license. They define freedom as doing anything one wants to do as long as it does not hurt others. This is to misunderstand natural liberty. This liberal way of thinking turns “freedom” into a means of justifying the practice of vice, gratifying passions or dividing the nation. This kind of “freedom” resents order and restraint of all types although their actions of disrespecting the HOS flag are supposedly carried out under a relevant law. Inside this definition, they invent the “freedom” to desecrate one of the very flags the nation’s freedom was won with.

Liberty, the highest of natural endowments, being the portion only of intellectual or rational natures, confers on man this dignity – that he is ‘in the hand of his counsel’ and has power over his actions. But the manner in which such dignity is exercised is of the greatest moment, inasmuch as on the use that is made of liberty the highest good and the greatest evil alike depend,” Pope Leo XIII on nature of human liberty.

Thus, the true nature of freedom is the faculty of choosing the means toward an end that is perceived as good. The choosing of an evil reflects a defect of judgment not a proof of freedom’s proper functioning. This distinction of freedom is particularly true of the soldier. The soldier does not fight for the “right” to do whatever. His fight is oriented toward the defence of order. His moral universe makes a clear distinction between right and wrong because his life depends upon it. He puts force at the service of the good and directs his action against the forces of evil. The soldier does not give his life to defend disorder. Rather his fight implies a rule of law that limits the activities of people so that order might exist in society and true freedom might flourish.

It is for this and, hence, Croatia’s freedom to embark upon true democracy that the HOS flag must be protected. The flag is not just a piece of cloth. In these times of extreme individualism, many want to hijack the flag and turn it into a symbol of a person’s right to pursue some politically defined happiness without any social commitments.

The HOS flag (as are all other flags fought under in Croatia’s Homeland War) is one of the visible symbols that invite individuals to think beyond their self-interest. It represents a moral commitment to the common good of the collective entity called the Republic of Croatia. The visible flag represents the invisible bonds that link Croatians together as a people. It expresses those common ties that unite Croatia’s past, present and future.

Indeed, this flag, like all others proudly carried in the battles for Croatia’s freedom, in essence belongs to no political party, social class or special interest lobby. It belongs to everyone and rises above the intrigues and politics of the day. The flag honours a collective vision of what Croatia was, is, and might be. It is the celebration of what is called united governance, that unity of order that should make Croatia. It is one of the symbols of the commitment made in 1991 referendum by 94% of Croatians to be a member of the free and independent Croatian nation. Ina Vukic



  1. WOW!! You nailed this one – BRAVO!

  2. Reblogged this on Helena and commented:
    This is parallel to what is happening in the US – and nails it on the HEAD!

  3. For the 25th Anniversary of Storm, the theme should be, “Za Dom Spremni!” All attendees should have banners and t-shirts emblazoned with this patriotic salute and slogan. Croatia needs to stand firm and take back it’s history and dignity. This salute is NOT fascist, or totalitarian in any way. Any symbol or salute can be hi-jacked for evil, but this does not mean it is a symbol of that evilness. In fact, to show just how patriotic and non-evil this salute is we need to take it back and own it as a patriotic saying that transcends any other use. We never invaded any country or people, we only defended ours. This salute should not feared by any true Croatian or friend of Croatia. As always, Za Dom Spremni.

  4. Well done Ina. The irony is that the Serbian flag under which genocide was enacted, the EU flag under which an arms embargo was enacted so Croatia could not defend itself are protected by Croatian law… yet the HOS flag under which Croatia was defended a person is arrested by police, the flag taken away and you find yourself infant of a court…!

    • Thank you Darko Darryl, the story of the works of internal enemy to Croatian national state. The fight back for protections of our own has been known to succeed victoriisly in the Homeland War now the job needs to be complete in getting the lustraion of communist on the way

  5. Free Croatia says:

    Hi Ina, I would love to hear your views about Kitarovic’s visit to Australia – it was a good turn out but oh how different to Tudjman’s visit! I remember when King Tom stadium was packed!

  6. Hello, anyone out there remember this flag?????!1.gif
    If you were a Croatian and lived anywhere in the world pre-December 22, 1990, this was the Croatian flag – there was no other! Wherever and whenever Croatians gathered – this was the flag we humbly blessed and proudly installed in the thousands of Croatian churches, centres, public buildings, businesses, picnic grounds, cultural and political organizations throughout the world. This is the flag under which the diaspora led protests, demonstrations, and rallies directing the world’s attention to the plight of Croatia and Croatians while they and it suffered under the iron grip of Tito and his communist regime. This was the flag which welcomed Franjo Tudjman, and representatives of his govt. and HDZ, such as Stipe Mesic who were canvassing the diaspora for financial support for various ‘fondove”,” dionice” etc. in the late, ’80s -90’s. And, while on the subject of national symbolism, let us remember that in virtually every Hrvatski Dom/Centre, alongside the flag was displayed a picture of Dr. Ante Pavelic – Poglavnik NDH (1941-45) as well as pictures of Ante Starcevic, Stjepan Radic, Kralj Tomislav etc. Furthermore, neither the Croatian national flag, nor the pictures of our Croatian leaders was ever found to be “objectionable” or “offensive” to any of our visiting Croatian dignitaries or the local civic leaders who were invited to celebrate with us our Croatian Independence Day (April 10,1941) – in fact, as a sign of respect towards its citizens of Croatian descent, our flag would be raised at City Hall on that day! For myself and the countless others that came before me – this is the flag that represents the people of Croatia and their right to nationhood. Under this sacred symbol many fought, many suffered and many died. It represents our glorious and noble past and encompasses all our hopes for a brighter future! This became the official flag of modern Croatia in June 27, 1990 and was promptly deemed illegitimate on December 21, 1990. Why would this flag be a hindrance to any Croatian govt.? Indeed, what sort of a Croatian govt. would arbitrarily and without public consultation, (seemingly overnight),furtively make “modifications” to such a sacred symbol of a country’s consciousness? The answer is the govt. of Franjo Tudjman (HDZ), and this while he was at the height of his political popularity and mandate – the very same Croatian govt. that so carefully worded its Constitution so as to remove any “offensive” historical connotations ie. NDH 1941-45 and to retain such “unoffensive” historical connotations ie. ZAVNOH (1943) and AVNOJ(1944). As I mentioned earlier, these Croatian national symbols were not offensive when visiting HDZ representatives were asking for money…….

    Fast-forward 27 years and as the saying goes…”You reap what you sow”. The parallels between treatment of the national flag and the HOS flag are many. We did not all stand in defense of our flag then, we must stand and defend HOS flag now. Those who betrayed our national flag in 1990 are the same “domoljubi” who today are questioning the HOS flag’s appropriateness and taking the side of the very enemies those soldiers fought against during the Homeland war. Only in Apsurdistan! How can anyone have expected a different outcome after almost three decades of appeasement-driven foreign policy, non-existent national political policy and a judicial system that a third world country would balk at supporting. And at the root of it all is the lack of Lustration. If 27 years ago Tudjman had appointed people to his administration who came to the table with “clean hands” instead of with those whose political vocations were to abolish any and all things Croatian; a strong signal would have been sent that REAL change was on the way. Unfortunately, he chose to “keep his friends close, but his enemies closer” – a brilliant strategy! Yes, that ensured that those who were in power and key positions within Yugo would stay safe, protected with the knowledge that nothing need change in the transition between old and new, Yugo and Croatia, business could be led as usual. Embarrassingly, to this day Croatia has not indicted a single person with any crime committed in the communist era of Yugoslavia. Not a single person! One year after the next sees a slow erosion of our national consciousness – one corrupt and nationally devoid administration after the next, until today. when we realize we are positioned diametrically opposite from where we started – what was once up is now down and what was once black is now white – And most heartbreaking of all the ironies of our Apsurdistan – our brave branitelji, our victorious defenders of Croatia, are in reality the biggest losers of all. They sacrificied and gave everything of themselves, defeated the enemy, but made the fatal mistake of entrusting the country to those who should never have been trusted – corrupt and self-serving politicians who feigned nationalism but whose real motivations were money, power, status. Tudjman outlawed the national flag and created a new one out of thin air and the HDZ tradition continues. Our modern day HDZ “antifascists” such as our President KGK find the HOS motto “Za Dom Spremni” to be offensive, in fact HDZ outlawed its use amongst their members. Remember the petition of August 2015 initiated by Branko Borkovic (Mladi Jastreb), signed by 3,200 Croatian historians, academics, and other notables, proposing that Croatian Defense Forces be allowed to officially adopt the motto? KGK and Karamarko reacted quickly to rejected that idea! Ditto Plenkovic’s HDZ govt. that is alive due to the grace of Pupovac and his SDSS.
    So who will defend HOS if not the Croatian President or Prime Minister, or HDZ? Perhaps the answer lies in each of us.

    Za Dom Spremni!

    • The answer does lie in each of us to protect the HOS flag and all sacred symbols that ha won Croatia its freedom, Velebit. Unless lustration occurs nothing else will help. It took Germany’s criminal courts recently to jail for life the two communist criminals Mustac and Perkovic for murder of Croatian national, Croatian court had ruled a couple of years ago in Josip Boljkovac that the system (communist) was to blame for the murder of 25 people the subject of which was prosecuted, not Boljkovac. Enough said: Croatian courts seem to find that for systems to operate one didn’t need people to operate them Tragic reality for Croatia! LUSTRATION!

  7. Reblogged this on Ace News Desk.

  8. Another winner Ina … People pour scorn in vitriolic ways on anything patriotic or that they don’t understand such as flags, and they want to pull down anything it represents if it does not agree with what they want to hear .. Witness so much hatred against a president called Trump and how it was Obama that began all this with his overly support of one race, similar to Hitler and Nazism .. Now it’s turned inward into hate marches and brings out the crazies … Let people believe what they want and leave others do the same .. Wars started like this and if two people disagree … Settle it like adults .. Not spoilt children … Or the world goes to hell in a hand basket ..

    • Once we abandon our history for freedom and the fight for it new days shall come to raise arms again, it starts with hate and intolerance. Well said, Ian. Thank you

  9. Thank you, croatiarediviva!


  1. […] Našim čitateljima skrećemo pažnju na odličan tekst Ine Vukić o oduzimanju HOS-ovih zastava, kriminalizaciji Domovinskog rata, kršenju sloboda i ljudskih prava te općenito komunističkoj represiji u Hrvatskoj. Tekst možete pročitati na ovoj poveznici. […]

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