The 23rd International Congress of Vexillology was held in Yokohama, Japan from 12 to 18 July 2009. Željko Heimer participated the Congress as the HGZD delegate. The vexillological congresses are held biannually by the International Federation of Vexillologic Organizations (FIAV), of which HGZD is a member since the previous Congress in Berlin 2007. The hosts of the congresses are the local vexillological organizations – this time it was the Japanese Vexillological Association (JAVA).
The Congress was held in the Yokohama Port Opening Memorial Hall congress centre, with participation of more then 50 vexillologists from all around the world. The participants were delegates by the national vexillological and heraldic organizations, members of the state heraldic authorities, representatives from heraldic and vexillologic institutes, museum experts in charge of the flags and coats of arms collections, flag makers and other experts pursuing this study.
During the Congress, the FIAV General Assembly was held, where Željko Heimer represented our Association. The Assembly discussed and adopted, among others, a few amendments to the FIAV Statutes proposed by HGZD. The Assembly re-elected the FIAV leadership for the next mandate: Michel Lupant (Belgium) as President, Charles Spain (USA) as Secretary and Graham Bartram (UK) as Secretary for the Congresses.
During the academic part of the Congress some thirty papers were presented, most of them with a half-an-hour lectures with multimedia presentations. Željko Heimer presented his paper titled „Military Flags of the Zagreb Units in the Croatian Armed Forces“, presenting the development and history of the flags of units established in Zagreb right before, during and immediately following the Homeland War. This is the first presentation of the Croatian military flags from the Homeland War and the Croatian Armed Forces (CAF) in general abroad and among the expert auditorium. Starting with a short recapitulation of the development of the CAF concentrating to the Zagreb region, the paper showed the legal background of the unit flags production and use and their usage in practice. A typisation based on the design of the used flags was displayed, following the development of the visual identity and modern Croatian military tradition, followed with the contents analysis – of the colours and symbols used on the unit flags from Zagreb. The 81 unit flags of Zagreb units discussed in the paper are reserved in the MoD Military Museum, the CAF General Staff and other locations in Zagreb. The presentation invoked some very positive reactions.
During the Congress, a meeting of the present FOTW members was also held. The Internet vexillological association Flags of the World (FOTW) acts over 15 years in collecting, researching, presenting and popularization of the flags and vexillology through Internet, maintaining a web site with over 42 000 web pages and 79 000 flag images from all over the world. Željko Heimer joined the meeting as a long-standing active FOTW member and former vice-directory of the association. This unique opportunity for a personal contact for the FOTW members, among whom were several web editors and the current listmaster (the highest officer of the association) Jonathan Dixon, discussed the possible future methods for improvement of the FOTW work.
A part of the Congress atmosphere see here: