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Ptuj (Civic Municipality, Slovenia)

Last modified: 2017-03-11 by ivan sache
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[Flag of Ptuj]

Flag of Ptuj - Image by Željko Heimer, 14 September 2004

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Presentation of Ptuj

The municipality of Ptuj (23,957 inhabitants; 6,970 ha; tourism website) is located in north-eastern Slovenia, in the region of Lower Podravje. Ptuj is considered as the oldest town in Slovenia. Known in Latin as Poetovio, the town was mentioned by several Latin writers; it evolved from a military camp set by the Romans to support the conquest and colonization of West Pannonia to a self-governing colony set up in 103 AD and named "Colonia Ulpia Traiana Poetovio". The colony's fame peaked in the 2nd-3rd centuries; burned to ashed by the Huns in 450, the town was rebuilt and watched a crossing of river Drava until 570. In the 8th-11th centuries, the area and town were settled by the Avars and the Slavs, who built the most significant early medieval town in Slovenia.
Following the conquest of the region by the Franks, the strategic importance of the town was reevaluated; originally incorporated into the Margraviate of Lower Pannony, the town was progressively transfered under the rule of the Archbishop of Salzburg, that lasted from 977 to 1555. Following the liberation of Hungary, the border moved away; no longer a strategic place and several times damaged by big blazes, Ptuj declined to a small provincial town but kept a significant trading activity.

Ivan Sache, 5 April 2009

Flag of Ptuj

The flag and arms of Ptuj are described in Article 2 of the Municipal Statutes Statut Mestne občine Ptuj (uradno prečiščeno besedilo), adopted on 20 June 1999 and published on 22 July 1999 in the official municipal gazette Uradni vestnik Mestne občine Ptuj, No. 6. This is repeated in the current Statutes Statut Mestne občine Ptuj, adopted on 18 June 2007 and published on 27 July 2007 in Uradni vestnik Mestne občine Ptuj, No. 9.
Decision Odlok o uporabi grba, zastave in Žiga Mestne občine Ptuj, adopted on 26 October 2015 and published on 11 November 2015 in Uradni vestnik Mestne občine Ptuj, No. 12, presctibes the rules of use of the symbols.

The flag (photo) is described in Article 2 of the Statutes as "white with the coat of arms.
The "original" flag is described in the Decision as "800 mm x 2400 mm in dimensions, but may be made in double or trple of that size. The coat of arms is set in the centre of it, with its top edge being at 1/2 of the flag's width."

Željko Heimer & Ivan Sache, 13 February 2017

Coat of arms of Ptuj

[Arms of Ptuj]         [Arms of Ptuj]

Coat of arms of Ptuj, left, modern design - Image by Željko Heimer, 24 January 1999; right, historical design - Image by Eugene Ipavec, 6 April 2009

Article 2 of the Municipal Statutes defines the municipal coat of arms as the coat of arms of the town of Ptuj dated 1576, a silver shielmd with a red cross. The shield is placed on a baroque cartouche.

Željko Heimer, 14 May 2006

The 1273 seal of Ptuj is among the oldest town seals in Slovenia and is a significant cultural, historical, artistic and legal Gothic heritage. Use of its own seal served to demonstrate the legal status and municipal autonomy of medieval Ptuj.
The circular seal depicts the town's patron, St. George, on a horse, with reins in his left hand and a lance in his right, stabbing the dragon coiled among the horse's legs, all encircled by the text + SIGILLVM ♢ CI-UITATIS ♢ DE ♢ BETOVIA.
St. George is shown as a haloed young man with curly shoulder-length hair. He is clothed in a flapping cloak, which fills the background of the seal. Underneath it the saint wears garments representing nobles' holiday wear, thin-waisted and with a wide belt. His sleeves are tight and his pants are fitted. He is wearing spurs. The depiction of the horse and its gear is especially fine, with its harness decorated with bells or tassels. St. George is killing a snakelike horned dragon, whose tail terminates in a tuft of disheveled fur.
The parish church contains a c. 1380 wooden Gothic statue of the saint, once part of the main altar. There the lithe youth stands on the dragon, looking somewhat transfixedly into the distance, in his right hand a spear thrust into the dragon's maw. Dressed in golden knightly garb, there is outlined on his chest a red cross.
The sign of the cross derives from legends of the saint overcoming the temptations offered him during his martyrdom. Therefore his iconography often shows him with cross in hand as an evangelist.

As seals and arms were already in use by town landowners, the Minorite and Dominican monasteries and noble familes, the town was obliged to develop recognizable arms of its own. The Ptuj arms derive from this seal, which was from 1273 to about 1400 progressively simplified:
- 1237: St. George on horse (seal);
- 1380: St. George with red cross on breastplate (relief);
- 1486: St. George on foot (seal);
- 1551: St. George (stone arms on city gate, currently in the Mihelič gallery);
- 1555: St. George on ceremonial judicial sword;
- 1567: arms described and shown by Z. Baratsch (Steiermärkisches Wappenbuch 1567*), as a red cross on silver;
- 1769: city arms and St. George depicted on obverse and reverse of the flag of the city guard.

In the second half of the 19th century the then-authorities made certain modifications meant to demonstrate adherence to German Styria**, specifically a change in colors and the addition of a star. [Marija Hernja Masten. 2005. Pečat in Grb Mesta Ptuja]

Eugene Ipavec, 5 April 2009

* That is, "Styrian Roll of Arms". The image is captioned Der Stadt Pettau Wappen, that is, "The arms of the town of Pettau", Pettau being the German form of Ptuj.

Ivan Sache, 5 April 2009

Former flag of Ptuj

[Former flag of Ptuj]

Former flag of Ptuj - Image by Željko Heimer, 24 January 1999

According to my observations, the flag of Ptuj in the 1995s was a vertical flag with seven square tails, white, bordered red, and with the coat of arms in the lower part.

Željko Heimer, 24 January 1999

Former emblem of Ptuj

[Former arms of Ptuj]

Former emblem of Ptuj - Image by Željko Heimer, 14 September 2004

According to Zalokar [zal90], the emblem used in Ptuj from the mid-1980s to the early 1990s is an hexagonal shield showing the silhouette of the old town on a honeycomb background surrounded with a wreath of wheat and vine, with a ribbon bearing the name of the community OBČINA PTUJ and a cog wheel in the middle of the waves. Atop is placed a red five-pointed star.

Željko Heimer, 14 September 2004