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News 09 Aug 16

Croatia Charges Tourist for Flying Pirate Flag

A tourist on the island of Vir has been accused of flying a Serb nationalist Chetnik flag – but he insisted it’s actually a skull-and-crossbones that he hoisted to please his pirate-loving son.

Slobodna Dalmacija
Illustration. Photo: Flickr/Olivier Bruchez.

Police filed an indictment against the 54-year-old Swiss and Croatian citizen who was holidaying on the island of Vir after locals reported he was flying a Serb nationalist Chetnik flag, newspaper Slobodna Dalmacija reported on Monday.

He was reported on August 5, the anniversary of the Croatian military Operation Storm, when rebel Serb forces were defeated in 1995.

The alleged Chetnik flag - flown by Serb paramilitaries when entering the Croatian town of Vukovar during the war in 1991 - was seen as a provocation by the locals who reported it, Slobodna Dalmacija said.

But the man, who was not named, insisted that it was just a pirate flag which he was flying to please his son.

“It is not a Chetnik flag, it is a flag from [Hollywood film] ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’,” he told the newspaper.

“My son who came here on holiday from Switzerland is a huge fan of Johnny Depp and his Caribbean pirates from the film… so I wanted to delight him more with his favourite topic,” he added.

He was reported as saying that the flag had been flying since early July but only became a problem for the locals on the Operation Storm anniversary.

He told the newspaper that he now fears for his and his family’s lives, and that some people on the island have called him a Chetnik.

The police took away the flag, carried out an investigation at the site and filed an indictment alleging that he had displayed “inappropriate symbols”.

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