Letter: Serbia's unjustified claim to Eastern Slavonia

From Mr James Snodgrass

Sir: Your correspondent Countess Vivian Grisogono (Letters, 8 August) is being disingenuous when she says that

it is ridiculous to identify it [the current Croatian flag] with a puppet state run by a small number of quislings and large numbers of occupying forces during the Secold World War.

The shield at the centre of the flag was revived as the national symbol of the Nazi-allied Croat Ustashe regime to which the Countess refers - the same regime that massacred hundreds of thousands of Jews, Serbs and gypsies during its period in power.

A friend with knowledge of the region made this comparison: imagine if Germany at the point of reunification decided to celebrate by including the swastika into a new German flag claiming that it was an ancient symbol that could not be associated with an unfortunate episode in German history.

Luckily the German people have the tact and historical sensitivity never to consider such a move - qualities that could usefully be adopted by the current Croatian administration.

Yours faithfully,

James Snodgrass

London, W14

8 August