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Albania: Historical flags (summary and index)

Last modified: 2001-06-01 by ivan sache
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Historical summary

During its history Albania has used several flags which are variations of the basic design, a black double-headed eagle on a red background.

  • 1912. Albania gained independence as a principality. In the flag the eagle had golden beak and claws and was holding golden arrows. Above its heads a white five-pointed star.
  • 1920. The (first) republic was proclaimed. The flag was changed to a plain black eagle on red.
  • 1928. The president and dictator Amet Zogu proclaimed himself king Zog I. Now the eagle in the flag is surmounted by Skanderbeg's helmet in gold, which served as the royal crown. (Skanderbeg is the national hero from the wars against the Turks in the middle ages, his helmet has two horns upon it.)
  • 1939. Albania was occupied by the Italians, officially it continued to be an independent kingdom under the Italian king Vittorio Emanuele III. The flag was changed to plain red with the arms: black eagle on a red shield. The shield was set between two black fasces, above it Skanderbeg's helmet in black. Below the shield a scroll with the motto "fert".
  • 1944. The provisional government formed by the partisans re-introduced the pre-war flag. In the upper corner near the hoist a golden star was added, later replaced by a hammer and sickle.
  • 1946. With the proclamation of the people's republic in 1946 the symbol in the corner was removed and a red five-pointed star with golden border was set above the heads of the eagle.
  • 1992. Albania again became a republic, and the star was removed from the flag. We are back at the basic design, black eagle on red.

The flag descriptions are taken from Karl-Heinz Hesmer [hes92].

Harald Mueller, 19 October 1995

Index of all pages on historical flags of Albania

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