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San Marino

Republicca di San Marino, Republic of San Marino

Last modified: 2003-01-25 by dov gutterman
Keywords: san marino | europe |
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by Mark Sensen, 16 April 1998

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I got the my following queries about San Marino:
-According to some Internet-sources the official designation of S .Marino between 301 and 1243 was successively "Land of San Marino" and  "free City of San Marino". Can you give me the long-form names in local language and the exact dates/years of the use of these names?  
- After 1243 San Marino was officially styled as: "Most Serene Republic of San Marino", according to most historical documents (for   instance: de Political Handbook of the World). But the coins of San Marino just mentioned "Republica di San Marino". Does this mean,   that both names are equally used as official names for the polity. Or does it means that "Republica di San Marino" was used later on (can  you give me the exact date) besides or in stead of the "Most Serene Rep. of S.Mar.". Or was the term used only in semi-official usage?
  - Did the formal names and the styles of San Marino changed (for instance: duchy or county) during the following foreign occupations:  
-1503       Ceasar Borgia  
-1739/40    Papal State
-1944       Germany  
-1944       Britain and USA
Henk Meyer, 27 December 2000

Land of San Marino: Terra di San Marino.
Free City of San Marino: Cittá Libera di San Marino.
I think that the "Most Serene Republic of San Marino" is just a grand title. As far as I know, San Marino has always been Republic of San Marino, at least since 1815.
Gerhard Eger, 8 January 2003

State Flag

As stated in W.Smith's "F&AATW" by government and army forces is used the white-blue flag with state's coat of arms. As I read the signs there is a few variants of the appearance of the arms. Also it is stated that the flag is a 'de facto' flag, used without the legal background.
Zeljko Heimer, 10 November 1995

In Derkwillem Visser's "Vlaggen van de Wereld" ("Flags of the world") he mentions the flag was officially adopted on 6 April 1862.
Mark Sensen, 10 November 1995

In Znamierowski's book [zna99] there is a mistake at p. 154: San Marino: the state flag is with the arms, not the national flag
Marcus Schmoger, 16 July 2000

According to Album 2000 [pay00] - National Flag (CSW/--- 3:4) - White over blue bicolour with the coat of arms in the middle. Can we confirm and provide more details on the adoption date 6 April 1862 (given also by Smith e.g. 1982) ?
The October 1917 National Geographic [geo17] show (figure 816) the Ensign as blue over white with CoA in the middle. Is this simply and error? Is there any other source showing blue over white flag for SM?
Album 1995 Recapitulative 1 shows only the flag with CoA (not the same artistic representation as in 2000) captioned as National Flag (3:4).
Flaggenbuch 1939 shows three images as in Album 2000 (of course, different artistic representation of the CoA, but minor differences).
Zeljko Heimer, 2 January 2003

Coat of Arms Variants

Who changed San Marino's flag? In three books I found the image, but modern flag-books depict it as the present one. The last one, to have the 'old' flag is Barraclough's FOTW (1971). The change is in the CoA.
Sources: 'Old' SM-flag: 'Vlaggen, Drapeaux, Flags, Die Flaggen', 1951
'Observer's Book of Flags', I. O. Evans, 1959
'Flags of the World', Barraclough, 1971
'New' SM-flag: 'dtv-Lexikon politischer Symbole', A. Rabbow, 1970
'Flags Through the Ages and Across the World, W Smith, 1975
'Moussault's lexicon van vlaggen en wapens', Pedersen, 1980 (&c) Etcetera
Jarig Bakker, 26 May 1999

If it is only regarding the stylization of the CoA on the flag - this can hardly be called a change.
Zeljko Heimer, 2 January 2003

Civil Flag

by Mark Sensen, 7 November 1995

According to Album 2000 [pay00] - this is the alternative civil flag (C--/C-- 3:4). Regarding the civil flag (and ensign), has anyone ever seen a ship (boat, yacht whatever) registered in San Marino? Was this flag confirmed in use on sea in modern time?
Ivan Sache, 14 January 2001 and Zeljko Heimer, 2 January 2003

Merchant Flag

by Rick Wyatt, 6 September 1998

The flag you mention has been reported as the Merchant Ensign of San Marino by various sources (see National Geographic /Our Flag Number/ for example). Unfortunately no evidence exists that this flag actually existed. San Marino, for those who did not have a chance to visit it, is on a mountain with no direct access to any sea, even if the Adriatic Sea is close to it.
Pier Paolo Lugli, 6 april 1998

The October 1917 National Geographic [geo17] states: Figure 815: "The merchant flag of San Marino, which, though that of a belligerent, the little republic having dared to declare war against the Central Powers, has probably never yet been encountered by a German submarine because, as may well be imagined, the merchant navy of the mountain republic is not large."
Nick Artimovich, 6 April 1998

The Declaration of Barcelona, 20th April 1921 recognised the right of states with no littoral to fly their own flag at sea.
D.Prothero, 6 October 2000

Coat of Arms


Description in Pedersen's "Moussault's Lexicon Vlaggen en Wapens", 1980: "In its present the CoA dates from 6 Apr 1862. Even though San Marino was always a republic, it has a crown on top of it as a sign of sovereignty. The three white towers, crowned by a ostrich feather, remind of three castles on three mountain tops of the Titano Mountains. The CoA dates at least from the 14th century. Around is wreath of oak and laurel. Motto: Libertas - Liberty."
Jarig Bakker, 3 January 2003

The Crown

Nathan Lamm asked: If it's a republic, why is there a crown on the seal?
This is surely among the oldest republics to do so, but a number of other republics in the region did (and some still do) the same. The crown is here symbol of sovereignity and independence rather then the hereditary monarchy. Some examples that come to mind include Republic of Ragusa (Dubrovnik, on this side of Adriatic), and in modern age both Austrian republic(s) and even more modern Hungarian republic use crowns as symbols of sovereignity. Poland comes to mind, too.
Zeljko Heimer, 3 January 2003

The Towers

Nathan Lamm asked: What are the smokestacks, if that's what they are?
These are three towers, each with an ostrich fether on the top. These picture the towers of the citadel of San Marino named Guaita, Cesta and Montale. Each of the towers is, they say, equiped with a metal wane at the top, that is in heraldic interpretation pictured as feather. Compare, e.g. Smith 1982.
Zeljko Heimer, 3 January 2003

The Branches

Nathan Lamm asked: What are the two different branches on the sides?
I guess that I can't be that wrong interpreting the branches as laurel and oak. These are usualy taken to symbolize glory and (military) strength, and as such found in many CoAs (cf. Portugaese army emblem, Estonian greater arms etc.)
Zeljko Heimer, 3 January 2003

San Marino National Olympic Committee

The IXth Small States Games shall take place (or already took place) in 2001. Since San Marino does not miss any opportunity to release post stamps, this sport event was celebrated by the release of a leaf of nine stamps. The top and bottom of the leaf are decorated with the arms of San Marino and a logo which could be the one of San Marino National Olympic Committee (the black-and-white image in my stamp catalogue is too small to see anything but the Olympic rings).
Ivan Sache, 25 August 2001

You can see them at <>. I suppose it is SM Olympic Comittee logo and I guess that it may appear on white flag as SMOC flag.
Dov Gutterman, 25 August 2001