This is a list of coats of arms of Albania.
Throughout the course of history, the earliest evidence on the usage of coats of arms by local overlords in present-day Albania can be traced back to the 13th century with the Principality of Arbanon and its ruler, Demetrio Progoni.
Comparatively, other noble families of the early medieval period followed suit, most notably the Gropa, Skuraj, Jonima, Dukagjini, Arianiti and continuing with the Balsha, Thopia, Muzaka, Spata, to conclude with the Kastrioti, whose symbols are still in use today.
|Coat of arms||Description|
|Coat of Arms of the Principality of Arbanon (1215)|
The sculpted image of the coat of arms of the Principality of Arbanon (Albanian: Principata e Arbërit) was discovered in a stone engraving on the ruins of the church of St. Mary of Interfanda (Albanian: Kisha e Shën Mërisë të Ndërfandës) in Gëziq. Along with it was found the epigraphic inscription of the architrave of the Basilica of St. Mary of Interfanda. On the marble beam, which held the gate of the monastic cell, the Austro-Hungarian consul in Shkodër, Theodor Ippen, discovered in 1907 an inscription in Latin and next to it an heraldic coat of arms, which represented an eagle carved in stone. In 1981, the fragments found in Gëziq were brought to the Archaeological Museum of Tirana, where conservation specialist Koço Zheku was able to piece them together and decipher the inscription to some extent as follows:
The eagle is presented with one head and two wings open ready for flight. In the beak it wears a ring, which is the symbol of power. The dimensions of the coat of arms are 280x445x150 mm. It weighs 3 kg and is preserved in good physical condition.
|Coat of Arms of the Statutes of Scutari (1330–1469)|
The original document of the Statutes of Scutari is written on parchment and contains 40 pages; at the top it represents the coat of arms of the city of Scutari (modern day Shkodër). The coat of arms has a scuda-shaped emblem, which bears a double-headed eagle with royal crowns on both heads, with a blue field, while at the bottom in an ocher field there are three five-leafed rosettes in black. Above the heraldic coat of arms is the figure of a one-headed eagle with open wings and an open beak where a thin red tongue is distinguished.
Interpretation: above the double-headed eagle, on the left is seen a proud vulture, which seems to symbolize the affluent past of the city, while on the right a craving dog seems pleased with the receiving bone, which from scholarly opinion, metaphorizes the subjugated state of Scutari after the Ottoman conquest.
|Coat of Arms of Karl Thopia (1381)|
Above a limestone on the southern wall of the monastery of St. John Vladimir (14th century) in Elbasan was found the coat of arms of Karl Thopia. Carved by stone master Dhimitër Shpati, it measures 0.98x0.68 meters in size and bears in old greek the inscription:
A lowered shield on a mantel displays on the left side a large cross. In the four spaces created by the cross, there are twenty additional crosses, four of which are enclosed in a circle. On the right side, which is divided by a sloping line, is shown the image of 8 carved lilies which symbolize the French throne of the Anjouan dynasty. A horizontal line shows the digit 1000, while three vertical lines give the digit 300 (each of 100). The eight carved lilies show the number 80, while a small vertical line shows the number 1. All together give the number 1381, which correlates with the year of the founding of the monastery.
Above the shield is displayed an ionized helmet, divided by a cross. At the top of the helmet a lion is standing on its hind legs and wearing a crown adorned with three ostrich feathers.
This coat of arms is thought to have been the original tombstone that was placed over the grave site of Karl Thopia.
|Coat of Arms of the Skuraj family (14th century)|
The Skuraj family (known in other forms as Sgura or Zguraj) was one of the most prominent feudal families that ruled during the period of the Principality of Arbanon. Their political and administrative center was in Delbnisht, east of present-day Kurbin.
During the 14th century, the patriarch of this family, Anton Skura, symbolized his power with a heraldic coat of arms.
The coat of arms, that measures 850x152x150 mm in size, represents a panther(?) raised on two hind legs. On the right upper corner is displayed a lily. Two ropes hang from the sides, ending with a lily at each end. Above the coat of arms is found an inscription, engraved in capital latin letters, which appears incomplete as it is damaged. It says:
The coat of arms was found in a tombstone, which bears the name of Anton Skura, on the outer walls of the church of Our Lady of Anunciation, in Kodër-Marlekaj, Lezhë. It is currently on exhibit at the medieval pavillion of the National History Museum, in Tirana.
|Coat of Arms of the House of Kastrioti (1451–1904)|
The coat of arms of Skanderbeg with the double-headed eagle appears for the first time in a book of greetings given to Skanderbeg by Alfonso V, King of Naples, on the occasion of the signing of the Treaty of Gaeta on 26 March 1451. It was handed over by the king's protonotary, Arnaldo Fonoleda, to the ambassadors of Skanderbeg who signed this treaty, Bishop Stefan of Kruja and Father Nikola Berguci. The representative symbol of the state of Skanderbeg appears again in a Venetian catalog of coats of arms in 1463, when Gjon Kastrioti II, Skanderbeg's son, received the title "Noble of the Republic".
The colors in the coat of arms are mentioned for the first time in Marin Barleti's "The history of the life and deeds of Scanderbeg, Prince of Epirus" (Latin: Historia de vita et gestis Scanderbegi Epirotarvm principis), page XV, published in 1508 – «nā rubea uexilla nigris/& bicipitibus distincta aquilis (id gētis insigne erat) gerebat Scanderbegus». The usage of the same colors is later mentioned in Giammaria Biemmi's work "The History of Giorgio Castrioto Scander begh" (Latin: Istoria di Giorgio Castrioto detto Scander begh) who quotes the Antivarino of Bar in page 22, published in 1756 – «L'insegna di Scander begh era un' aquila negra distincta in due teste sopra campo rosso».
The most widely adopted variation of the coat of arms is an illustration found in Giuseppe Schirò's 1904 book "Gli Albanesi e la Questione Balkanica". The defining elements of the coat of arms are a red lightly bordered shield, in the form of a couché, a blue spherical triangle, a golden hexagram and the crowned black double-headed eagle.
|Symbols of Ali Pasha Tepelena (1807)|
A gold medallion attributed to Ali Pasha features a small hole drilled at the top for placement of a sewn loop which is tied at the center, upended in the shape of a trefoil, in colors green-red-green, with a wear hook. Ø 29 mm, 7.0 g of m.
Listed at the Künker auction house in Berlin, it is thought to have been commissioned in 1807 by Albanian warlord Ali Pasha who ruled independently large parts of Western Rumelia. Contrary to Ottoman tradition, the medallion shows in one side the portrait of a woman – Queen [Vassiliki] Hanim – in oriental adornment. Milled on the opposite side, the encircled crescent moon with its star (defining symbols of the Ottoman Empire) – similar in shape to the type found in byzantine coins, surrounded by decorative lines, can be theorized as the heraldic image used by Ali Pasha himself.
In several portrayals by contemporary painters of his time (see: Friedel, Dupré, Cartwright), Ali Pasha is seen wearing the crown taj of the Bektashi Order with whom he was affiliated with. The taj (Albanian: taxhi) may have been the inspiration behind the crown in Doepler's coat of arms.
An authentic taj worn by Ali Pasha, was included in the National History Museum's fund in 1981, inventory no. 339. It has a height of 18.5 cm and a diameter of 20 cm and appears to be badly damaged.
|Coat of arms||Description|
|Coat of Arms of the Principality of Albania (1914)|
The Coat of Arms of the Principality of Albania was made public for the first time in an article by Eberhard Freiherr von Wechmar in the weekly illustrated newspaper Die Woche (1914), issue no. 10, p. 387. The extract from german reads:
Shortly after, the foreign news section of the New-York Tribune in an article titled "William of Wied's task in Albania a hard one", dated 1 March 1914, in page 9 describes the coat of arms as follows:
And the Viennese weekly Österreichs Illustrierte Zeitung published on 8 March 1914, two "rival" models competing with one another, a design by Emil Doepler and the other by Ernst Krahl. In conclusion, Doepler's design was chosen as the winner and was officially adopted as a state symbol on 10 April 1914. Doepler himself described the introduction of the crown as being derived from the national Albanian headdress, consisting of a high white cap with vertical parts and a wider horizontal ornamented brim.”
The coat of arms is once more featured as a letterhead seal in a royal invitation addressed to captain N. Thomson, the brother of Lt. Colonel L.W.Thomson. It bears the prince's coat of arms and that of the family of princess Sophie, both under the Albanian crown.
|State Arms of the Albanian Kingdom (1928–1929)|
The State Arms of the Albanian Kingdom is depicted in a red square flag, with a black two-headed eagle, with silver arms and banners centered on the chest of the eagle. An illustration of the arms is seen for the first time in Teki Selenica's encyclopedic guide book Shqipria më 1927, e illustruar, page 125. The eagle with arms and banners can be found in several publications of the Ministry of Internal Affairs' secret office and was used in this form until the late fall of 1929.
|Coat of Arms of the Albanian Kingdom (1929–1939)|
The Coat of Arms of the Albanian Kingdom is a double headed eagle placed on an escutcheon surrounded by a silk papal-red cape edged in gold with shoulders, with the helmet of Skanderbeg on top facing to the right as one looks at it. Black ermine on a white background surround the two headed eagle, which is placed on a red shield in the center, representing the Albanian national flag. A color illustration of the coat of arms can be found on the cover of the book 10 Vjet Mbretni by Zoi Xoxa.
(Heraldic description: Gules a bicephalous Eagle sable; upon a mantle gules double ermine cords and tassels or; the whole ensigned with a cap of Skanderbeg, thereon a goat’s head sinister proper.) First adopted on 8 August 1929.
|Great Arms of the Kingdom of Albania (1939–1943)|
The symbols of the Kingdom of Albania were promulgated by royal decree nr. 141, dated 28 September 1939. Summarized in seven article paragraphs, they are described as follows:
The greater arms is used: in the great seal of the State, on solemn occasions and in monumental decorations.
A monochrome version of the great arms is found in an illustration by Carlo Vittorio Testi.
The lesser arms is used by the state administration.
|State Emblem/s of the People's Socialist Republic of Albania (1946–1992)|
Article 95 of the Constitution of the People's Republic of Albania (1946) describes the state emblem as follows:
Article 107 of the Constitution of the People's Socialist Republic of Albania (1976) describes the state emblem as follows:
Designed by acclaimed painter Sadik Kaceli, the coat of arms was initially adopted on 14 March 1946. It was readopted with minor amendments on 28 December 1976.
Model (1): This image of the coat of arms is found in the Constitution of the People's Republic of Albania published in 1964 by the Albanian Committee for Cultural Relations and Friendship with Foreign Countries. The interweaving of the wheat stems is shown in right profile, meanwhile the wreaths are simplified in the shape of a rhombus or lozenge. The eagle's chest comes forth in a triangle-like posture, the minuscule eyes are rounded and there is a widening of the claws. The overall color scheme is lightly faded.
Model (2): The coat of arms shown here was published by the nationally syndicated satire magazine Hosteni in its 1st issue of the 39th annual edition (956), dated 12 January 1983. The lifelike image was used in the 500 L coin dating back to 1969.
Model (3): The model of the coat of arms generally accepted as the official variant was pubished by "Albania today", a political and informative review, in its 1st issue (32) of the 7th annual edition (1977). This model has been used in banknotes and fiscal stamps since 1948.
On 7 April 1992, the Assembly formed after the early elections, in its afternoon session, voted to remove the communist emblem as the official symbol of the state including the removal of the star from the country's flag and established a parliamentary commission tasked with studying the proposal of a new emblem of the state.
|Coat of arms of the Republic of Albania (1992–1998)|
On 13 November 1992, the Assembly, having previously abolished the use of communist symbols as official representative symbols of the state, decided to adopt a coat of arms of the Republic. In Law no. 7491, dated 25.04.1991 "On the Main Constitutional Provisions" the heading "§ On the Flag, Coat of Arms, National Anthem, National Holiday and the Capital of the Republic of Albania" is added and in Article 3 is defined as follows:
This same image of the coat of arms is found in various documents of the state archive and was once suspended at the main curtain wall in front of the rostrum of the national assembly.
|Coat of arms of the Republic of Albania (1998–present)|
The coat of arms of the Republic of Albania represents a shield with a red field and a black two-headed eagle at the center. On top of the shield, in golden color, is placed the helmet of Skanderbeg.
The design is further specified in articles VII and VIII of Law 8926:
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|Logistics Brigade||Regional Support Brigade||Training and Doctrine Command||Military Intelligence||Military Police||Military Hospital|
The symbolism in the coats of arms of counties in Albania is reflected in Article 5 of Law no. 139/2015, later ammended by Law no. 38/2019, dated 20 June 2019 and entitled "On Local Self-Governance", which classifies the county as a second level unit of local governance that represents an administrative-territorial unit, consisting of several municipalities with geographical, traditional, economic, social and common interests.
City emblems are supposed to include and show, in a highly stylized manner and preferably according to the formal rules of heraldry, elements and features that are characteristic and representative of the respective city.
|Librazhd||Lushnjë||Malësi e Madhe||Maliq||Mallakastër||Mat||Memaliaj||Mirditë|
|Tiranë||Tropojë||Vau i Dejës||Vlorë||Vorë|