Coat of arms of Albania
Coat of arms of Republic of Albania
Seal of the President of Albania.svg
Kryeministri i Shqipërisë.svg
ArmigerRepublic of Albania
Adopted21 October 1998
BlazonBlack double-headed eagle, gold helmet of Skanderbeg in right profile, red field, narrow gold stripe border.
Earlier version(s)1946–1992 Communist Albania

The Coat of arms of Albania (Albanian: Stema e Republikës së Shqipërisë) is an adaptation of the Flag of Albania which is based on the flag and seal of Gjergj Kastrioti Skanderbeg. The helmet above the head of the two-headed eagle is the helmet of Skanderbeg, surmounted with billy goat's horns.

Official regulation

The coat of arms is described in Article 14 of the Constitution of Albania:

"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."[1]

Note: The color scheme shown below is laid out beginning with the peripheral color followed by the nearest color.

 GOLD: #FFD700 

RGB: 255–215–0
HSL: 51°–100%–100%
HSV: 51°–100%–50%
CMYK: 0.00–0.16–1.00–0.00
XYZ: 65.5404–69.8609–10.0301
LAB: 86.9286–/-1.9243–87.1373
Luminance: 84%
Distance: 0

 RED: #FF0000 

RGB: 255–0–0
HSL: 0°–100%–100%
HSV: 0°–100%–50%
CMYK: 0.00–1.00–1.00–0.00
XYZ: 41.2400–21.2600–1.9300
LAB: 53.2329–80.1093–67.2201
Luminance: 54%
Distance: 1

 BLACK: #000000 

RGB: 0–0–0
HSL: 0°–0%–0%
HSV: 0°–0%–0%
CMYK: 0.00–0.00–0.00–1.00
XYZ: 0.0000–0.0000–0.0000
LAB: 0.0000–0.0000–0.0000
Luminance: 0%
Distance: 0

The design is further specified in articles VII and VIII of Law 8926:[2]

§ Article VII – Shapes and dimensions of the coat of arms

1. The coat of arms of the Republic of Albania is a state symbol. It represents a shield, blood red in color, with an eagle in the center, identical to the eagle of the national flag. At the top of the shield, in golden color, is placed the helmet of Skanderbeg, in right profile. The dimensions of the shield have an aspect ratio of 1:1.5.
2. The appearance of the coat of arms of the Republic of Albania, the color strength and the ratios are defined in appendix no.4, which is attached to this law and is an integral part of it.
§ Article VIII – Usage of the coat of arms
1. The coat of arms of the Republic of Albania is held and used only by institutions of the central government. The coat of arms is placed at the main entrance of the institution, above its name.
2. The coat of arms of the Republic of Albania is placed on the seals of state institutions, in their official acts, on the official naming of state institutions and in any other act that the state institution addresses to third parties. The coat of arms is used as an identification mark on the working tools of the state institution and in the working environments.

3. The coat of arms of the Republic of Albania, when accompanied by the coat of arms of other states, is laid in the most visible place or in the same place with them.

Significance of the helmet

The helmet of Skanderbeg.
The helmet of Skanderbeg.

Skanderbeg's helmet is made of white metal, adorned with a strip dressed in gold. On its top lies the head of a horned goat made of bronze, also dressed in gold. The bottom part bears a copper strip adorned with a monogram separated by rosettes: * IN * PE * RA * TO * RE * BT *, standing for Iesus Nazarenus * Principi Emathie * Regi Albaniae * Terrori Osmanorum * Regi Epirotarum * Benedictat Te (Jesus the Nazarene Blesses Thee, Prince of Mat, King of Albania, Terror of the Ottomans, King of Epirus).

The inscriptions on the helmet may refer to the unsettled name by which Albania was known at the time, as a means to identify Skanderbeg's leadership over all Albanians across regional denominative identifications. Contemporary sources show that 14th century Albanians were invariably identified as a tribal peoples, with no state of their own. Thus, depending on where they lived – North or South, in the plains or in the mountains, and to which civilization they subscribed to – we have Turkish Arnauts, Greek Arbanites or Albanoi, Albanian Arbër, Arben, Arbëreshë, Epirotas.[3]

Sami Frashëri in his Kamus-al-Alam maintains that the wording "Dhu lKarnejn" (owner of the two horns) was an appellative attributed to Alexander the Great of Macedon, the very name which Skanderbeg bore in the Islamic form. This second explanation may not be the truer, since the theory of the Macedonian-Albanian and Epirot-Albanian continuance is strong among Albanians but not among all the peoples of Europe. This opinion agrees with the work of Marin Barleti who writes: "When the people saw all those young and brave men around Skanderbeg, then it was not hard to believe that the armies of Murad II were so defeated by the Albanians. Indeed, the times when the star of Macedon shone brilliantly had returned, just as they seemed in those long forgotten times of Pyrrhus and Alexander."

Medieval coats of arms

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 the ruins of the church of St. Mary of Interfanda in Gëziq.[4] 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 church 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. 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 kept in good physical condition.[5]

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.[6] 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.[7]

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: "These are the symbols of the great lord, Karl Thopia". 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.[8]

Coat of Arms of the Skuraj family (14th century)

The Skuraj family (known in other forms as Sgura or Zgurra) 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.[9]

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.[10] 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».[11] 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».[12]

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".[13] The defining elements of the coat of arms are a red lightly bordered shield, a blue spherical triangle, a golden hexagram and the crowned black double-headed eagle.


National coats of arms

Coat of Arms of the Principality of Albania (1914)

The Coat of Arms of the Principality of Albania is described as follows: A golden-armed, red-tongued black double-headed eagle with bundles of four golden thunderbolts in each fang, on the breast covered with a black-red embroidered shield bordered in gold, in front a natural-colored peacock – displaying its pride – the whole under an ermine-lined golden-fringed purple mantle, which falls from the Albanian princely crown. Blue banner with Wied's motto "FIDELITATE ET VERITATE" in golden letters". Designed by Emil Doepler. Adopted on 10 April 1914.[14]

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.[15] 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.[16]

Great Arms of the Kingdom of Albania (1939–1943)

The Greater Arms of State consists of a red shield with a black two-headed eagle crowned with the Helmet of Skanderbeg.[17] Supporters: two adjoining fasces, their axes pointing outwards, bound with leather straps, connected above with the Savoye-knot and below with a blue ribbon three times inscribed with the motto FERT. The mantle around the whole is red, with golden fringes and tassels and crested with the royal crown. Based on the illustration by Carlo Vittorio Testi. Adopted on 28 September 1939.[18]

State Emblem of the People's Socialist Republic of Albania (1946–1991)

Article 107 of the Constitution of the People's Socialist Republic of Albania (1976) describes the State Emblem as follows:

"The emblem of the People's Socialist Republic of Albania bears a black, double-headed eagle, encircled by two sheaves of wheat with a five-pointed red star at the top and tied at the bottom with a red ribbon, on which the date »24 Maj 1944« is inscribed".

This original work of acclaimed painter Sadik Kaceli was first adopted on 14 March 1946. It was readopted with minor amendments on December 28, 1976.[19] On 7 April 1992, the Assembly formed after the early elections, in the 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.[20][21]

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:[22]

"The coat of arms of the Republic of Albania represents a black double-headed eagle placed on a muzzle, a red Couche shield. The shield has a straight line at the top, narrowing at the bottom. The words "Republic of Albania" are written on the top of the shield."

— Law no. 7491, dated 25.04.1991 Article 3 in "§ On the Flag, Coat of Arms, National Anthem, National Holiday and the Capital of the Republic of Albania"

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.


See also


  1. ^ Neni 14, Kushtetuta e Republikës së Shqipërisë
  2. ^ Law 8926 22.07.2002.
  3. ^ Schmitt, Oliver Jens. Das Venezianische Albanien (1392–1479). Tiranë: K&B. p. 63–85.
  4. ^ Zamputi, Injac (1984). "Rindërtimi i mbishkrimit të Arbërit dhe mundësitë e reja për leximin e tij". Iliria. 14 (2): 207–218. doi:10.3406/iliri.1984.1332.
  5. ^ Koçi, Dorian (4 June 2017). "Stema e mbishkrimi i Principatës së Arbrit dhe abacia e Ndërfandës". Gazeta Shqiptare.
  6. ^ Zeqo, Moikom (8 September 2019). "Aleksandri i Madh sipas Statutit të Shkodrës".
  7. ^ Nadin, Lucia (2002). Statuti di Scutari : della prima metà del secolo XIV con le addizioni fino al 1469. Roma. p. 245. ISBN 9788883340420.
  8. ^ Llukani, Andrea (31 May 2022). "Shërbesa e Joan Vladimirit". ((cite journal)): Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  9. ^ "Stema 700-vjeçare e Skurajve, si e shpëtoi konsulli Ippen!". Retrieved 19 December 2015.
  10. ^ Varfi, Gjin (2000). Heraldika Shqiptare. Shtëpia Botuese "Dituria". p. 32. ISBN 9789992731857.
  12. ^ Biemmi, Giammaria (1756). ISTORIA DI GIORGIO CASTRIOTO DETTO SCANDER BEGH. p. 22.
  13. ^ Schiró, Giuseppe (1904). Gli Albanesi e la Questione Balkanica. Istituto Orientale di Napoli.
  14. ^ Neubecker, Ottfried. "Die Geschichte des Wappen von Albanien". Retrieved 24 February 2021.
  15. ^ Selenica, Teki. Shqipria më 1927 (e illustruar). p. 573.
  16. ^ Xoxa, Zoi (1938). 10 Vjet Mbretni. Shtypshkronja Tirana. p. 344.
  17. ^ "Stemat dhe Vulat e Shtetit" (PDF). Fletorja Zyrtare. XVIII: 302. 3 October 1939.
  18. ^ Stato Maggiore Regio Esercito (1941). PER TE, SOLDATO D'ALBANIA. Roma, Italia. p. 245.
  19. ^ "Article 107, Constitution of the People's Socialist Republic of Albania (1976)".
  20. ^ Punime të Kuvendit (PDF). 1 (in Albanian). Tirana: Parliament of Albania. 2009. pp. 24‒44.
  21. ^ Dervishi, Kastriot (14 April 2019). "1992/Si u hoq ylli i kuq sovjetik nga flamuri kombëtar dhe stema shtetërore". (in Albanian). Retrieved 23 November 2021.
  22. ^ Punime të Kuvendit (PDF). 6 (in Albanian). Tirana: Parliament of Albania. 2009. pp. 2163‒2168.
  23. ^ Brahaj, Jaho. Flamuri i Kombit Shqiptar. Mediaprint. p. 130. ISBN 978-9928-152-03-9.