This is a comprehensive list of flags used in Albania.

State flags

Flag Description
Flag of the Provisional Government of Albania (1912–1914).svg
Flag of the Provisional Government (1912–1914)
The weekly Albanian language newspaper Zër' i Popullit (Albanian: The People's Voice), based in New York City, published on the cover page of its 7th issue, dated 17 December 1912, a color illustration of the Albanian flag. It shows a striking resemblance to a similar illustration found on the cover page of the 16th issue of the 2nd annual edition of Perlindja e Shqipëniës newspaper, the official publication of the newly formed Albanian State, dated 7 March 1914.[1] Later evidence of the consistently unchanged design of the double-headed eagle is substantiated by newspaper Dielli in its 21st annual edition published on November 29, 1929, and titled: 1467===FLAMURI YNE===1912; with the descriptive subtitle: Sign of love for the Fatherland and the Symbol of Freedom.[2]
Essad Pasha
Flag of the self-proclaimed Republic of Central Albania (1913–1914)
In the archives of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Fund Section R–130365), scholar Marenglen Kasmi encountered a paper envelope which contained a letter signed by Essad Pasha Toptani and addressed by the Austro-Hungarian royal imperial embassy in Berlin to the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, dated 7 May 1915. In it, a piece of cloth roughly 20 by 30 cm in length, in light red color with a white star polygon at the lower right corner is presented as the "national flag" with Essad Pasha identifying himself as interim president and general supreme commander. What stands out about this flag is its resemblance to the Ottoman flag, where only the crescent has been removed.[3]
Flag of the Principality of Albania (1915).svg
Flag of the Principality of Albania (1915)
The nearly square flag measures 156x140 cm in size. Its fabric is a thin, woolen cloth, dyed in red. Around the entire surface, on both sides, a double-headed black eagle is spray stamped. There are changes made to the wings, claws, and especially to the two heads, which appear too small in relation to the size of the eagle. On the chest, a golden shield with a blue peacock can be seen in what is a grafting of Albanian symbols with those of Wied's family.

A 2012 auction in Genoa, Italy unveiled for the first time the flag of the principality, physically intact, displayed inside a square laminated wooden frame, with the descriptive title shown at the bottom in golden letters, embossed onto a black coated strip. The flag was found in Durrës on 20 December 1915 and had been taken from there by Italian diplomat Baron Carlo Aliotti aboard the Austrian destroyer SMS Lika.[4]

The flag variant widely in use today bears a resemblance to the graphic illustration found on the hardcover of the book from Spiridon Gopcevic, titled "Das Fürstentum Albanien", 359 pages, published in Berlin (1914) by Hermann Paetel Verlag.

Flag of the Autonomous Province of Korçë.svg
Flag of the Autonomous Province of Korçë (1916–1920)
The protocol agreement on the Autonomous Province of Korçë states in Article IX, dated 10 December 1916:

Le drapeau du Kaza de Korytza sera l’étendard traditionnel de Scanderbeg avec cravate tricolore aux couleurs françaises.[5]

The Kaza of Korça flag will be the traditional standard of Skanderbeg with the tricolor tie in the French colors.

Restored flags of this period are currently housed at the Flag Museum in Korçë.[6]

Flag of the Congress of Lushnje.svg
Flag used at the Congress of Lushnjë (1920)
The flag used at the Congress of Lushnjë was identified for the first time on 25 November 2011 inside the archives of the Ethnographic Fund at the Center for Albanological Studies.

The flag is made of dark red silk or taffeta (xanthocellulose artificial silk) and has in its center a black two-headed eagle, stylized in the shape of the same eagle used by the provisional government, since a national flag had not yet been formalized. On one side of the flag there are three metal rings, which serve to tie the flag to the handle. Its dimensions are 121 cm – 70 cm.[7][8]

Flamuri i Këshillit të Naltë (1921).svg
Flag used by the High Council of Regency (1921)
Illustration of a large flag displayed hanging on the wall background inside the High Council of Regency building with members Aqif Pasha Elbasani and Luigj Bumçi sitting opposite of each other. A similar flag was used during this time period at the demilitarized border area known as the Neutral Zone of Junik.[9]
Flamuri i Republikës Shqiptare (1925–1928).svg
Flag of the Albanian Republic (1925–1928)
The double-headed eagle in the flag used during the period of the First Republic, shows a marked resemblance to the eagle in Fletorja Zyrtare (3rd model of the journal), printed interchangeably from January 7, 1923, until June 28, 1927. The eagle as part of the flag, continued to be in use further into the 1930s, after the establishment of the monarchy. We find it on the first pages of the inaugural issue of the cultural magazine "Rilindja" dated November 28, 1934, with the inscription "Të falem Ty o Flamur!" (English: I bow to You, oh Flag!). The same eagle was stamped in red folded invitation letters issued by the royal authorities in celebration of the 25th anniversary of independence. The usage of the eagle extended even during the Italian occupation and can be seen on the cover pages of school notebooks called "quaderno".[10]
Flag of the Albanian Kingdom (1928–1939).svg
Flag of the Albanian Kingdom (1928–1939)
Article III of the Fundamental Statute of the Albanian Kingdom describes the flag as red with a black two-headed eagle in the center.[11] A variant of this flag is on display at the Mezuraj Museum. The square-shaped flag, currently in the possession of the Royal Family, was produced in the latter period of King Zog's reign and can be seen in an archived film footage being replaced by fascist officers during the unveiling ceremony of the new fascist flag, on 4 December 1939. The royal flag was widely used by government institutions, the army and embassies abroad.[12]
Flamuri i Mbretërisë së Shqipërisë (pa kurorë).svg
Flags of the Kingdom of Albania (1939–1943)
The Yearbook of the Kingdom of Albania in its 1940–XVIII edition, describes in Title I, Article II of the Constitutional Charter the following:

The Albanian flag is red, charged at the center with the black double-headed eagle and the sign of the lictor fasces.[13]

The description of the flag is further specified in the official journal of the Albanian government, in its 18th annual edition, dated 25 November 1939, issue nr.116, page.3, which writes:[14]

The National Flag of the Kingdom of Albania is formed by a cloth in a rectangular shape, high in two thirds of its length, red in color, charged in the center with a red shield (scudo) with the black two-headed eagle crowned by the helm of Skanderbeg, in black color.

Bearings: Two black Lictor fasces, supported with axes on the outside, adjoined with one another at the top by the Savoy knots in black, and below by a black stripe in the form of a scroll ribbon, charged with the word "Fert", repeated three times in red color.

The State Flag will be used in the residences of the Sovereign dignitaries and members of the Royal Family, in the Headquarters of the Upper Fascist Corporate Council and in the Government Offices, with the coat of arms headed by the Royal Crown of Savoy.

Images of the flag used during this time are available at the Istituto Luce archive. The flag is displayed at different public events, from the inauguration of a local school by prime minister Shefqet Vërlaci, to the opening session of the Albanian Fascist Party congress which was held at the Palace of the Superior Fascist Corporative Council.[15]

Flamur shqiptar përdorur gjatë pushtimit nazist.svg
Flag used during the German occupation of Albania (1943–1944)

On September 8, 1943, the union with the Kingdom of Italy was officially dissolved and the country reverted to the decrees of September 1928.[16] Improvised vertical flags, which differed in shape and contortion, were used during this period, notably at the funeral procession of regent Fuad Dibra on February 23, 1944, and during the oath ceremony of government military formations.[17]

Flag of the Democratic Government of Albania (1944–1946).svg
Flag of the Democratic Government of Albania (1946)
The flag used by the Democratic Government of Albania, which was the first ruling government following the war of liberation, was published for the first time in the War Bulletin of National Liberation (Albanian: Buletin i Luftës Nacional-Çlirimtare), issue nr.51 dated 28 November 1944. The usage of this specific flag is widely seen in public events and military court proceedings as well as in the opening session of the Constitutional Assembly on January 10, 1946. It has also been confirmed in the 1980 publication by the Marxist–Leninist Studies Institute titled "Epopeja e Luftës Antifashiste Nacionalçlirimtare e Popullit Shqiptar 1939–1944".[18]
Flag of the People
Flag of the People's Socialist Republic of Albania (1976)
Law nr.5506, dated 28 December 1976 of the constitution of the People's Socialist Republic of Albania in Chapter III, Article I, Title CVIII describes the flag as follows:[19]

§ Article CVIII – Flag
The state flag of the People's Socialist Republic of Albania represents a red field with a black double-headed eagle in the center, on top of which is a red star with five corners, embroidered all around in gold. The ratio between the width and the length of the flag is 1:1-40.[20]

Flamuri i Frontit Demokratik të Shqipërisë.svg
Flag of the Democratic Front of Albania (1977)
The flag of the Democratic Front of Albania was stamped in certificates and presented with badges awarded by the district leadership to the "Activist of the Democratic Front of Albania" with the motivation: Distinguished in socio-political activities for propagandizing the directives and decisions of the Labour Party of Albania to the wider masses of the Front members and putting them into practice.

The flag illustration is an evolution of the original model which first appeared in membership quota passes issued as early as 1965.[21]

Flamuri Fitimtar.svg
Victorious Flag (1978)
A hand holding the flag of the Party of Labour of Albania, in the stylized likenesses of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin depicted in profile. The flag which was used at the 8th party congress, is described as follows:[22]

«THE VICTORIOUS FLAG OF THE PARTY, THE FLAG OF MARXISM-LENINISM, WILL ALWAYS WAVE PROUDLY IN THE NEW SOCIALIST ALBANIA»

Flag of Albania.svg
Flag of the Republic of Albania (2002)
The national flag of Albania was standardized by Law Nr.8926, dated 22 July 2002 of the constitution and defined in articles II, III and IV.[23]

A physical description of the flag is summarized in Article III:

§ Article III – Shapes and dimensions of the national flag

1. The national flag represents a blood red field, with a black double-headed eagle in the center, with open wings on the sides. Each of the eagle's wings has nine feathers, while the tail has seven feathers.
2. The dimensions of the national flag have an aspect ratio of 1:1.4

3. The appearance of the national flag, the strength of its colors and the ratios are those defined in appendix no.1, which is attached to this law and is an integral part of it.

Presidential flags

Flag Description
Flamuri i Kryetarit të Republikës (1925–1928).svg
Presidential Flag (1925–1928)
State symbols during the period of the First Republic were always shown in square form. This was preponderant with the national flag, state emblem, presidential insignia and even symbols used in commerce. The flag of the president of the republic is seen for the first time in Teki Selenica's encyclopedic guide book Shqipria më 1927, e illustruar, page 124.[24]
Flag of the President of Albania.svg
Presidential Flag (2014–present)
The predominant colors are the colors of the national flag (red background and black eagle) and the golden color has been added which symbolizes strength, prosperity and endurance. The decorative symbols of the flag are the black eagle taken from the coat of arms of the House of Kastrioti, accepting it as one of the most ancient symbols used by the Albanian leader, the (golden) Skanderbeg helmet positioned in a straight frontal stance, symbolizing impartiality and determination in representing national unity, as well as oak (golden) leaves which represent longevity, strength and dignity, also taken as a symbol from antiquity used by King Gentius of the Illyrians. The use of the crown-shaped oak branches is also seen as a plinth which holds the other elements in place. Dimensions are specified as 140 cm x 100 cm.[25]

Ensigns

Military flags

Flag Description
Historical military flags of Albania
Albanian Legion.svg
Flag of the 6th Detached Regiment (1916)
The flag used by the 6th detached regiment (c.1916) during World War I is made of a red woolen cloth, with a black eagle in the center. Below the eagle is the number 6. Three sides of the flag are outlined by a row of triangles. On the left side is the place where the spear or the rope is inserted. This part of the flag is made of cotton fabric, gray to blue in color. Its dimensions are 120 cm by 85 cm.[26]
Flamuri i Reparteve të Milicisë Shqiptare (1917).svg
Flag of the Albanian Militia Units (1917)
Flag of the Albanian militia units assigned to the Italian army during World War I. This specimen dating from 1917 was placed at the unit headquarters.
Flamuri i Batalionit Sulmues Ushtarak "Erzeni".svg
Flamuri i Batalionit Sulmues Ushtarak "Shkumbini".svg
Flamuri i Batalionit Sulmues Ushtarak "Vjosa".svg
Flamuri i Batalionit të Xhandarmërisë "Kosova".svg
Clockwise: Battalion flags of Erzen, Shkumbin, Vjosa and the Kosova Gendarmerie.
Flags of the Battalions of the First Republic (1927–1928)
The first military battalions during the period of the Republic were inaugurated in the spring of 1927. In accordance with the military tradition of the time, they were given the names of rivers such as Erzen, Shkumbin, Vjosa, etc.

The flags awarded to these battalions were made of a high quality silk material. The fiery red fabric gleams from within, extending across the surface. On each side is embroidered in black the stylized double-headed eagle. The embroidery was done conjointly, passing the black thread from one side to the other, which made the flag stronger. On one side, a lining is open for the pole to be inserted, while the other three sides are embroidered by a band of black triangles, which perhaps emulated fringes. Their dimensions are unequal, varying in length from 120 cm to 130 cm, with the width ranging from 96 cm to 98 cm. There were no set rules applied during this time period in standardizing the size of the flags. Each flag is accompanied by a dual stripe ribbon, in black and red, measuring 220 cm to 230 cm in length and 8 cm in width. The bottom of the ribbon is decorated with tassels, made of brass threads, imitating gold. On the red part, is inscribed in large yellow letters, of cotton thread, the word BATALIONI and on the black part, the name of the respective battalion. In one of the ribbons, the name of the battalion is absent, likely damaged from deterioration. It was later discovered that it belonged to the Vjosa battalion. The awarding flag ceremony took place on June 9, 1927.[27]

Flag of the Albanian Land Forces.svg
Flag of the Albanian Air Forces.svg
Flag of the Albanian Naval Forces.svg
Flag of the Albanian Training and Doctrine Command.svg
Flag of the Albanian Logistics Brigade.svg
Flag of the Albanian Regional Support Brigade.svg
Left to right: Flags of the Land Force, Air Force, Naval Force, Training and Doctrine Command, Logistics Brigade, Regional Support Brigade.
Flags of the Albanian Armed Forces (2011)
The decorative flags of the Albanian Armed Forces consist of the national flag with the black double-headed eagle on a red color background. Each flag has in the center the symbol of the military branch it represents:
  • The Land Force flag displays in the center a green shield, in which are placed two crossed rifles.
  • The Air Force flag displays in the center a shield in light blue color, in which the wings are placed.
  • The Naval Force flag displays in the center a shield in dark blue color, in which an anchor is placed.
  • The Training and Doctrine Command flag displays in the center an olive-colored shield which consists of a compass, a quill resting on a rolled up parchment and an olive branch.
  • The Logistics Brigade flag displays in the center an olive-colored shield which consists of a rotary wheel, two crossed skeleton keys and an olive branch.
  • The Regional Support Brigade flag displays in the center an olive-colored shield which consists of two venetian towers connected by a bridge with a white flame rising from the top and an olive branch.

The standardized dimensions of each flag are 107x150 cm, enclosed on all sides by a golden lace.[28]

Police flags

Flag Description
Flamuri i Policisë së Shtetit.svg
Flag of the Albanian State Police (2016)
The Regulation of the State Police in Chapter II, Article IX, describes the flag of the State Police as a distinctive flag, a symbol of honor, bravery, glory, sacrifices in the name of law and the spiritual unity of Albanian Police employees of all generations.

The flag is handed over to the Director of Police by the Minister of Internal Affairs, on the occasion of his or her appointment. It is then placed on a cylindrical pole, with a pointed finial, silver in color, which is displayed in the office of the Director of the State Police and in the offices of the heads of the local police directorates.[29]

Flag of Albanian Republican Guard.svg
Flag of the Republican Guard (2021)
The flag appears in a red color background, surrounded by a golden decorative cord, in the center of which is the eagle, used by the Guard since its establishment in 1928. The black double-headed eagle is outlined by a thin yellow thread, which makes it stand out inside the red background and rests on a golden floral decoration, often used in Albanian state emblems. Above the eagle is placed the stylized helmet of the Albanian national hero, Skanderbeg, in gold. Right beneath it, is printed in capital letters GARDA E REPUBLIKËS.[30]

Maritime flags

Flag Description
Albanian Maritime Flag (Model 1).svg
Albanian Maritime Flag (Model 2).svg
Maritime Flags of Albania (1914)
Two model drawings of the Albanian Maritime Flag dating from the Spring of 1914:
  • The unfurled model was conceived under the supervision of the Austro-Hungarian Consulate in Shkodër, to be presented to the Maritime Government in relation to the causality of "Fiore d'Albania". On the back of the document, the caption reads: April–May 1914; State Archive, Trieste, Maritime Government Fund, Presidial Act b.58, no.78.[31]
  • The hoisted model was conceived under the supervision of the Port Authority and Maritime Health of Trieste, to be presented to the Maritime Government in relation to the causality of "Fiore d'Albania"; State Archive, Trieste, Maritime Government Fund, Presidial Act b.57, no.52.[32]
Royal Marine Flag of the Kingdom of Albania (1941).svg
Royal Marine Flag (1941)
This royal marine flag used briefly on the occasion of Vittorio Emanuele III's visit to Albania on 12 May 1941, was made of an unusually elaborate, colored crank embroidery, depicting the Albanian double-headed eagle with Skanderbeg's helmet, a banding of the acronym "FERT" replicated three times, flanked by the fascist lictor fasces and inflated by the Savoy royal crown. Its dimensions are approximately 130 x 220 cm.[33]
Flag of the Albanian Merchant Marine (1942).svg
Flag of the Albanian Merchant Marine (1942)
The Leadership of the Council of Ministers during the adjoining session of October 28, 1942, in response to letter nr. 7/31812 by Vice Secretary General Nonis of the diplomatic cabinet, has set forth with decision nr. 1515, that the Flag of the Albanian Merchant Marine, which consists of three straps, red–black–red, placed horizontally as it were before the unification, be used going forward.[34]
Flamuri i Marinës Luftarake Detare (1946).svg
Flag of the National Combat Navy (1946)
The flag of the National Combat Navy (Albanian: Marina Luftarake Kombëtare) was approved by decree nr.193 of the People's Assembly, dated October 19, 1946. Similar in appearance to the merchant steamship flags of the early post independence period, it featured three horizontal stripes, red–black–red, fixed by a golden anchor with a red five-pointed star as the centerpiece.[35]
Merchant Flag of the People
Merchant Flag of the People's Republic of Albania (1955)
The merchant flag of the People's Republic of Albania, designed for naval and maritime use, measures 142 cm by 102 cm in size. Made of red wool bunting, it features a factory printed black double-headed eagle alongside a five-pointed star in gold, both symbols which constitute the state emblem. On the left side, a hoist sleeve in rough grey cloth, with a rope intact and complete with loops, has imprinted the name of the Vozrozhdenie Factory, a quality control stamp and a 1955 date of manufacture. The model of the stamp as well as the material of the cloth are characteristic of the very early Soviet era flags, subtly different from those made in the 60s and thereafter.[36]
Nautical Signal Flag of the PSRA.svg
Nautical Signal Flag of the People's Socialist Republic of Albania (1970s)
Nautical signal flags are internationally recognized methods of communication used between ships, while at sea, to exchange short messages, often used individually or in combination with, that convey specific meanings. Most ships and other recreational vessels are equipped with such flags, formally known as "Marine Signal Code" flags, to identify themselves but also to communicate with other vessels.[37]

The nautical signal flag used during the communist period, upholds the design principles of its predecessors. A conspicuous three stripe layer, red–black–red, is bound to a thin cotton fabric lining which hangs vertically from a rope. The flag shown here has a slightly weathered look from actual use and measures 91 cm by 142 cm in length.[38]

Historical flags

Flag Description
Flag of the Bajrak of Kashnjeti (1878).svg
Flag of the Bajrak of Kashnjeti (1878)
Ded Kol Bajraktari, the chieftain of the Bajrak of Kashnjeti (Dibrri) had unfurled this flag, on 10 June 1878, at the event known as the Albanian League of Prizren, swearing in the name of his bajrak, to preserve it with honor and glory. The flag with the inscription "Mirdita", is considered an object of great historical importance and a symbol of resistance for the people of the Mirdita region and areas of Northern Albania.

The flag's dimensions are 95 cm x 75 cm. A field of blood-red cloth is made of a two-piece loom, of cotton thread. In the middle of the flag is the black double-headed eagle, above it is a silver shining sun and below the eagle is embroidered with Latin letters the name "MIRDITA".

It is the only surviving flag of the twelve bajraks of Mirditë.[39]

Emoji ufe82b.svg
Flag of the Sofi Tekke of Petrelë (1880)

The flag of the Sofi Tekke of Petrelë with which the parish of Petrelë marched to Shkodër in 1880, in response to the League of Prizren calling for the defence of Plava and Gucija, was handed over to the Prefecture of Tirana in December 1938. In a correspondence with the Ministry of Internal Affairs dated January 19, 1939, the prefect of Tirana writes the following:[40]

The municipality of Petrelë, based on the tales of the former elders, informs us that the old flag was placed in the tomb of Jusuf Pasha (Sofi Pasha) and that it bears the words of the Qur'an "La iLaellallah..... ". In the beginning, the flag was raised by representatives of the people followed from the crowd that sang various religious prayers, with ... (note: here is a broken line) ... a part of the Turkish Empire (mostly Albanian land). In 1880, after the Congress of Berlin had decided that Plava and Gucija would be awarded to Montenegro, the parish of Petrelë, inclined by this flag, marched as far as Shkodër. The people had the undenying conviction that in this flag they would come victorious against any army, thus giving discomfort and expelling the enemy to escape. No special flag bearer has been assigned for its defence but the person holding it in the ceremonies was chosen by the most able of men ... (note: here the sheet is edged).

— Prefect, Qamil Pepa
Flag of Isa Boletini (1910).svg
Flag of Isa Boletini (1910)
The flag of Isa Boletini was used for the first time at the Assembly of Isniq in 1910. It was later raised on top of a hill in Visekovc and on 12 August 1912, Boletini with thirty of his men, carried it through the streets of Skopje, which at the time was part of the Vilayet of Kosovo.

The same flag was used in Vlorë, when Boletini and a cavalry of four hundred fighters entered the city on the day Albania declared its independence.

The flag is made of red silk, edged with golden fringes and has in the center a black double-headed vulture with the heads of a serpent looking down.[41]

Awarded the Hero of the People title, Boletini was a prominent figure in the movement for an independent Albania. He is featured in a painting by Nikolet Vasia which inspired the famous scene in the 1982 film Nëntori i Dytë, where Boletini is seen kneeling down and kissing the Albanian flag while Ismail Qemali and other participants look on.[42]

Flamuri i Liris (1911).svg
Flag of the Malësori Uprising (1911)
In the spring of 1911, teacher and poet Palok Traboini, then serving as personal secretary to Ded Gjo Luli, while journing through Dalmatia brought along with him three flags[43] and delivered them to Ded Gjo Luli of Hoti, Dok Ujka of Gruda and Prel Luca of Triepshi respectively. The flags had been fabricated in Vienna, Austria at the request of Aladro Kastriota and were a gift for the fighting insurgents of Malësia e Madhe.

One of the flags was first unfurled at the Church of Traboini in Hot on 6 April 1911 by Kol Ded Gjoni, son of Ded Gjo Luli and later raised several times by his fighters on top of the Bratila peak.[44] Placed on the flag was a piece of cloth with the inscription "Flamuri i Liris" Mars 1911 ("The Flag of Freedom", March 1911), and on the carrying spear can be seen the figurine of an eagle with flapping wings. The flag appeared in the form of a labarum, in the style of Roman legions.

The only remaining evidence of the flag is a photograph by Kel Marubi which is presently archived at the Marubi National Museum of Photography.

Flag of the Albanian Congress of Trieste (1913).svg
Flag of the Albanian Congress of Trieste (1913)
On March 1, 1913, the Albanian National Assembly, known as the Albanian Congress of Trieste, convened in the city of Trieste, then Kingdom of Italy. It was attended by over 150 delegates from all provinces of Albania and representatives from the Albanian colonies.

The flag used at the congress is found in a photograph attributed to Atelier A. Gerkic.[45]

Emoji ufe82b.svg
Flag raised by Themistokli Gërmenji (1916)
To offset the Greek incursion in the south, an Albanian delegation led by Themistokli Gërmenji signed a protocol agreement with the French authorities who had been stationed in Albania at the time as part of their expansion on the eastern front. The agreement, which declared Korçë an autonomous administrative province under the direct supervision of the French garrison and general Henri Descoings, had as one of its key points the creation of an Albanian flag with a ribbon attached to it displaying the three colors of the French flag. Gërmenji raised a transient flag prepared for the ceremony on December 10, 1916, on the second floor balcony of the prefecture building. A negative by Kel Marubi that captured the moment is one of only two surviving images.[46]
Flamur i përdorur në varrimin e Ismail Qemalit (1919).svg
Flag used at Ismail Qemali's burial ceremony (1919)
On the evening of February 10, 1919, the Italian warship "Alpino" brought to Skelë (Vlorë) the coffin with the lifeless body of Ismail Qemali.

The flag used to cover the coffin had been a gift to Qemali by the Duke of Montpensier, when he visited Albania in March 1913 and was safely kept by Qemali's eldest son, Et’hem bey Vlora. The burial ceremony took place on Wednesday, February 12, 1919. The flag was later suspended outside the customs building of the municipality of Vlorë until it was submitted to the National Museum.

A state archive document from Year 1936, Fund 195, File 62 describes the flag as follows:[47]

"Customs flag" of Vlora
With the letter of the Ministry of Education Nr.1208 of the 6th of Autumn 1933, a flag treated with two strands of woolen cloth, 1.45 m long and 0.95 m wide, with a vulture with two heads and with wings spread upwards, without fringes and without a tie, was handed over to the National Museum.

Flamuri i Luftës së Vlorës (1920).svg
Flag raised during the Vlora War (1920)
The flag that was raised during the Vlora War of 1920 was ceded to the Ministry of Education by Lef Nosi in 1932.

A letter from 1934, which the National History Museum addressed to the Ministry of Education, where, among other things, it was said that "they had safeguarded a silk flag with gold fringes and a red tie, which was handed over to us by the Ministry of Education on 30 December 1932. The records we have on it say that this flag was unfurled in Vlora, the day the city was liberated from the invading foreign army." This letter can be found at the Ministry of Education archive (A.SH. Fund 295. File 1. Year 1934.) and is written as follows:[48]

Donated: a silk flag (red with a black vulture) with gold fringes, with a red tie and this one likewise with gold fringes. This flag was raised in Vlora after the city was freed by foreign armies in 1920.

Flamur i përdorur gjatë martesës së Mbretit Zog (1938).svg
Flag used during the marriage ceremony of King Zog (1938)
In the official website of the Albanian State Archive, under the Virtual Museum section (page of unique relics) are presented some rare flags belonging to the period of independence. Despite their importance, many of these flags remain anonymous and have no historical affiliation or dating. One such flag has the following description: Red flag with a black eagle. Meringue color material. In one of its corners is marked:[49]

KËT FLAMU E KAM VJEDH KUR U MARTU Zogu NË PTT

English translation: I stole this flag when King Zog got married in PTT (local office of Post-Telegraphs-Telephones)

Albanian flag flown to the Moon (1971).svg
Albanian flag flown to the Moon (1971)
In 1971, the Apollo 15 mission set sail to the Moon and on board were placed 32 small flags from around the world.[50]

The Albanian flag was among those included thanks to the initiative of Wilson Kokalari, one of the top NASA engineers at the time, of Albanian origin from Gjirokastër. After completing the mission, the flags were handed out in a public auction. The flag in question, has an inscription of the astronaut Alfred Worden, including his signature with the following text: "Flown to the Moon on Apollo 15 Al Worden CMP". It is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity, dated June 18, 2010 which states:

I hereby certify that this flag from Albania (1946–1976) included with this letter went to the moon aboard Apollo 15 in the spacecraft ENDEAVOUR. It remained in the command module during the lunar orbit phase of the flight.

Flag of the PSRA to be used at the 1984 Summer Olympics.svg
Flag of the PSRA to be used at the 1984 Summer Olympics
A vintage flag of the People's Socialist Republic of Albania produced exclusively for the 1984 Summer Olympics, held in Los Angeles. Made by Pageantry World, a manufacturer specializing in the design and distribution of flags, banners and flagpoles, based at the time in California, the flag is sewn from individually colored panels, vibrant and solid, of heavy-duty nylon. The flag is highlighted by a wide canvas pole pocket for display on the left side, with grommets on reverse. Its measurements are 1.45m x 2.67m. It was never used in any official capacity as Albania boycotted the games, joining a list of 14 countries from the Eastern Bloc.[51]
Albanian Flag Patch.svg
Albanian flag that descended down the Mariana Trench (2019)
On April 28, 2019, explorer Victor Vescovo descended nearly 11 km (6.8 mi) to the deepest place in the ocean – the Challenger Deep in the Pacific Ocean's Mariana Trench. He wore a suit that carried 4 patches of flags on his right arm: United Nations flag, United States flag, Texas flag and Albania's flag. The Five Deeps Expedition in its official website describes the inclusion of the Albanian flag as follows:[52]

The “Kuq e Zi” (“Red and Black”) of Albania is a tribute to the perseverance, tenacity, and extraordinary history of the great Albanian people and one Albanian woman in particular who is the long-term partner of the expedition's sponsor and who remains a strong supporter of the expedition.

Medieval flags

Flag Description
Flag of Mercurio Bua (1510).svg
Flag of Mercurio Bua (1510)
Illustration of a flag given in 1510 to Mercurio Bua (an Albanian stratioti captain from Morea, active in Italy) by Emperor Maximillian I, found in a manuscript written by Ioannes Coroneos, a contemporary of Bua. It features a double-headed eagle, symbol of the Byzantium, the Holy Roman Empire and of the Kastrioti, the Cross of Burgundy and the four "B"s or firesteels, used in the Paleologi arms but also linked to the House of Habsburg's Order of the Golden Fleece.[53]
Flag of Skanderbeg by Hieronymus Henninges (1598).svg
Flag of Skanderbeg by Hieronymus Henninges (1598)
A printed graphic illustration from the medieval period found in the major Latin work of German humanist-genealogist Hieronymus Henninges, published in Magdeburg in 1598 and titled "Theatrum Genealogicum ostentans omnens omnium aetatus familias…", shows the standing figure of Skanderbeg, with a sword in his belt and a flag on his right hand, depicting the image of the double-headed eagle, which in terms of its form, appears to be of the Middle European tradition.[54]

Diaspora flags

Flag Description
Flamuri i Shoqërisë "Drita" (1884).svg
Flag of the Drita Society (1884)
Shoqëria Drita was a pan-Albanian organization which aimed to promote Albanian education and political activism. Based in Istanbul, the society had a separate branch in Bucharest, Romania. The flag used to identify the branch was submitted in 1946 to the archives of the Institute of Sciences by an anonymous source.

The flag's dimensions are 158 cm by 117 cm. Yellow fringes hang on the sides. In the center, painted in a golden yellow brush is the following text:

SOQÈRÍA E SQIPÈTAREVÈT “DRITA” PÈR MÈSIM NÈ SQIP FILUARÈ NÈ BUCUREȘT 1884 ȘÈ NDREUT 16

Decorations like the laurels, the crescent with the eight-pointed star and the one-headed eagle are also painted in golden yellow.

Noticeable to the naked eye is that above the eight-pointed star is drawn with a carbon pencil an orthodox cross-shaped symbol, which is an overlap from a later period. The crescent was likely used as a symbol of the Ottoman Empire, of which Albania was still a part of. In explaining the spelling changes in Latin, the Romanian letter "ș" is used, which is pronounced as "sh" in Albanian.[55]

Flamuri i Shoqërisë "Dëshira" (1904).svg
Flag of the Dëshira Society (1904)
In the beginning of the 20th century, the Albanian community in Sofia, then Principality of Bulgaria, commissioned the design and creation of a national flag to represent the recently formed Dëshira Society. The flag's dimensions are 110 cm by 100 cm. With holes on the left side where the stick pole is inserted, it has a field divided into two equal parts, one red and the other white (in concept) but actually having more of a cream or beige hue. The idea was perhaps borrowed from the design of the Bulgarian flag. In the center lays skillfully stitched a large black eagle, unlike today's official eagle found in the national flag. At the time, the design of the double-headed eagle did not have a unified standard which led to the creation of different variants. Under the eagle is written in gold, bright metallic thread the following:

СOQERIA E CQIПETAREVET

“DECIRE”

FlɅUAR ME 1 KOɅOZEG 1893

NE SOFJE.

On the sides hang yellow, heavy fringes, which, like the letters and the two upper tassels, are considered golden. The darkening that the letters have undergone over the years may indicate a metal of low quality. The flag stays taut in any hanging position and weighs 1.5 kg. The unveiling of the flag took place on August 28, 1904.[56]

Flamuri i Bandës Kombëtare "Vatra" (1918).svg
Flag of the National Band "Vatra" (1918)
The flag was donated by the Drenova Society "Bashkimi" in 1918. On April 2, 1920, the society's musical band arrived in Albania with a group of volunteers at the request of prime minister Sulejman Delvina and participated in the events for the liberation of the country. The flag dangled on a wooden rod, preceding the band's marches.

Produced in 1918, the symbolic flag is of average dimensions, 101 by 66 cm. On the red background of the silk fabric is printed the following:

BANDA KOMBETARE VATRA

DHURATE NGA SHOQERIA DRENOVARE BASHKIMI

1918

A real lace material made of yellow metallic yarn that mimics gold, surrounds the entire flag. The small, round temples sparkle in the lace mesh, giving it an appealing look. On the bottom, hang long, spiral fringes of metal thread. In between, a lyre that shines like gold is made of yellow foil, while the metal thread is in copper, the surface of which is enriched with zinc, giving the brass a golden appearance. For centuries, pure gold was no longer used in embroidery, not even in royal clothing.[57]

Flamuri i Shoqërisë "Djelmoshe" (1919).svg
Flag of the Djelmoshe Society (1919)
Shoqërija Djelmoshe (Albanian: Youth Society), as its name was written in the society's official statute but commonly referred to as Shoqnia Djelmënia was an Albanian organization that promoted education in the mother tongue to the Albanian community living in Istanbul, Turkey, mainly in and around the areas of Topkapı, Eyüp, and Üsküdar.

The flag used by the society is 156 cm long and 90 cm wide. Two very high quality silk fabrics are sewn on top of each other. Small red and black tassels hang on the edges, four of which located in all corners are larger in size. In the center is painted with tempera a dark gray patterned eagle and below it the following text:

RROFT SHQIPNIA
GUSHT 1919

The eagle is different from that of the official flag since at the time there were no laws to define the shape of the national symbols. We notice that in this flag there is no place to insert a spear, nor a rope. Was it meant to be hung on a wall or perhaps used as a banner of manifestation?

The flag is currently preserved at the ethnographic fund of the Institute of Cultural Anthropology and Art Studies and owing to laboratory interventions once made, it is in good condition although the tempera paint with which the eagle and the writing are made has long since cracked and splintered.[58]

Flamuri i Komunitetit Shqiptar në Amerikë.svg
Flag used by the Albanian Community in the United States (1970s–1990s)
Throughout the 20th century, of the many flags reproduced and paraded by the Albanian community in the United States, one distinctive flag, noteworthy in its appearance, stands out. The flag was first used at the beginning of the 1970s, in continuation up until the mid-1990s, a time period which correlates with communist rule and the subsequent transition to the early years of pluralism in Albania.

The red flag is distinguished by the black double-headed eagle while the gold star, sumptuously adorned by most flags of that era, has been purposely removed, as to evoke an anti-communist sentiment. The overstretched eagle appears spontaneous, with its elongated heads and inflated claws. This flag was widely used during public demonstrations and other commemorative events organized by the diaspora community in the country.[59]

Personalized flags

Postcard flags

Flag Description
Flag of Aladro Kastrioti (1902).svg
Flag of Aladro Kastriota (1902)
A document from the Ottoman archives of 1902, explains how Juan Pedro Aladro Kastriota, a Spanish citizen who claimed descent from Skanderbeg, a famous 15th century Albanian nobleman that rebelled against the Ottomans and became an obstacle to their early expansion — thus making him a pretender to the Albanian throne — distributed postcards throughout several European capitals, namely Paris, Rome, Athens and Saint Petersburg, featuring a photograph of himself next to a variant illustration of the Albanian flag.[60]

In excerpts published by the French literary journal "L'Écho des Jeunes" from its 238th issue, dated 1 October 1903, a brief profile of Don Juan de Aladro Kastrioti is given which includes a speech he had made on 31 January 1902 and addressed to the Albanian people that mentions the following:[61]

"The glorious name of Skanderbeg is our banner. With that cry on my lips, in the shade, with this flag, let us all unite..."

The double-headed eagle in Aladro's flag is later seen in a publication of the nationally syndicated Minerva Magazine, Issue 004–005, Page 26, Year 1932.

Postcard flag by Spiridon Ilo (1920).svg
Flag of Spiridon Ilo (1920)
The flag model that is sometimes thought of as the most proximate in likeness to the one raised in Vlorë on Independence Day, is the illustration found in a 1920 postcard, produced by Spiridon Ilo. Titled "Flamuri Kombëtar", the flag has the following description:[62]

Remembrance for the day of freedom when the Flag was raised in Vlorë 28 November 1912

Trivial flags

Flag Description
Flamuri i Partis Nacional-Ballkanike Shqiptare (1929).svg
Flag of the Albanian National-Balkanian Party (1929)
Albanian researcher, scholar, orientalist and founding member of the Pan-European Committee in Albania, Osman Myderrizi, proposed the idea of a future national flag within the flag of a new Balkan Confederation. Inspired by political events which coincided with the pacifist movement in Europe at the time, the flag was particularly noted for its circle of stars symbol, present today in the official flag of the European Union.

Both flags attached to the same pole were described in unison:[63]

Under the shadow of this flag, a symbol of brotherhood and unity, the peoples of the Balkans will find freedom, happiness and honor.
The future flag of Albania in the framework of the Balkan Confederation – Paris 1929

Autochthonous Flag (2014).svg
Autochthonous Flag (2014)
On October 14, 2014, at approximately 21:27 local time, the Serbia–Albania football match that was played for the qualifying round of the UEFA Euro 2016 tournament, was interrupted.

At that moment, above the night sky of Belgrade, a waving flag hanging from a drone slowly approached the playing field. The flag in a black background, showed a map covered by a variation of the Albanian national flag, encompassing territories beyond Albania's present borders, alongside the portraits of Ismail Qemali and Isa Boletini with the inscription “AUTOCHTHONOUS”.[64] The map resembles to some degree Nikolla Lako's 1913 ethnographic map of Albania, obtained by the American Geographical Society in 1921. Similar maps validating the historical ethnographic reach of the Albanian speaking population had been confirmed by prior authors such as Lejean (1861), Mirkovich (1867), Kiepert (1876), Sax (1877) and Markezinis (1905).

Flamuri i Republikës së Çamërisë.svg
Flag of the self-proclaimed Republic of Chameria (2016)
Author and poet Atdhe Geci, nominated by the so-called all-inclusive assembly of Chams and Arvanites, declared Chameria a Republic on October 30, 2016. Festim Lato, the main organizer and financier of the event, was to serve in his capacity as Prime Minister.

The flag design is modelled on the national flag and features a blue crowned coat of arms with a molossian hound in a jumping posture.[65]

Flamuri i Çerçiz Topullit (2018).svg
Flag of Çerçiz Topulli (2018)
The flag raised during the UEFA Nations League football match between Albania and Scotland, held on November 17, 2018, shows the figurehead of Çerçiz Topulli, an Albanian guerrilla leader, wearing a traditional brimless hat with scruffy hair and a beard. The image, although unrelated, is surprisingly similar to that of Che Guevara, which makes it even more interesting when one considers the jointly inscribed first two letters of the name Çerçiz spelled "Çe", are pronounced exactly like the Spanish equivalent "Che".[66]

Albanian flags used in Kosovo

Flag Description
Flag of the Committee for the National Defence of Kosovo (1918).svg
Flag of the Committee for the National Defence of Kosovo (1918)
The committee for the "National Defence of Kosovo" was established in Shkodër on 1 May 1918. Its main goal was an independent Albania that was excluded from any kind of protectorate and the inclusion of Kosovo within its borders.

The top symbol of the flag used by the committee, a pentas flower shaped star, can be seen in a 1916 photograph of a banner hanging at a children's school in Gjakovë which indicates that it was a commonly used symbol in this region.[67]

Flamuri i Kombësisë Shqiptare (1986).svg
Flag of the Albanian Nationality in Yugoslavia (1986)
After extensive discussions by the state authorities concerning the regulation for the usage of the flags of ethnic minorities in Yugoslavia, it was determined that Albanian nationals can use the flag of the Albanian nationality but only in harmony and by explicitly manifesting "the state and territorial sovereignty and their integration within Yugoslavia". The flag of the Albanian nationality is defined by this ethnic group as its own symbol which expresses the feelings of national consciousness. An illustration of the flag was published by newspaper "Zëri" on November 8, 1986.[68]
Flag of Dardania.svg
Flag of Dardania (1992)
The Flag of the Presidency of Kosovo, commonly known as the "Flag of Dardania", was ideated by Ibrahim Rugova in 1992, then the political leader of the Autonomous Province of Kosovo, who sought recognition of Independence following the dissolution of Yugoslavia.

The flag, measuring 1 x 1.5 m in length, is presented in a deep blue color background which symbolizes peace. In the center, is displayed a circular seal consisting of the double-headed black eagle, the national symbol of the Albanian population of Kosovo. The red background within the seal, outlined by a golden stripe, exemplifies power. The shield itself epitomizes the royal character of Kosovo. Two six-pointed stars which are placed on the golden backgrounds symbolize the movement of the sun and life and are thought to be of medieval Albanian origin. The red and black fields represent the colors of the national flag. The white banner hovering in front of the shield illustrates the white color of the plis and that of traditional clothing. The banner reads DARDANIA, the ancient name of Kosovo. The golden hexagram above the eagle is borrowed from the flag of Skanderbeg. Today, the flag is officially used by the President of Kosovo.[69]

Flamuri i UÇK-së.svg
Flag of the Kosovo Liberation Army (1998)

The emblem in the flag of the Kosovo Liberation Army was created by Adnan Asllani, a graphic artist, activist and member of the People's Movement of Kosovo (LPK), from the village of Strezoc, present day Presevo. The emblem was conceived in late December 1997 and in the following weeks it began mass production at a textile factory in Switzerland where the first specimens were printed.

The red represents the color of blood and that of the national flag. The yellow, which radiates like gold, symbolizes the sun and light, whereby the KLA soldiers would bring to the lands they fought to defend.

The emblem was subsequently adapted as a symbol during the conflicts in Presevo and Macedonia.[70]

See also

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