The Albanian Flag – Some known and unknown facts!

by Argjenda Selmani

As you can see from the pictures, the Albanian Flag is a red flag with a silhouetted black double-headed eagle in the center. The double-headed eagle signifies the sovereign state of Albania, meanwhile, the red represents bravery, strength, and valor of bloodshed. 

Various Albanian regimes—republic, monarchy, fascist corporate state, and communist people’s republic—have used the red flag with the double-headed black eagle.

Origins of the Albanian Flag 

On November 28, 1443, the national hero of Albania, a prince known as Skanderbeg (Gjergj Kastrioti), raised his flag over the fortress of Krujë. He did it in defiance of the Turks who ruled the country. His small mountainous nation was able to resist the forces of the Ottoman Empire. Although after Skanderbeg’s death in 1468 Albanians lost independence again. His flag was red and bore a black eagle, even today the symbol of Albania. They have a double-headed eagle on the Albanian Flag. Exactly like the symbol of the Byzantine Empire to which it once belonged.

The Independence of Albania

An Albanian nationalist movement formed in the 19th century that worked towards Albanian independence.

The movement represented itself with a banner that resembled the modern flag, and a slight variation on the movement’s flag that included a white star above the eagle came into use when Albania attained its independence in 1912.

Some small changes during the years

Albanians introduced a new variation on the flag in 1914. It resembled the old flag, but it displayed the eagle in greater detail and colored the bird’s feet and beaks with gold rather than the pure black found in most other designs. The flag changed slightly once again in 1920. They removed from the flag the star above the eagle. This means the design reverted back to a pure black eagle in 1926.  Then later some changes happened again.  To represent Albania’s king they added a crown to the design.

Albania was occupied by Italy in 1939, and the Italians introduced yet another variation on the flag’s design. The Italian occupation gave way to communist rule in 1944. At which point a crossed hammer and sickle were added to the canton. On the other hand, they stripped all of the communist symbols from the flag later in 1992.  As the last change, Albanians lightened the shade of red, to create the modern flag.