World Facts

What Do the Colors and Symbols of the Flag of Albania Mean?

The national flag of Albania was adopted in 1912.

Albania first adopted its current flag in 1912, and then again in 1992 after the collapse of the country's communist government. The recognition, use, and description of the national flag are prescribed in Article 14 of the Constitution of Albania. According to the legally accepted description, the flag is designed as a horizontal rectangle with widht-to-length proportions of 5:7. The flag features a red background with a double-headed eagle placed in the center, whose wings and talons extends towards the flag’s fly and hoist. The eagle is black in color, and the two heads face away from each other and have their tongues out. The design of the naval ensign is similar to that of the national flag, but features a white field instead of red. The red color on Albania’s national flag is said to represent the virtues of valor, strength, and courage among the people of Albania. The double-headed eagle is derived from the historic flag of Skanderbeg, which was itself inspired by banners of the Byzantine Empire.

History of the Albanian Flag

The designs of both the flag and the coat of arms are based on the seal of Skanderbeg, who was the monarch who ruled over Albania in the 15th century. Skanderbeg is revered in Albania due to the battles he led against other European kingdoms, particularly against the Ottoman Empire, in which he fought for the sovereignty of Albania. The seal was modeled after the coat of arms of Skanderbeg’s Karstrioti family, one of Albania’s noble families. The official adoption of the national flag in Albania was in 1912, and the earlier one was adopted in 1443. The King’s helmet symbolized the monarchy and first appeared in the Albanian flag which was in use between 1928 and 1939. The helmet was removed from the country’s flag when it was under German occupation during the Second World War. A yellow five-pointed star was incorporated in the flag’s design when Albania was part of the Soviet Union between 1946 and 1992.

Coat of Arms

Armenia adopted its current coat of arms in 1998, replacing the older emblem that was adopted in 1993. The design of Albania's coat of arms mirrors its national flag, as it also bears the double-headed black eagle centered on a red field. The margin of the coat of arms features a golden stripe. Additionally, the coat of arms also features a helmet, which is placed directly above the double-headed black eagle. The helmet is modeled after the helmet of Skanderbeg and has the golden likeness of a billy goat’s head on top. The helmet was added to the design of the coat of arms in 1998. The symbolism of the red color on the coat of arms is similar to that of the national flag, representing courage and strength among the people. The golden border is said to represent the country's wealth.

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