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San Marino - Historical Flags

Last modified: 2013-04-27 by rob raeside
Keywords: san marino |
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Before 1797

image by Roberto Breschi, 13 March 2011

The old flag of the republic attested in 1465, when it was commissioned by a Florentine craftsman. It remained in use until about 1797. The colors are used still today on banners and representations at historical re-enactments.
Roberto Breschi, 13 March 2011


(3:4) image by Mark Sensen, 16 April 1998

Roberto Breschi reports at that the modern flag (or something like it) has been in use from 1797 to 2011, although it appears it was not adopted until 1862.
Chrystian Kretowicz, 13 March 2011

In Derkwillem Visser's "Vlaggen van de Wereld" ("Flags of the World") he mentions the flag was officially adopted on 6 April 1862.
Mark Sensen, 10 November 1995

According to Album 2000 [pay00] - National Flag (CSW/--- (3:4)) - White over blue bicolour with the coat of arms in the middle. Can we confirm and provide more details on the adoption date 6 April 1862 (given also by Smith e.g. 1982) ?
The October 1917 National Geographic [geo17] show (figure 816) the Ensign as blue over white with Coat of Arms in the middle. Is this simply and error? Is there any other source showing blue over white flag for SM?
Album 1995 Recapitulative 1 shows only the flag with Coat of Arms (not the same artistic representation as in 2000) captioned as National Flag (3:4).
Flaggenbuch 1939 shows three images as in Album 2000 (of course, different artistic representation of the Coat of Arms, but minor differences).
Željko Heimer, 2 January 2003

Who changed San Marino's flag? In three books I found the image, but modern flag-books depict it as the present one. The last one, to have the 'old' flag is Barraclough's FOTW (1971). The change is in the Coat of Arms.
Sources: 'Old' SM-flag: 'Vlaggen, Drapeaux, Flags, Die Flaggen', 1951
'Observer's Book of Flags', I. O. Evans, 1959
'Flags of the World', Barraclough, 1971
'New' SM-flag: 'dtv-Lexikon politischer Symbole', A. Rabbow, 1970
'Flags Through the Ages and Across the World, W Smith, 1975
'Moussault's lexicon van vlaggen en wapens', Pedersen, 1980 (&c) Etcetera
Jarig Bakker, 26 May 1999

If it is only regarding the stylization of the Coat of Arms on the flag - this can hardly be called a change.
Željko Heimer, 2 January 2003

The flag was formally adopted by a Decree of the Supreme Council of 6 April 1862, following San Marino's treaty with the new Italian Kingdom (almost certainly also of 1862 but exact date unknown).  Although I do not have a copy of this particular item,  I further understand that the flag was officially  regulated (including de jure proportions of 3:4) by 'Stemma, Bandiera, Sigilli e  Uniforme' issued as an Act of the 'Corpo Consolate' dated 12 January 1892 (?). As far as the construction details are concerned, an (unfortunately undated) official model of the State Flag I have on file, shows the arms as being one-third of the length of the flag wide, and four-ninths of its width in height, however, this model is in proportions of 4:5 which is apparently an incorrect ratio (?).
Christopher Southworth, 10 September 2004


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