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Italy - Houseflags of Italian Maritime Companies (A-B)

Last modified: 2020-12-28 by rob raeside
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Maritime Companies:

See also:

International Artiglio Award

The site dedicated to the International Artiglio Award at shows some nice flags or rather gonfalons such as those representing Viareggio and Lucca Province. But while the Award is a plaque, last year given to Smit Salvage, the ceremony entails the use of a gonfalon all its own.
Concerning the Award, named after a famous vessel operated by Sorima: “The award was founded for promotion and development of science, technology and sport in the underwater world.  In memory of the recovery ship Artiglio, the Award intends to honor the values of the great European seafaring tradition. The Award proposes to reward persons, societies and associations that have distinguished themselves for their creativity, commitment and determination in activities connected with the underwater world.”
List of winners, the first of which (posthumously) was Jean-Yves Cousteau is at
International Artiglio Award gonfalone visible on this page: Blue with four tails and fringed in gold; in the left upper corner the Rotary emblem above the name of the local branch (I think) Viareggio Versilia, white letters; to the right of these the name ‘FONDAZIONE / ARTIGLIO EUROPA’ also in white letters, left aligned; the rest of the field – but for the tails – taken up by a picture of the reddish-brown bow of ‘Artiglio’ (identified as such by the ship’s name in white letters), some details in white; the sea a kind of pale liliac with white wavelets; in the pale blue heaven most of the twelve European stars, white, and slanted. The presence of a Rotary gonfalone on the photos is quite natural as the legal seat of the award’s secretariat is the Club’s local base at Lido di Camaiore near Viareggio.
Jan Mertens, 9 March 2008

Achille & Vincenzo Onorato

image by Jarig Bakker, 18 November 2005

Achille & Vincenzo Onorato, Naples - blue flag, two white wings with in center a white oval fimbriated black charged with intertwined green "A" and red "O".
Source: Brown's Flags and Funnels Shipping Companies of the World, compiled by J.L. Loughran, Glasgow, 1995.
Jarig Bakker, 18 November 2005


image by Željko Heimer, 27 March 2004

The 1930 "Larousse Commercial" lists this company as Italian, based as it was in Fiume, but we all know that Fiume is now Rijeka, Croatia.
"Adria" S.A. di Navigazione Marittima has a blue flag with a red saltire (the arms equal to 1/5 of the flag's width), over all a yellow anchor (without rope) which bears a letter A, also yellow: its apex has been flattened to run parallel to, and immediately below, the anchor's stock. Incidentally, the A rests completely within the saltire, you could say it sits astride on it. The anchor itself takes up about 1/3 of the flag's length and almost completely fills up the flag's width. Funnel: black.
See also previous flag below, showing an earlier, pre-WWI version (technically, a Hungarian house flag).
The blue in the 1930 flag could refer to Italy, whereas the central emblem survived in a adapted form. I believe the firm helped to make up a new company to be called Adriatica di Navigazione.
Jan Mertens, 31 October 2003

In "All about Ships and Shipping", 1938 I found about the same image, with minor differences: the legs of the "A" are in blue; the anchor takes 2/3 flagheight, and there's a yellow 5-pointed star in the top.
Caption: "Adria", Soc. Anon. di Nav. Marittima (I sailed by one of their ships from Palermo to Tunis in 1965).
Jarig Bakker, 31 October 2003

I did see a very small yellow speck on the 1930 image... I thought it was due to bad printing...
Jan Mertens, 31 October 2003

My deductions, which are only guesswork, are that it originated as the Austro-Hungarian company shown by Griffin 1895 as Adriatic Hungarian Sea Navigation Co. or Adria-Hungarian Sea Navigation Co., by Lloyds 1904, 1912 and Reed 1912 as Royal Hungarian Sea Navigation Co. "Adria" Ltd., and by Merchant Ships 1942 as the Hungarian company Adria Regia Ungarica which after WWI became the Italian Adria company [i.e. "Adria" Società Anonima di Navigazione Marittima] which merged into Società Anonima di Navigazione "Tirrenia" in 1938.
For the "Previous Flag" four sources show flags differing slightly in each case. Griffin 1895 has the emblem in black outline on the white oval comprising a foul anchor with above it a crown and below a scroll. Lloyds 1904 shows basically the same except it is in red and the crown looks more like a mitre and touches the top of the anchor and there is a suggestion (possibly imagination) that a red "A" surmounts the anchor stock with the scroll shown as red with white print. Lloyds 1912 shows a blue anchor but the crown and scroll look more like printing blots or possibly misprinting of the anchor cable [I am working from an actual edition which I assume is also clearer than the web version], and I presume that fairly enough they have been ignored when producing the previous flag shown as what they actually are only becomes clear when comparing with the other sources. Finally Reed 1912 gives a larger oval touching top and bottom which is basically the same with the red "A" appearing to exist and the scroll being red with black letters. None of the scrolls can be read of course.
Neale Rosanoski, 24 March 2004

The item atop the emblem would be, most probably the St. Stephen's crown (I think it is a safe guess), but I decided to ignore it for the moment, just as I did with the scroll (that would read, no doubt either "ADRIA" or "FIUME"). Anyway, the details for the emblem were of little significance for the books of the kind we use as sources here (they were meant for recognizing purposes and not to be fully faitful), and we would probably need to get hold of a real flag or at least some other material containing the Adrial logo (like the headers of writing paper or the time tables). Anyway, it seems to me that the letter A and the cable was red, while the anchor was blue.
Željko Heimer, 27 March 2004

Previous Flag ?

image by Željko Heimer, 27 March 2004

After looking at the Lloyd's 1912 on the Net, I found the drawing of the previous company of the same name (it's listed under number 188 there).
Željko Heimer, 26 December 2003

The post 1918 flag of the S.A. di Navigazione Maritima "Adria" - Fiume is blue with red saltire and overall an anchor and a letter A topped with a yellow five-pointed star. My image is prepaired based on Larousse Commercial, 1930 (thanks to Jan Mertens) and "All about Ships and Shipping", 1938 (thanks to Jarig Bakker).
This only makes the assumption of the crown above the pre-1918 emblem more probably - the five-pointed "star of freedom" was the emblem of Fiume that replaced the Hungarian emblems "as a mater of default", if I am not much mistaken.
Željko Heimer, 27 March 2004

Adriatica di Navigazione

image by Jorge Candeias, 5 February 1999

A white-red vertical bicolour with the lion of St. Marcus centered.
Jorge Candeias, 5 February 1999

The flag of this maritime company based in Venice , Italy (as can see also from its flag) is based on (defunct) and can be seen here.
Dov Gutterman , 16 January 1999

Formed 1932 by the merger of several companies as Compagnia di Navigazione Adriatica with subsequent changes leading to the current title of Adriatica di Navigazione S.p.A.
Neale Rosanoski, 11 April 2003

At the 1940 page at "Adriatica", Venice - The lion (with lowered tail) stands on a ground, has a full aureole and takes up a rather large part of the field.  No criticism implied –   the 1940 source shows a very "classic" rendition.
Jan Mertens, 5 January 2008

Almare di Navigazione 

image by Jarig Bakker, 18 November 2005

Almare di Navigazione  S.P.A., Genoa; blue flag, a white device (anchor with Lorraine cross?).
Source: Brown's Flags and Funnels Shipping Companies of the World, compiled by J.L. Loughran, Glasgow, 1995.
Jarig Bakker, 18 November 2005

Almare di Navigazione SpA. Formed in 1972 the company was taken over by Premuda SpA in 2000 with its by then 1 vessel being placed under Premuda ownership in 2002. I do not know at what point the colours changed but they are now gone. Unlike Jarig my take on the Brown image was it could have been a stylized galley, but it turns out that his interpretation is better. Only problem is that the Brown image is probably not accurate based on the fact that the same design is shown for both funnel and flag and ship photos for the funnel show a more squashed but clearer anchor connection.

image by Neale Rosanoski, 17 September 2010

At the site there are two flag images shown. One is as per Jarig's image [and is probably a copy of it] but there is a 2nd flag logo showing a black field but the anchor design as shown on the funnel. I would image that the black field is misleading and that the likely flag with blue field is as in the image above. The enlarged image at the naviearmatori site shows that the horizontal bars do have forked ends. My shade of blue is based on the funnel photos and subject to light and camera foibles a medium shade seems applicable.
Neale Rosanoski, 17 September 2010

Alpha Trading

image by Jarig Bakker, 11 July 2004

Alpha Trading SpA (Milan, Genoa; also Monaco) is an Italian firm founded in 1985 dealing in various petroleum-based products, active on the home market (ports, for instance) and also internationally.
The firm's flag with company logo at is showing a white sunburst on a red panel in the center of a white flag.
Jan Mertens, 18 January 2004

Alta Italia

image by Miles Li, 21 May 2016

At the 1940 Spanish source (fifth flag on the third complete row): Full name ‘Società di Navigazione Alta Italia (La Creola)’ (Northern Italy (Creole) Shipping Co.), established at Genoa, also known as NAI.
Founded by the Piaggio Group at Turin in 1906; moved to Genoa and listed on the stock exchange in 1932;  operated passenger ships and tankers (Gulf of Mexico, then the Americas and the Far East); important tanker operator after WWII: majority of shares owned by Montanari since 1999.

image by Miles Li, 21 May 2016

As to Alta Italia itself, the Spanish source shows an house flag: The flag is vertically divided blue-yellow-blue, the company seal in the centre, rendered all in black.  Said seal is coloured in the version of the flag on-line 1912 Lloyds Flags & Funnels as No. 1859 ‘Società Anonima Navigazione Alta Italia. Turin’: Yellow Turin bull on a blue background within a yellow garter, a yellow crown above it.

Not much more is learned by looking at the 1913 share (in the centre of this page), but this share also shows a long pennant which represents, I think, ‘La Creola’ mentioned as an additional name in the 1940 source. The link in the Montanari comments does show a tiny Alta Italia flag on a funnel (see 1998 versions, top).   Additional information at and
Jan Mertens, 15 March 2008

Andrea Zanchi

At the 1940 Spanish source (fourth of second complete row, between “Garibaldi” and “Ilva”, archived here) - Andrea Zanchi, established at Genoa.  It shows the flag, dark blue bearing a white animal facing the fly, and a small white five-pointed star in each corner.
It seems that the company – surely named after a real person (one source mentions “Comm. A. Zanchi”) which would have been the owner – was founded in 1925 with a view to import frozen meat from South America. In fact so regular was this line that A. Zanchi was granted the use of the postal pennant. During WWII several ships were sunk or impounded by allied nations or Germany although a number of them was restored after the war.  Years of activity were certainly 1925 till 1963.
Sources: (in Italian and English, respectively),
Jan Mertens, 12 February 2008

The creature on the house flag is a bear – see this page, part of an impressive collection of Italian house flags:
Jan Mertens, 24 March 2011

Angelo Parodi

image by Jarig Bakker, 14 January 2005

Angelo Parodi, Genoa - white flag; red intertwined "AP".
Source: Brown's Flags and Funnels of British and Foreign Steamship Companies, compiled by F.J.N. Wedge, Glasgow, 1926 [wed26].
Jarig Bakker, 14 January 2005

image by Ivan Sache, 21 February 2005

image by Ivan Sache, 21 February 2005

Angelo Parodi - Appears to have become Società Anonima Emanuele V. Parodi by the 1930s [a later ship was name "Angelo Parodi"] with the flag first of all having a small horizontal biband canton of yellow and blue [see here] as shown by Talbot-Booth in 1936-1938, or by adding the canton and changing the letter to a single "P" [see here] as shown by Brown 1934 onwards and Talbot-Booth agreeing by 1942. Dating from 1896 the company sold its last ships in 1965.
Neale Rosanoski, 20 February 2005

At the 1940 page at "Emanuele Parodi", Genoa - The 1940 source gives the single initial ('P') variant.
Jan Mertens, 5 January 2008


image by Jarig Bakker, 20 February 2006

Aretusa S.p.A., Rome; white flag, red hoist-diagonal stripe; in canton "CCG" over two wavy bars, all black.
Source: Brown's Flags and Funnels Shipping Companies of the World, compiled by J.L. Loughran, Glasgow, 1995.
Jarig Bakker, 20 February 2006

Aretusa was a nymph in the ancient mythology.
Ivan Sache, 21 February 2006


image by Jarig Bakker, 18 November 2005

Atlantica S.p.A. di Navigazione, Genoa - blue flag, white "A".
Source: Brown's Flags and Funnels Shipping Companies of the World, compiled by J.L. Loughran, Glasgow, 1995.
Jarig Bakker, 18 November 2005

Attilio Milesi, Fu Pietro

image by Ivan Sache, 1 February 2004

Following the link found by Joe Mc Millan - The Mystic Seaport Foundation, we can reach the 1911 Lloyd's flagbook, whose full title is (after the scan of the cover): 'Lloyd's book of house flags and funnels of the principal steamship lines of the world and the house flags of various lines of sailing vessels', published at Lloyd's Royal Exchange. London. E.C. On p. 134, we have:
#2052. Attilio Milesi, Fu Pietro, Genoa. The flag is swallow-tailed, blue with a M (white) near the hoist and two white stars placed vertically near the fly.
Ivan Sache, 1 February 2004

Ausonia Crociere

image by Jarig Bakker, 1 September 2005

Ausonia Crociere S.p.A., Genova - white burgee, top red border; in bottom green wavy stripe.
Source: Brown's Flags and Funnels Shipping Companies of the World, compiled by J.L. Loughran, Glasgow, 1995.
Jarig Bakker, 1 September 2005

Becchi & Calcagno

image by Jarig Bakker, 19 February 2004

Becchi & Calcagno, Savona - horizontal triband RWR, proportioned 1:2:1; on white contoured "B.C.".
Source: Brown's Flags and Funnels of British and Foreign Steamship Companies, compiled by F.J.N. Wedge, Glasgow, 1926 [wed26]
Jarig Bakker, 19 February 2004

Biarma Shipping

image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 24 April 2009

‘Biarma SRL’ or Biarma Shipping is an Italian maritime agency established at Pozzallo in the S. of Sicily.  Website, Italian only, at
The company organizes forwarding of bulk or special cargo and containers (in partnership with MSC, for instance), customs clearing, port assistance (dock workers), etc. Active since 1994, Biarma has helped to put Pozzallo harbour on the map by developing various international maritime routes.
Shown on the site (as a flagoid – no photo found) is a house flag bearing a white diamond on a dark blue field, and a dark blue initial ‘V’ in a special font placed on said diamond.  This initial surely recalls the family name of the owner(s), Venniro.
Jan Mertens, 24 January 2009


image by Jarig Bakker, 1 September 2005

Bibolini Societa di Navigazione S.p.A., Genoa - blue flag, "B" between two 5-pointed stars, all white.
Source: Brown's Flags and Funnels Shipping Companies of the World, compiled by J.L. Loughran, Glasgow, 1995.
Jarig Bakker, 1 September 2005

See also: Carboflotta