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National Fascist Party, Italy

Partito Nazionale Fascista

Last modified: 2020-07-26 by rob raeside
Keywords: national fascist party | partito nazionale fascista |
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The PNF (Partito Nazionale Fascista, National Fascist Party was an Italian political party, created by Benito Mussolini as the political expression of fascism (previously represented by groups known as Fasci). Founded in Rome on 9 November 1921, it marked the transformation of the paramilitary Fasci Italiani di Combattimento (Italian Fasci of Combat) into a more coherent political group. The Fasci di Combattimento had been founded by Mussolini in Milan's Piazza San Sepolcro, on 23 March 1919 and dissolved in November 9, 1921. The Fasci de Combattimento were in turn, preceeded by the Fasci d'Azione Rivoluzionaria ("Fasci of Revolutionary Action", established on December 11, 1914 and issolved in March 23, 1919), the second fascist movement led by Benito Mussolini. It was founded as a merger of two other movements: the Fasci d'Azione Internazionalista and a previous group he started called the Fasci Autonomi d'Azione Rivoluzionaria. The PNF had a youth wing, the GIL (Giovent¨ Italiana del Littorio, established in 1937) and a paramilitary wing, the MVSN (Milizia Volontaria per la Sicurezza Nazionale, Voluntary Militia for National Security, established on March 23, 1923 and known as the CCNN (camicienere, black shirts) or squadristi (squads)).The PNF ruled Italy from 1922 to 1943. Later in 1943, the PNF was succeded by the PFR (Partito Fascista Repubblicano, Republican Fascist Party) on September 13, 1943, after Mussolini was liberated and the RSI (Repubblica Sociale Italiana) was established on September 23, 1943. Although the RSI claimed most of the lands of Italy as rightfully belonging to it, the RSI held political control over a vastly reduced portion of Italy. The RSI only received diplomatic recognition from Germany, Japan and their puppet states. The PFR was dissolved on April 28, 1945 along with the RSI on May 2, 1945"

The PNF together with its recognized successor, the PFR, it is the only party whose re-formation is banned by the Constitution of Italy:
"It shall be forbidden to reorganize, under any form whatever, the dissolved fascist party" ("Transitory and Final Provisions", Disposition XII)."

The PNF flag is seen here (a black horizontal flag with a fasces in the middle):

The PFR flag is seen here (a black horizontal flag with the logo: in the middle:].gif
Esteban Rivera, 6 July 2014

Regarding the PNF, I do not have any evidence that there ever was ONE flag that could be called THE PNF flag, i.e. a generic design produced in large numbers. The flag shown at wikipedia is unsourced and dubious, IMHO.

However, of course there were a lot of flags used by the PNF and its local branches as well as its associated organizations. These were usually single-item flags of different shapes (vexillum-type and triangular pennon-type preferably) that showed some version of the fasces and a lot of inscription and perhaps some other symbols.

The reason for this usage is simple: the respective flag was a revered single item and there was no real use for mass-production flags. In addition the PNF was largely a corporatist party, which means that it controlled the country by a large number of specialized organizations (corporations), all of them having flags, of course. This included youth and women's groups, trade unions, sports associations, cultural associations, paramilitary organizations and so on.

There is a book that shows at least parts of the variety of PNF flags:
Brisone, Alberto (1996) Il gagliardetto 1919-1943: le insegne del P.N.F. dal 1919 al 1943. Bresso (Hobby & Work).

Just citing one introductory paragraph (the book is in Italian and English, fortunately):
"In twenty years of continual promulgation of rules, statutes and fogli d'ordine, or order sheets, the P.N.F., in contrast to the numerous regulations regarding uniforms, badges, arms and behaviour, never once gave a clear and accurate description or definition of the ensigns used by the various units, corporations and associations. More often than not, this task was left to the members' families and to the whim of the various flag-producing firms."

The book itself is very colourful and shows a large number of flags from the author's collection as well as from PNF regulations, in particular the "Regolamento sulle uniformi, gagliardetti, fiamme ed insegne" (1935).

M. Schm÷ger, 8 July 2014