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Kingdom of Italy - Colonial Flags

Last modified: 2022-10-15 by rob raeside
Keywords: savoy | eagle | crown | eritrea | somalia |
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A visitor asked:"I have tried to find a flag of the colony of Italian Somaliland at the time of the early 20th century. There were coins issued for that colony so I was hoping that the flag would also exist. There is a coat of arms but no flag so far".
The only source I have is the 1939 Flaggenbuch, and the only Italian colonial flag shown in this definitive publication is that of 'Colonial Governor' - this strongly implies that (by 1939 at least) Italian colonies flew only the national tricolour.
Christopher Southworth, 27 November 2005

Vice-Roy of Italian Eastern Africa

image by Miles Li, 22 May 2020

Governor-General of Abyssinia - White flag with crowned Savoy arms at the centre; blue border, a yellow fasces at each corner. Image and title based on my recollection of Flaggenbuch 1939.
Miles Li, 29 November 2004

Flaggenbuch captions the flag Flagge des Vizekönigs von Italienisch Ostafrika, that is, Flag of the Vice-Roy of Italian Eastern Africa. Therefore, the Vice-Roy probably had power on Italian Eritrea and Somalia, too. The specifications of the flag are the following:  
- overall proportion, 56 x 76 (14:19)
- proportion of the white rectangle, 40 x 60
- width of the blue border, 8  
- proportion of the shield, 18 x 20 (excluding the points); distance between the blue border and the shield (excluding the point), 3; distance between the shield and the crown, 2 - width of the white cross, 2  
- proportion of the crown, including the small cross, 12 x 16; distance between the blue border and the crown, 3  
- proportion of the fasces, 5 x 9; distance between the fasces and the outer border of the flag not mentioned, approx. 3.
Here is the main approximation in the image, since the top of the fasces should not reach the top border of the flag.
Ivan Sache, 2 December 2004

images provided by Simon Gardner, 12 September 2022

I have a "Souvenir of Addis Ababa" (Ricordi di Addis Abeba) of 1941 which includes a photo of the entrance to the Viceroy's residence. The photo shows two flags, the further being that of the AOI (Africa Orientale Italiane), and the nearer being very hard to distinguish in the black and white photo. However, the front cover of the same souvenir includes a coloured (presumably hand-painted) version of the same photo, also attached. In this version the nearer flag looks similar to that for the "Vice-Roy of Italian East Africa" but has a blue field instead of white and a red border instead of blue. The crowned arms of Savoy appear to be the same.
Simon Gardner, 12 September 2022

Colonial Governor's Flag

image by Miles Li, 12 December 2004

The caption is correct (Flagge der Kolonialgouverneurs). The specifications of the flag are the following:  
- overall proportion, 40 x 60 (2:3)
- shield and cross as above (same numerical values in spite of slightly different overall proportion.
I guess the Vice-Roy's flag was made after the Governor's flag, with an alteration in the proportion because of the blue border.
Ivan Sache, 2 December 2004