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San Marino

Repubblica di San Marino, Republic of San Marino

Last modified: 2021-05-15 by rob raeside
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(2:3) image by M. Schmöger, 9 August 2011

Official Name: Republic of San Marino (Repubblica di San Marino)
Capital: San Marino
Location: Southern Europe - Enclave in Central Italy
Government Type: Republic
Flag adopted: 6 April 1862
ISO Code: SM

See also:


I got the my following queries about San Marino:
-According to some Internet-sources the official designation of San Marino between 301 and 1243 was successively "Land of San Marino" and  "free City of San Marino". Can you give me the long-form names in local language and the exact dates/years of the use of these names?  
- After 1243 San Marino was officially styled as: "Most Serene Republic of San Marino", according to most historical documents (for   instance: de Political Handbook of the World). But the coins of San Marino just mentioned "Repubblica di San Marino". Does this mean,   that both names are equally used as official names for the polity. Or does it means that "Repubblica di San Marino" was used later on (can  you give me the exact date) besides or in stead of the "Most Serene Rep. of San Marino". Or was the term used only in semi-official usage?
  - Did the formal names and the styles of San Marino change (for instance: duchy or county) during the following foreign occupations:  
-1503       Ceasar Borgia  
-1739/40    Papal State
-1944       Germany  
-1944       Britain and USA
Henk Meyer, 27 December 2000

Land of San Marino: Terra di San Marino.
Free City of San Marino: Cittá Libera di San Marino.
I think that the "Most Serene Republic of San Marino" is just a grand title. As far as I know, San Marino has always been Republic of San Marino, at least since 1815.
Gerhard Eger, 8 January 2003

The actual denomination is "Serenissima Repubblica di San Marino", where "Serenissima" is the Italian for "The most serene" (better, in this case it means "The very serene");  the adjective has been historically used for the Republic of Venice, in facts "La Serenissima" in Italy is used to indicate Venice or its old Republic.
Alberto Fiorentini, 12 May 2003

No official shades have been issued with regard to either the stripes or the arms, and no recommendations for the arms are given in any official source.  However, the UK Flag Institute give Process Blue, BR20 PMS 549 and the Album des Pavillons PMS 292C for the stripe.
Christopher Southworth, 4 March 2005

State Flag

As stated in W. Smith's "F&AATW" by government and army forces is used the white-blue flag with state's coat of arms. As I read the signs there is a few variants of the appearance of the arms. Also it is stated that the flag is a 'de facto' flag, used without the legal background.
Željko Heimer, 10 November 1995

The Law on the flag can be found at


We, the Captains Regent the Most Serene Republic of San Marino

According to art. 4 of the Constitutional Law no. 185/2005 and art. 6 of the Organic Law no. 186/2005; we promulgate and mandate the publication of the following Constitutional Law approved by the Great and General Council during its session of 20 July 2011 with 45 votes in favour, 2 votes against and 1 abstention:



Art. 1
To the Law of 8 July 1974 no. 59 the following article is added:

“Art. 2a (flag and arms)
The flag of the Republic of San Marino consists of two fields, divided horizontally, the upper one white, the lower one light blue, in the center showing the official arms. The official arms of the Republic is surmounted by a closed crown, symbol of sovereignty. The shield is Azure with three mountains Vert, three towers Argent, windowed, embattled and masoned Sable, topped by ostrich plumes Argent. The shield is decorated by two branches Vert, crossed in saltire under the shield, the one of laurel, the other of oak, fructed Or. On a ribbon Argent the motto LIBERTAS in capitals Sable.”

Art. 2
The flag of the Republic of San Marino is defined by the graphical model that forms the appendix A of the present law.

(official arms)
The official arms of the Republic of San Marino is defined by the graphical model that forms the appendix B of the present law.

Art. 4
The usage of the official arms is regulated by ordinary law. The regulation of the usage of the flag is assigned to executive order.

Art. 5
(Entry in force)
The present law comes into force the 15th day following its legal publication.

Given at Our Residence, on 22 July 2011/1710 since the foundation of the Republic

Maria Luisa Berti – Filippo Tamagnini

Valeria Ciavatta


Appendix A - Official flag of the Republic of San Marino

Proportions of the flag: 3:4
Dimensions of the arms on the flag width of the arms 3/2 L

Position of the arms on the flag
horizontally: the arms are centered along the length of the flag vertically: the intersection of the arms of the cross on the crown is 1/2 L from the upper edge

The official flag can assume the proportion 2:3 for international uses and/or when specifically envisaged. At a proportion of 2:3 the arms will occupy the central third of the length and the line that passes through the intersection of the arms of the cross of the crown will be at 1/6 of the height from the upper edge.

Name Pantone Coated Pantone Uncoated CMYK Pantone TPX
Celeste 2915 C 2915 U 55/10/5/0 14-0852 TPX
Flag white Pure white Pure white 0/0/0/0 15-4323 TPX


Appendix B - Official Arms of the Republic San Marino

Proportions of the arms width 10 u x height 12 u

Official colours

Name Pantone Coated Pantone Uncoated CMYK Pantone TPX
sun yellow 7406 C 7404 U 5/25/100/0 14-0852 TPX
golden yellow 124 C 7405 U 5/35/100/10 15-1050 TPX
Brown of branches 7559 C 7558 U 15/35/70/30 18-0939 TPX
Green in light 576 C 577 U 47/10/70/0 17-0336 TPX
Green of foliage 7742 C 363 U 65/25/80/13 18-0135 TPX
Green in shadow Cool gray 4 C + 7742 C or 350 C Cool gray 3 U + 363 U or 350 U 65/25/80/50 14-4103 TPX + 18-0135 TPX or 19-6311 TPX
Sky blue 291 C 291 U 47/8/7/0 14-4318 TPX
Shadow blue Cool gray 4 C + 291 C or 7698 C Cool gray 3 U +291 U or 7698 U 70/30/20/20 14-4103 TPX + 14-4318 TPX or 18-4217 TPX
Shadow grey Cool gray 4 C Cool gray 3 U 0/0/0/30 14-4103 TPX
Black Black C Black U 0/0/0/100 Black TPX

M. Schmöger, 9 August 2011

3:4 Variant

(3:4) image by M. Schmöger, 9 August 2011

Civil Flag

(3:4) image by Mark Sensen, 7 November 1995

According to Album 2000 [pay00] - this is the alternative civil flag (C--/C-- (3:4)). Regarding the civil flag (and ensign), has anyone ever seen a ship (boat, yacht whatever) registered in San Marino? Was this flag confirmed in use on sea in modern time?
Ivan Sache, 14 January 2001 and Željko Heimer, 2 January 2003

My name is Martin Grund from Germany. I am the initiator of the world's first penguin webcam in the Antarctic. At the moment there is a scientist from San Marino working in the German Antarctic Research Station Bernado O'Higgins and you can see the civil flag of San Marino in the photo of one of the station's webcams. Here a photo from our archive at (no longer active).
Martin Grund, 29 November 2004

Merchant Flag

image by Rick Wyatt, 6 September 1998

The flag you mention has been reported as the Merchant Ensign of San Marino by various sources (see National Geographic for example). Unfortunately no evidence exists that this flag actually existed. San Marino, for those who did not have a chance to visit it, is on a mountain with no direct access to any sea, even if the Adriatic Sea is close to it.
Pier Paolo Lugli, 6 April 1998

The October 1917 National Geographic [geo17] states: Figure 815: "The merchant flag of San Marino, which, though that of a belligerent, the little republic having dared to declare war against the Central Powers, has probably never yet been encountered by a German submarine because, as may well be imagined, the merchant navy of the mountain republic is not large."
Nick Artimovich, 6 April 1998

The Declaration of Barcelona, 20th April 1921 recognised the right of states with no littoral to fly their own flag at sea.
D. Prothero, 6 October 2000

Coat of Arms

(2:3) image by M. Schmöger, 9 August 2011


Description in Pedersen's "Moussault's Lexicon Vlaggen en Wapens", 1980: "In its present the CoA dates from 6 Apr 1862. Even though San Marino was always a republic, it has a crown on top of it as a sign of sovereignty. The three white towers, crowned by a ostrich feather, remind of three castles on three mountain tops of the Titano Mountains. The coat of arms dates at least from the 14th century. Around is wreath of oak and laurel. Motto: Libertas - Liberty."
Jarig Bakker, 3 January 2003

The Crown

Nathan Lamm asked: If it's a republic, why is there a crown on the seal?
This is surely among the oldest republics to do so, but a number of other republics in the region did (and some still do) the same. The crown is here symbol of sovereignty and independence rather then the hereditary monarchy. Some examples that come to mind include Republic of Ragusa (Dubrovnik, on this side of Adriatic), and in modern age both Austrian republic(s) and even more modern Hungarian republic use crowns as symbols of sovereignty. Poland comes to mind, too.
Željko Heimer, 3 January 2003

The Towers

Nathan Lamm asked: What are the smokestacks, if that's what they are?
These are three towers, each with an ostrich feather on the top. These picture the towers of the citadel of San Marino named Guaita, Cesta and Montale. Each of the towers is, they say, equipped with a metal wane at the top, that is in heraldic interpretation pictured as feather. Compare, e.g. Smith 1982.
Željko Heimer, 3 January 2003

The Branches

Nathan Lamm asked: What are the two different branches on the sides?
I guess that I can't be that wrong interpreting the branches as laurel and oak. These are usually taken to symbolize glory and (military) strength, and as such found in many Coat of Arms (cf. Portuguese army emblem, Estonian greater arms etc.).
Željko Heimer, 3 January 2003