Emblem of the Republic of Albania

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The Emblem of the Republic of Albania (Albanian: Stema e Republikës së Shqipërisë) is an adaptation of the flag of Albania. It is based on the flag and seal of Gjergj Kastrioti Skanderbeg. The crest above the head of the two-headed eagle is the helmet of Skanderbeg, surmounted with billy goat's horns. The eagle is considered to violate the conventional rule of tincture, which forbids placing a colour (i.e. a dark tincture) upon another colour.[1]

Emblem of the Republic of Albania
Coat of arms of Albania.svg
ArmigerRepublic of Albania
Adopted21 October 1998
CrestHelmet of Skanderbeg
BlazonA red shield surrounded by a gold stripe with a black two-headed eagle placed in the center and on top, a helmet in the shape of a goat's head in gold.

Official descriptionEdit

The emblem is described in Article 14 of the Constitution of Albania:

"The Emblem of the Republic of Albania represents a shield with a red field and a black two-headed eagle at the center. On the top of the shield, in golden color, is placed the helmet of Skanderbeg."[2]

The design is further specified in Article 7 of the Law 8926:

"The Emblem of the Republic of Albania is a state symbol. It displays a shield, colored blood red, with an eagle in the center, the same as the eagle of the national flag of the Republic of Albania. On top of the shield, in gold color, is Gjergj Kastioti's helm, shown in right profile. The shield's dimensions have a 1:1.5 ratio."

The same law specifies that the eagle on the flag has its wings open to the sides, nine feathers on each, and seven on the tail.[3]

Significance of the helmetEdit

The helmet of Skanderbeg.

Skanderbeg's helmet is made of white metal, adorned with a strip dressed in gold. On its top lies the head of a horned goat made of bronze, also dressed in gold. The bottom part bears a copper strip adorned with a monogram separated by rosettes: * IN * PE * RA * TO * RE * BT *, standing for Iesus Nazarenus * Principi Emathie * Regi Albaniae * Terrori Osmanorum * Regi Epirotarum * Benedictat Te (Jesus the Nazarene Blesses Thee, Prince of Mat, King of Albania, Terror of the Ottomans, King of Epirus).

The inscriptions on the helmet may refer to the unsettled name by which Albania was known at the time, as a means to identify Skanderbeg's leadership over all Albanians across regional denominative identifications. Contemporary sources show that 14th century Albanians were invariably identified as a tribal peoples, with no state of their own. Thus, depending on where they lived – North or South, in the plains or in the mountains, and to which civilization they subscribed to - we have Turkish Arnauts, Greek Arbanites or Albanoi, Albanian Arbër, Arben, Arbëreshë, Epirotas.[4]

According to a report by historian Shefqet Pllana, Sami Frashëri in his Kamus-al-Alam maintains that the wording "Dhu lKarnejn" (owner of the two horns) was an appellative attributed to Alexander the Great of Macedon, the very name which Skanderbeg bore in the Islamic form. This second explanation may not be the truer, since the theory of the Macedonian-Albanian and Epirot-Albanian continuance is strong among Albanians but not among all the peoples of Europe. This opinion agrees with the work of Marin Barleti who writes: "When the people saw all those young and brave men around Skanderbeg, then it was not hard to believe that the armies of Murad II were so defeated by the Albanians. Indeed, the times when the star of Macedon shone brilliantly had returned, just as they seemed in those long forgotten times of Pyrrhus and Alexander."

Historical emblemsEdit

Achievement of the Prince of Albania (1914)
The achievement consists of a black two-headed eagle with a golden beak, claws and a red tongue. The claws have four-pointed thunderbolts. The center of the breast has a shield placed with a peacock displaying its pride on a golden background within a black and red bordure compony, all wrapped under a purple mantle, lined ermine and with golden fringes, falling from the Albanian princely crown. A blue ribbon with the motto 'FIDELITATE ET VERITATE' (True and Truth) in golden lettering hovers on the upper part of the mantle. Designed by Emil Doepler. Adopted on April 10, 1914.
Arms of State of the Albanian Republic (1926–1928)
The arms of state is a two-headed black eagle on a red background, which bears on its breast the helmet of Skanderbeg in gold, surrounded by arms and banners. Adopted on July 12, 1926.
Arms of State of the Albanian Kingdom (1929–1939)
The arms of state is composed of a cape with a crown on top and a shield with a two-headed eagle at the center. The cape is made of a dark-red silk cloth, in two symmetrical folds tied up on the sides in golden cordals. The edges of the cape are stitched with golden leaves and the inner sides are lined with ermine. The crown of Skanderbeg, painted in lead and gold, is placed above the slowly raised part of the cape. The shield at the center beares the two-headed Albanian eagle (elevated wings consisting of nine feathers each) on a red and golden background. Redesigned from the original by Hyacinthe de Keranrouë with slight aesthetic changes. First adopted on August 8, 1929.
Greater Arms of State (1939–1943)
The greater arms of state consists of a red shield with a black two-headed eagle crowned with the Helmet of Skanderbeg. Supporters: two adjoining fasces, their axes pointing outwards, bound with leather straps, connected above with the Savoye-knot and below with a blue ribbon three times inscribed with the motto FERT. The mantle around the whole is purple, with golden fringes and tassels and crested with the royal crown. Adopted on September 28, 1939.
State Emblem of the People's Republic of Albania (1946–1991)
The state emblem of the People’s Republic of Albania depicts two wreaths of wheat which are connected at the bottom with a red ribbon inscribed with the date 24 Maj 1944. At the top, between the edges of the wreaths is placed a five-pointed red star. A black two-headed eagle imposes at the center. This original work of acclaimed painter Sadik Kaceli was first adopted on March 14, 1946. It was readopted with minor amendments on December 28, 1976.


  1. ^ Hubert-Herald.nl
  2. ^ Kushtetuta e Republikës së Shqipërisë
  3. ^ Ligj Nr. 8926
  4. ^ Schmitt, Oliver Jens . "Arbëria Venedike (1392-1479)" [Das Venezianische Albanien (1392–1479)]. Tiranë: K&B, 2007. 63–85.

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