KINGDOM OF ITALY
 


 

NAVAL ENSIGNS & FLAGS    1866-1946
 

Images Added July 2010

Appointment & Rank Flags, 1868-1898
 

Notes
 

The flag of the Kingdom of Sardinia, the green-white-red tricolor with the arms of Savoy on the white stripe, became the national flag of united Italy in 1866. With a crown above the arms, the same flag served as the new nation's naval ensign. The naval jack was a banner of the arms of Savoy.

The Royal Italian Navy's first rank and appointment flags were based on the naval ensign. With a foul anchor added in the green stripe, it was the flag of the Minister of Marine. For flag officers, from one to three white, six-pointed stars were placed on the green stripe. Captains in command of flotillas and senior officers flew swallow-tailed versions of the ensign. In 1898 these flags began to be replaced by simpler flags of a new pattern.

By 1915, when Italy entered World War I, a range of naval rank flags had been introduced and they continued in service until 1946, when the monarchy was abolished and Italy became a republic. The basic pattern for admirals was a blue flag with golden yellow stars according to rank. The initial flags of this pattern had six-pointed stars, but in 1928 the regulation was revised to specify five-pointed stars. Also in 1928, some new flags were introduced. The Minister of Marine received a new flag, and his Undersecretary was granted a flag for the first time. Both were blue with golden yellow insignia to match the admirals' flags. The creation of the rank of Fleet Admiral (Ammiraglio di Armata) necessitated the introduction of another new flag. The three-star flag was now specified for the new rank, while for the rank of full admiral (Ammiraglio di Squarda) a flag with a crown between two stars was designed. The Chief of the Naval Staff, usually an Ammiraglio di Armata, had a flag displaying the stars within a frame. Flag officers in command of a battle force in action also flew a square banner of the arms of Savoy.

Captains commanding a division of battleships or cruisers flew a plain blue forked pennant. Captains commanding a flotilla of destroyers, torpedo boats, corvettes or submarines flew a triangular pennant, diagonally striped red and blue. Other senior officers flew a plain blue triangular pennant.

With some modifications, the rank flags as they were finalized in 1928 continued in use under the Italian Republic.

Flag Proportions: Ensigns and flags of the Royal Italian Navy were made in 2:3 proportions. The command flag was made square.
 



 

NAVAL ENSIGN


 

NAVAL JACK

 

COMMISSIONING PENNANT

 

APPOINTMENT FLAGS

 

MINISTER OF MARINE    1868-1928

 

MINISTER OF MARINE    1928-46

 

UNDERSECRETARY OF THE NAVY    1928-46

 

CHIEF OF STAFF OF THE NAVY    1928-46

 

RANK FLAGS    1868-98

 

ADMIRAL    Ammiraglio di Squarda

 

VICE-ADMIRAL    Ammiralgio di Divisione

 

REAR-ADMIRAL    Contrammiraglio

 

RANK FLAGS    1898-1916

 

ADMIRAL    Ammiraglio di Squarda

 

VICE-ADMIRAL    Ammiralgio di Divisione

 

REAR-ADMIRAL    Contrammiraglio

 

RANK FLAGS    1928-46

 

FLEET ADMIRAL    Ammiraglio di Armata

 

ADMIRAL    Ammiraglio di Squarda

 

VICE-ADMIRAL    Ammiralgio di Divisione

 

REAR-ADMIRAL    Contrammiraglio

 

COMMAND PENNANTS    1868-98

 

CAPTAIN IN COMMAND

 

SENIOR OFFICER

 

COMMAND PENNANTS    1916-46

 

FLAG OFFICER COMMANDING IN ACTION

 

CAPTAIN COMMANDING A DIVISION

 

CAPTAIN COMMANDING A FLOTILLA

 

SENIOR OFFICER
 



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