Flag of Albania

Flag of Albania
Country Albania
Population 2,832,439 (2023)
Area (Km²) 27,400 (2023)
Сontinent Europe
Emoji 🇦🇱
  hex rgb
#DA291C 218, 41, 28
#000000 0, 0, 0

The flag of Albania is a red field with a black double-headed eagle in the middle, with open wings on the sides. Each of the eagle's wings has nine feathers, and the tail has seven feathers. The proportions are determined in the ratio of 1 to 1.4 units (or 5:7). 
The Albanian national flag was officially raised on November 28, 1912, in honor of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.

What does the Albanian flag mean?

The double-headed eagle is an old symbol that has been used since ancient times in the Byzantine Empire, and then became a symbol of Albanian nobility in the Middle Ages.
Since the beginning of history, the eagle has been used in political life and pagan beliefs. The eagle symbolized pride, freedom and strength. In ancient times, it was said that Zeus ate the milk of a goat brought to him by an eagle. The eagle is also used by Pyrrhus of Epirus, who, during the celebration of his victory in Italy, was called "eagle" by the soldiers, and he said: "I am the eagle, but you are my wings". Therefore, he used the eagle as a symbol of his greatness. 

There are different versions of interpreting the symbolism of the two-headed eagle. Some believe that it looks east and west at the same time. In a symbolic and ethnographic sense, it symbolizes power and control from all sides, keeping all space and vision under control. In this form, it also creates symmetry and looks more beautiful. But there is no 100% correct explanation.

As for the colors of the flag, there is no specific explanation other than that

  • red symbolizes blood;
  • black is the color of the eagle.

But it should be noted that red and black go together and create a beautiful contrast, artistically. There is no historical explanation.

Is the flag of Albania the flag of Skanderbeg?

Until now, most Albanians consider their flag to be the flag of Skanderbeg, without knowing its origin. Even today, we do not know exactly when Skanderbeg used the double-headed eagle as a symbol of his state. It is known that he borrowed this symbol from Muzakai, replacing the coat of arms he inherited from his father Göni. The latter used the figure of a prince with long hair and a platoon as his coat of arms. In Albania, the eagle as a symbol of power was used by the ruling Albanian families of the Middle Ages, such as the Castriots, Arians, Muzaks, Topii, Djurashi of Zeta, Lek Dukajini, etc. By using the eagle as a symbol of their power, it is proved that these families were high-ranking officials during the Byzantine Empire.

For the first time in history, the emblem of Gerard Castriot with a two-headed eagle appears in 1451. It appears in a book of gaetas presented to Skanderbeg by King Alfonso V of Naples on the occasion of the signing of the treaty. On March 26, 1451, he handed it over to Skanderbeg's ambassadors who signed the treaty, Bishop Stephen of Cruy and Father Nicola Berguc from Alfonso's prothonotary Arnaldo Fonoleda.