The national flag of Albania is a red flag with a black two-headed eagle in the center. It is claimed to be derived from the similar seal of Gjergj Kastriot Skanderbeg, a 15th century Albanian who led the revolt against the Ottoman Empire that resulted in brief independence for some regions of Albania from 1443 to 1478. The current flag was officially adopted on April 7, 1992, but previous Albanian states such as the Kingdom of Albania and the post-war communist state had used much the same flag, with the former sporting the “Helmet of Skanderbeg” above the eagle and the latter a red star with a yellow rim.
The National Assembly of Vlora which proclaimed Albanian Independence on 28 November 1912 approved the flag as a symbol of the Albanian nation.
The National Eldery of Durres which created the governemt of Muslim Albania in 1914 approved the flag of Esat Pasha as the symbol of Albania. While the Muslim Albanian’s that created their parallel government until 1915 used their old Ottoman flag as their symbol.
The horizontal open-winged eagle symbolises the lack of submission of the highland Albanians to foreign conquest. The communist regime added a yellow five-pointed star to the flag, which was removed by the first Albanian pluralist parliament in 1992 after the communist collapse.
Albania’s civil ensign and naval ensign, both maritime flags are different from the national flag. The civil ensign consists of three horizontal bands of red, black, and red. The naval ensign is similar to the national flag, except that the eagle is on a white field, and the lower portion of the flag has a red stripe.
The flag of Albania may be the inspiration for the flag of the fictional nation of Syldavia in Hergé’s Tintin comics. It also influenced the revival of the Navarrese arrano beltza.
United all around the flag,
with one wish and a sole cause,
to It we pledge our allegiance
and give our word of honor for salvation.
Only he who is a born traitor
deserts from the fight.
Whoever is a true man doesn’t back down,
but falls, but falls and becomes a martyr to the cause.
We will hold the arms in our hands
to guard the Fatherland everywhere.
We won’t give up our rights,
’cause the enemies here have no place.
For God himself has spoken,
from the earth nations keep on vanishing,
but Albania will live on,
’cause for It, for It we keep on fighting.