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Rijeka - Fiume Historical Flags (Croatia)

Last modified: 2005-11-05 by dov gutterman
Keywords: italy | fiume | carnaro | rijeka | croatia |
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2 Febuary 1921 - 16 march 1924
by Ralf Stelter, 23 January 2001

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Once again a flag showing the wide spread misunderstanding of darkred/red colour shades. Above is the flag of Fiume is "very precisely" described as "light violet turning to magenta". I do not know the inventor of this dubious description, but what IS known about that flag: it had horizontal stripes of "karmesinrot-goldgelb-kobaltblau" which is crimson (dark red)-golden yellow-cobalt blue", "translated" into Pantone: ca. 193/200-116-300.
I do not know the status of the flag up to 1918, but if it was in use then only as a city flag, I believe. The flag was official from 2 feb 1921 to 16 march 1924, and there was a version with arms.
As is written in the text below, the colours derive from the arms. Who would believe that an Austro-Hungarian, resp. Italian city of the 19th century will have other than heraldic colours in their CoA?
Short history of Fiume:
Until Febuary 1867 - Austria, then Hungary,
28 October - 17 November 1918 - Yugoslav. Croatia,
17 November 1918 -12 September 1919 - Interallied occupation,
November 1920 (Treaty of Rapallo) - international recognition as Free State,
12 January 1924 - Italy (Treaty of Rome),
1947 - Yugoslavia (peace at Paris).
Ralf Stelter, 23 January 200

Fiume's motto was "INDEFICIENTER" in Latin. Meaning 'Inexhaustible', as in non-deficient or never-deficient of water, reffering to the source and the short river of Rjecina/Fiumara. The first is Croatian, the latter is Italian name of the river both giving the name of the city Rijeka/Fiume. The vase pouring water in the CoA refers to the same.
Nozomi Kariyasu and Željko Heimer, 22 August 2002

Fiume Historical Flags

Red-Yellow-Blue horizontal with shield or emblem
Jaume Olle' , 5 June 1997

by Jaume Olle' , 10 October 1998

Fiume, withouth austrian troops, was take by rebeld croatian soldiers on 23 October 1918 and Croatian flag was hoisted. On 27 October it became under the control of the South Slavian Commitee of Agram. On 4 November an Italian ship took the city and install an Italian commitee, but a few days later an Interallied Commitee was installed , and a french base was created. Several incidents happended between Italian and French, and also between Italian and Serbs. Yugoeslavia and Italia claimed the controll and this dispute wasn't resolved in the Peace treaty of 2 September 1919.
The poet Gabriel d'Anunzio, with a italian corp of volunteers, took the city on 12 September 1919 and create an independent goverment called Italian Regency of Carnaro. Under Yugoeslavian preasures Italia blocked the city, and finally the treaty of Rapallo (12 November 1920) recognized the perpetual independence of Fiume. D'Anunzio declared war against Italy on 3 December 1920, but the Italians send some ships that bombarded the city and D'Anunzio left Fiume. A provisional government took place and accord was signed between Yugoeslavia, Italy and the Fiume government (June 1921). On 6 October 1921 an elected government was established under the leadership of Ricardo Zanella.
On 3 March 1922 the Italian Fascist took the city and the autonomist Zanella was deposed and substitued by Giuriati, but Fiume formally conserved its independence. Zanella directed the exiled government from Yugoeslavia. In 1923 Italian troops took Fiume and in 1924 a treaty with Yugoeslavia recognized the Italian annexion but some zones were assignate to Yugoeslavia.
The ensign of the regency is above. The gonfanon of the regency can be seen in Željko Heimer's FAME. The colors red, yellow, blue are the Fiume local colors.
Jaume Olle' 10 October 1998

Agram - that's Zagreb (the German name for it). The colors red, yellow, blue are the Fiume local colors based on Fiuman COA of Austro-Hunagrian era.
Željko Heimer 13 October 1998

The first flag above described with the colours red/yellow/blue, but I've found that "red" is not red, but a violet tending to magenta.
The second flag above is very strange: I think that it is a wrong rendition of the sixth flag of mine.

My contribution is based on a pamphlet of the "Free Municipality of Fiume in exile", an Italian club that don't recognize the Yugoslav annexation of the city, that I read four or five years ago.

Here there are the descriptions of the flags of Fiume:

by Pierpaolo Arcangioli , 2 November 1999

1 - The first flag was hoisted in Fiume until 1835, when the town legally was a Corpus Separatum of the Austrian Empire. Colours are those of Austria; the coat of arms is a bicephalous eagle with both heads toward East and the imperial crown.

by Pierpaolo Arcangioli , 2 November 1999

2 - The second flag was in use from 1835 to 1849, when the Corpus Separatum of Fiume was transferred from Austrian to Hungarian administration. The flag was of Hungarian colours (red/white/green) instead of Austrian colours (red/white/red). In 1849, after the Austrian repression of the Hungarian rebellion, the particular flag of Fiume was suppressed.

by Andy Weir, 11 January 2001

3 - The third was the flag of the municipality and of the patriotic clubs of Fiume, that claimed a larger autonomy. This flag was so popular, that their colours became officials.

by Pierpaolo Arcangioli , 2 November 1999

4 - The fourth flag was adopted by the Austro-Hungarian  government in 1870; it contained the coat of arms of the town on colours of Fiume (light violet tending to magenta/yellow/blue). This flag waved until 1918, when Fiume was taken by Croatian forces before, and then by Italians.

5- On 17 November 1918 the Italian National Council took the power and proclaimed the Italian tricolour as the official flag of Fiume.

6- On 12 september 1919 the Italian poet and nationalist leader Gabriel d'Anunzio took Fiume with a group of legionnaires. He proclaimed the annexation to the Kingdom of Italy, but nobody recognized this act.

by Pierpaolo Arcangioli , 2 November 1999

7- On 27 November 1919, under the government of Gabriele D'Annunzio, Fiume took the fifth flag: it was the Italian tricolour, but with the Fiuman coat of arms in the middle. This coat of arms was changed: the bicephalous eagle lost one head, because it was remembering the Austrian eagle.

by Mario Fabretto

8- On 8 September 1920 Gabriele D'Annunzio proclaimed the Italian Regency of Carnaro (Reggenza Italiana del Carnaro). The new vertical flag was created by the Italian poet: in the middle there is a snake eating his tail, a symbol of eternity. In the snake's ring there are the Great Bear's stars; on both sides there is a scroll with the motto "QUIS CONTRA NOS?". In the lower part there are the two flags of Italy and Fiume.

9- On 28 December 1920, Italy sent an expeditionary corp that took off the D'Annunzio's legionnaires and proclaimed an independent Government named "Stato Libero di Fiume" (Free State of Fiume).This Government adopted the old flag of Fiume (the third in this list).

10- On 3 March 1922 the Italian nationalist (not fascist) soldiers of the Free State made a coup d'état and proclaimed the Italian flag as the official flag of the State in waiting for the annexation.
On 16 March 1924 Fiume was annexed by the Kingdom of Italy.
Pierpaolo Arcangioli , 2 November 1999