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Northern Epirus (Albania): Greek occupation, 1914-1916

Last modified: 2007-02-01 by ivan sache
Keywords: eagle: double-headed (black) | epirus | crown: royal | cross (white) |
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Provisional government of Epirus (1914)

[Provisional Government of Epirus]         [Provisional Government of Epirus - variant]

Flag of the provisional government of Epirus - Two reported variants
Left - Image by Jaume Ollé and Jorge Candeias, 15 June 1996
Right - Image by Jaume Ollé and Jorge Candeias, 15 June 1996, after Yannis Natsinas (Flagmaster [flm] #83).

The treaty of London (1913), which ended the Balkanic conflict, assigned most of Epirus to Greece, but the northern districts remained within Albania, with the opposition of the Greek population of the area. On 7 March 1914 Prince of Wied arrived in Albania and the Greeks of the southern districts of Albania rebelled against their inclusion into the Principality, and formed the provisional government of Epirus. The rebels used the Greek flag with the double-headed eagle, to symbolize the belonging to Greece of this part of Albania. The Greek government did not condone these actions, but secretly supported the rebels.

Jaume Ollé, 15 June 1996

Government of Epirus (1914)

[Greek government of Epirus]         [Greek government of Epirus in postal stamps]

Alleged flags of the government of Epirus - Images by Jorge Candeias and Jaume Ollé, 15 June 1996

When the first World War broke up, the Greek troops invaded and occupied Epirus (end of 1914). In the south, the provisional government was dissolved and replaced by a military government. In Flagfax [ffx] is erroneously reported the flag of the occupation regime, taken from a postage stamp, including the monetary unit (suppressed, naturally, in the image, where the wording says "Greek Epirus").

On postage stamps, the Greek flag contains only four blue and three white stripes. The wording says "Greek Epirus".

Jaume Ollé, 15 June 1996

The right image above is nearly exactly the same as I saw in an old postage stamp catalogue. The stamps were issued by military authorities in Erseka and Kolonia in 1914.

Jarig Bakker, 22 April 1999

Government of Northern Epirus (1914)

[Supposed flag of Northern Epirus in 1915]         [Supposed flag of Northern Epirus in 1916]

Supposed flags of Northern Epirus - Images by Jorge Candeias and Jaume Ollé, 15 June 1996
Left, 1915-1916
Right, 1916
In these two images, the word A[P]STONOMOS is incorrectly spelled. The second letter should be an Upsilon [Y] and not a Psi

In the north, the rebel government took the name of Government of Northern Epirus. The northern zone of Epirus was handed over to the Italians in 1915 (the last Greek troops remained in the area until 1916), which continued the occupation regime. After a few months, the Italians transferred this area to their French allies. The Greeks kept Southern Epirus. Two flags are supposed for that area: one from 1915-16 with wording that reads "Authonomous Epirus" and another from 1916, whose writings read "Greek Authonomous Northern [Epirus]".

The incorporation of Northern Epirus to Albania was confirmed by the Commission of Border Delimitation in 1921.

Jaume Ollé, 15 June 1996