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Italian Social Republic (1943-1945) (Italy)

Repubblica Sociale Italiana

Last modified: 2021-08-24 by rob raeside
Keywords: italy | mussolini | italian social republic | salo | eagle |
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war flag
image by Mario Fabretto, 14 November 1998

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The Italian flag didn't change when Mussolini rose to power. However in 1943, after his liberation, Mussolini proclaimed in Salo' the Italian Social Republic, limited to the northern Italy, still under german occupation. The national flag was the plain tricolore, while the war flag added to it a black (following official descriptions) or dark silver (following reproduction) eagle grasping a golden fasces.
Mario Fabretto, 14 November 1998

Since Italy technically remained a monarchy throughout the war, and flag remained the current Tricolor with the arms of the house of Savoy in the middle I think Mussolini's "Italian Social Republic" (based around Salů in the far north once Mussolini had been rescued by the Germans in 1943) also used the tricolour but with fasces in the white stripe.
Roy Stilling, 9 April 1996 and Marcus Wendel, 13 August 1999

"The Republic of Salů" and the "Italian Social Republic" are two ways of referring to the same Government; the regime set up by the Germans after they freed Mussolini. The official national flag of the Salů Republic was the plain tri-color. The war flag was charged by a Roman eagle grasping black fasces. The eagle was centered in the white band and extended into the green and red stripes.
Norman M. Martin, Pier Paolo Lugli and Tom Gregg, 9 December 1997

You write that Your are not sure about the flag of the fascist Italian republic RSI in Salů. I have found website with an image (Warning 187 Kb) of the flag on the internet on a site which specialize in RSI. . For a smaller version click here.
JÝrgen Meedom, 29 July 1999

This is the War Flag, the State Flag was the plain tricolore.
Pier Paolo Lugli, 29 July 1999

The flag above is not the flag of the RSI, but the war flag of the RSI. They are described in this law:   Decreto legislativo del Duce n. 141 del 28/1/1944:
Art. 1 La bandiera della Repubblica Sociale Italiana Ť formata da un drappo di forma rettangolare interzato in palo di verde, di bianco e di rosso, col verde all'asta sormontato dal Fascio Repubblicano. Il drappo deve essere alto i due terzi della sua lunghezza ed i tre colori vanno distribuiti nell'ordine anzidetto ed in parti uguali.
Art. 2 La bandiera di combattimento delle Forze Armate Ť caricata di un'aquila in nero ad ali spiegate poggiata su di un Fascio Repubblicano posto in senso orizzontale, il tutto come da tavola annessa al presente decreto. Il drappo deve essere alto un metro e lungo metri 1,50.
From this description, the flag of the RSI was excatly like the modern flag of Italy (the tricolore), but with republican fasces on the flagstaff. I've the black and withe illustration of the flag. The flag of my illustration is 5.8 cm tall, the small fasces on the flagstaff is 1.15 cm tall and about 2 mm wide. It's like the fasces held by the eagle of the war flag, with one difference: there is only one cross made by the diagonal ribbons. The small fasces on the flagstaff has a smaller axe than the axe of held by the eagle (it's more or less 20% smaller than the axe of the fasces held by the eagle of the war-flag).
There is a tiny mistake at the image the war flag of the RSI by Mario Fabretto: The most right ribbon of the fasces held by the eagle is like the other two, not wider (so it must be 1 pixel wide, not 2 like in Fabretto's flag).
As I have already noted, some months ago I found an illustration of the eagle of the RSI war flag. In the book where there is the Decree of Mussolini about the flag there is the official illustration of the flag, and also the war flag has the flagstaff with the small fasces on top (but I've never seen a photo of a flagstaff like that: of course both the state and the war flags were used also without the "official" flagstaff).
Guido Abate, 20 November and 31 December 2002

Republican National Guard

At eBay there is a photos of a flag and its detail which are titled as: "FLAG R.S.I."G.N.R." ITALY1943 -1945 ( CM.118 X CM.170) - ORIGINAL FASCIST PERIOD END WAR OR POST WAR FOR VETERAN."
William Garrison, 24 November 2008

R.S.I is the Italian Social Republic. G.N.R was the Republican National Guard (Guardia Nazionale Repubblicana).
Quote from <>: "The Guardia Nazionale Repubblicana was formed as a militarized police force, grouping the former Carabinieri (military police), state police, Polizia Africa Italiana (colonial police), frontier guards and blackshirts units, and was later included in the Armed Forces of the RSI. The GNR was used mainly in anti- partisan role, a role that was largely a "dirty war" of reciprocal war crimes that do not give credit to any one of the contendants."
And: "The prefix "M" to some units was an honour title for elite units, allowed to wear a special collar-pin reproducing the "M" of Mussolini's signature."
Decree of 18 Dec 1943 instituting the GNR (in Italian) at <>, listing ranks (and their army equivalents) in Art. 5. There may have been rank flags.
'M' emblem at <>.
More information at wikipedia.
Jan Mertens, 24 November 2008