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Italy - Municipalities - Overview and Index

Last modified: 2023-09-02 by rob raeside
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The symbol of provinces and municipalities share a common pattern, which includes special crowns. A province may have either a provincial crown, which is a gold and is decorated with some natural leaves, or an old provincial crown (corona di provinzia antica), which is a a mural crown with eight towers, five visible. I have also seen mentioned an even older pattern of 12 towers, 7 visible, but I think this is no longer valid.
Municipalities seem to be either "citta", i.e towns, or communi. There seem to be no distinction in the coat of arms based on city status. Municipalties typically have one of the following patterns:  
- municipal crown, a mural crown with "sedici" (16, I think), towers resp. portals, of which are nine visible
- nobility crowns ("corone nobiliari") and other head dresses, mostly because of ancient privileges. E.g. the citta di Venezia (city of Venice) uses the head-dress of a doge, the old city ruler.
- a special crown ("corone speciale"), which are  granted by the heraldic office via (or on behalf of?) the president of the council of ministers (Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri)
Italian subnational entities are entitled to flags, in the form of "gonfalone", i.e. "battle standards", and banners. It seems that these symbols have to be registered as part of the heraldic grant. I don't think these are granted automatically.
The gonfalone has a distinctive shap and is hosted vertically. It is typically embroidered heavily (and seems to be unique).
Banners ("bandiere", sg. bandiera) are simpler, I think mostly the coat of arms on a plain (or striped etc) cloth. The article shows a couple of banner images, where a provincial banner is a plain rectangular cloth, while the communal banner uses a more complicated pattern, basically a gonfalone hoisted horizontally. This may or may be not a general pattern.
This flags are mostly used on flags. Several entities, like e.g. the city of Venice, which is described more in depth in the article, have more flags, e.g. an Italian flags (vertically divided in green, white and red), with the city symbol, the golden lion of St Marc, on a red canton. This flag seems to be for nautical use.
While there exist good coverage about Italian civic arms (stemmi), e.g. at or at Ralf Hartemink's "International Civic Arms", gonfaloni and bandiere seem to have less information about than comprehensive. I have no printed sources available. At my site colours as used on the gonfalone of provinces and municipalities, there exist basic information about the as collected by Falko Schmidt. Internet source shows some gonfalone of differing quality, some of these are used on FOTW already.
Dirk Schönberger, 10 December 2007