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Parthenopean Republic (1799) (Italy)

Repubblica Partenopea

Last modified: 2010-05-31 by dov gutterman
Keywords: italy | parthenopean republic | naples | napoli |
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image by Jaume Olle', 28 October 1998


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Vertical tricolour light blue - yellow - red (3-FEB-1799).
Alessandro Martinelli, 29 January 1996

According to Whitney-Smith the Carboneri flew a tricolor of black, red and blue, which according to him was used in the Parthenopean Republic, which he places in 1789 And I remember also reading (somewhere else) about another flag, a black flag with Vesuvios in eruption, used by italian revolutionaries at one time. Does anyone know more about the use, history and (not the least) the design of these flags?
Knut A. Berg, 18 June 1998

The idea of the Parthenopea Republic flying a Carbonari flag is utterly wrong. It is a recurring mistake, we believe coming after the publication of that statement on Smith's book. Carboneria is a somewhat later society, developed in Southern Italy and spread all over the country (and outside the national borders!).
Pier Paolo Lugli, 29 June 1998

Kingdom of Two Sicily was partially ocupated by French, and in the Napolitan part was created the Parthenopean republic (1799). The flag was used until 1799.
Jaume Olle', 28 October 1998

Republic Parthenopea was proclaimed in South Italia (in territory of Dos Sicilias) 1799 under French influence (the Borbons retain Sicily). Was retaken by the Borbons on 1799 until 1806, when it was created as the Kingdon of Naples, attribued to Murat. Reported is a flag white, red and black According Zigiotto, no evidence of flag exist, and the french flag is supposed in use.
Jaume Olle', 28 October 1998

the Neapolitan Republic (original name of those times: Repubblica Napolitana) occurred in 1799, more precisely, from January to June 1799.
Carmine Colacino, 9 December 1999

According to the "Piccola Treccani" Encyclopedia (Treccani is the Institute of the Italian Encyclopedia, a national institution), the flag of the Parthenopean Republic was blue, black and red. The colours were exactly the same of the Carboneria, but in a different order.
Guido Abate, 6 December 2002

As I already pointed out there is a common mistake when referring to Repubblica Partenopea flag as a Carboneria's blue - black - red tricolour. This dates to a later period and was used during riots. The most noteworthy display in Southern Italy was at Nola (close to Naples) ca. 1820 - 1821 when Carbonari set-up a temporary government. The Repubblica Partenopea adopted and used a vertical tricolour in blue / yellow / red. There is a number of evidences available about the 1799 revolution at Naples and the following creation of the Republic, whose official name was Repubblica Napoletana, as shown in the official documents of the provisional government. A famous painting shows the freedom tree with blue / red / yellow flags all around and hanging from the windows of the nearby buildings. It was January 27th, 1799. A few days earlier (on 19th) the French flag was hoisted beside the town colours (yellow and red): joining the French blue with Naples colors made the new flag. At the beginning of February, probably on the 3rd, the colours were rearranged in blue / yellow / red, as reported by the magazine "Il Monitore Napoletano" number 30: "la bandiera mostra i colori della nostra repubblica: blo' - giallo - rosso" (the flag displays the colours of our republic: blue - yellow - red. Blo' is an old fashioned word for the modern Italian blu). In any case, even if the colours were well defined, their arrangement was not and also horizontally striped flags are known. There was a National Guard (Guardia Nazionale) as well. Her flag was in the national colours, disposed in a diagonal fashion, with the consular fasces, a Phrygian cap and two oak branches overall. There were slogans on the front and the back. I do not have a picture, only a description. The author was Enrico Colonna, an architect, and it was adopted sometime in February 1799. A volunteer legion is known too: the Legione Calabra. It was made of volunteers to be sent against the Royal supporters. It was first presented on March 20th, 1799. Her flag was black with three words positioned on three rows: vincere (to win) - vendicarsi (to get revenge) - morire (to die).
Source: Aldo Ziggioto in "Armi Antiche", Roberto Breschi in "Le bandiere degli Stati Italiani dal 1700 ad oggi" (flag poster and manual issued to remark 30 years of the CISV - Centro Italiano Studi Vessillologici, 2002) and personal communication from Massimo Galoppa (referring to the reissue of a book published on 1899 to remind 100 years from the revolution of Naples).
Pier Paolo Lugli, 10 December 2002