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Piedmont Region (Italy)

Regione Piemonte

Last modified: 2020-07-17 by rob raeside
Keywords: italy | piedmont | piemonte | savoia |
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image by Roberto Breschi from CISV


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Piedmont Symbols

The gonfalon and the coat of arms were adopted on the 16th January 1984. The coat of arms has a square shape. It is gules a cross argent a label azure. The gonfalon is vertically red-blue-orange with the coat of arms in the middle and the words Regione Piemonte under. These colors are the colors of the Republic of Alba which was proclaimed on the 25th of April 1796. The official flag of the region adopted on the 24th November 1995 is red bordered white (thin) and blue with a white cross charged on top with a blue label. The region adopted on the 17th June 1997 a law regulating the use of this flag.
Pascal Vagnat, 22 September 1998

The flag of Piedmont is the coat of arms of the Prince of Piedmont, the title traditionally attributed to the eldest son of the King of Sardinia. It consists of the coat of arms of the Savory family with an azure label on it.
Francois Velde, 12 April 1996

The official Piemonte's regional flag was adopted circa 26 October 1995 and also has thin white (inner) and blue (outer) borders on all sides.
Mario Fabretto, 20 September 1996

I have attached an image of that flag, with the official colours and proportions. The flag is red with a white cross and a superimposed blue label, the whole is surrounded by a blue border and the flag itself is golden fringed. Depending on the context the flag may be fringed on the top, bottom and fly (like here). In that case there is an orange ribbon attached at the hoist. Orange-blue-red are the colours of the gonfanon of the Region. In other cases, like the flag on a balcony, there is a fringe on the hoist side, on the fly and on the bottom of the flag. If other cases the flag is entirely fringed. The official colours are blue 3005 and red 185. (These colours seem quite light for me, either on the screen as on the paper when printed.)
Source: Regional Council of Piedmont.
Pascal Vagnat, 12 May 1999

In Piedmont, the law says the regional flag has to fly together with the national flag and the EU flag in a number of occasion (e.g. when a town council or the regional parliament is meeting).
Silvio Sandrone, 20 October 1999

There are two versions of that flag: one with a blue border, and one without a blue border. That last version was adopted officially in 1995, with a gold fringe and an orange ribbon.
Pascal Vagnat, 20 October 1999

The regional flag of Piedmont is hoisted over the buildings of the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Turin, located in Grugliasco, a town neighbouring Turin, along with the flags of European Union and Italy (as seen in January 2005). The regional flag used there has no golden fringe at all. The region Piedmont uses a logo made of a square version of the flag, without the fringe, too.
Ivan Sache, 17 January 2008

The stemma first appeared in 1143 when it was used as a seal of Amadeus III (1103-1148). The blue label, heraldic sign of primogeniture, was added to it in 1424 by Amadeus VIII (1383-1451) when he used to invest his eldest son Amadeus with the title of Prince of Piedmont: The flag of Piedmont as we know it today was legally adopted in 1995 and it has two forms: (official) and (alternate).

Officially, in a regional law from 1995 the flag is described as having “golden fringes” (see below). I also saw a document that shows the dimensions and proportions for the flag which also includes the fringes. I suspect that the fringes are an unintended introduction so the version of the flag that I call “alternate” is pretty much the standard and the fringes are an embellishment for special, ceremonial and official occasions.

As of now, late June 2020, Piedmont formulated 5 regional laws between 1984 and 2007 which describe the symbols of Piedmont and 4 of them specifically relate to the flag with the first dating to 1995.

The following 4 regional laws, all in the original text in Italian, formalize the symbols of Piedmont and establish specific aspects of the flag of the region:

  1. 1995 - Legge regionale n. 83 del 24 novembre 1995 - Adozione della bandiera della Regione Piemonte
  2. 1997 - Legge regionale n. 36 del 17 giugno 1997 - Disposizioni per l'uso e l'esposizione della bandiera della Regione Piemonte
  3. 2004 - Legge regionale n. 15 del 31 maggio 2004 - Disciplina dello stemma, del gonfalone, della bandiera, del sigillo, della fascia della Regione Piemonte. Abrogazione delle leggi regionali 16 gennaio 1984, n. 4 , 24 novembre 1995, n. 83 , 17 giugno 1997, n. 36
  4. 2007 - Legge regionale n. 11 del 8 maggio 2007 - Modifica della legge regionale 31 maggio 2004, n. 15 (Disciplina dello stemma, del gonfalone, della bandiera, del sigillo, della fascia della Regione Piemonte. Abrogazione delle leggi regionali 16 gennaio 1984, n. 4, 24 novembre 1995, n. 83, 17 giugno 1997, n. 36)
Enrico Reineri, 16, 26, 27 and 29 June 2020

The Gonfalone

image by Mello Luchtenberg, 14 September 2001

Based on a drawing at
Mello Luchtenberg, 14 September 2001

Origin of the Flag

The story of the Piedmontese flag ("ël drapò") is strictly related to Savoia dynasty.
The glorious drapò could derive from the war-flag of Holy Roman Empire or from Pietro I who abandoned his coat of arms (an Imperial Eagle) and adopted a flag similar to the English one, due to his permanence in that country as Duke of Richmond (1241). In fact between 1188 and 1277 the English Kingdom used a red flag with a cross argent.
From 1263 that flag was always used by Savoia, in some variants. It was officially adopted by Amedeo V, Conte of Savoia from 1285. It seems that its first use was in 1310 in Turin in occasion of the meeting between Amedeo V and his cousin Emperor Arrigo VII.

image by Matteo Colaone, 24 August 2000

In order to distinguish the Savoia-Piemonte flag in the Mediterranean Sea from the Maltese one, were added the letters F.E.R.T. in white. I suppose it stands for: "FORTITUDO EIUS RHODUM TENUIT", (referred to Amedeo V in 1310) or otherwise "FOEDERE ET RELIGIONE TENEMUR".
Matteo Colaone, 24 August 2000

image by Matteo Colaone, 24 August 2000

Probably, in 1366, a blue border was added in honour of Maria, the mother of Jesus. This is also part of the flag of the Kingdom of Sardinia (1848-1851). The blue "Lambello" (="label") with three "pendenti" was added in 1418 for a heraldic cause (it indicated that Savoia were Princes of Piedmont).
Matteo Colaone, 24 August 2000

Flags in use

In today's tourism section of the daily newspaper "Yediot Akhronot" there is a photo of a Piedmont towns (probably Casale Monferrato) from which we can see that they are using a simpler variant of Piedmont flag (white St. George's cross on red).
Dov Gutterman, 30 September 1999