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Elba Island (Tuscany, Italy)

Last modified: 2020-07-26 by rob raeside
Keywords: italy | elba | elba principality | tuscany | napoleon | bee | gemini islands | giglio | livorno |
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by Roberto Breschi from CISV

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Flag of Comunità di Elba based on Vex. It., 2, 2002.
Roberto Breschi from CISV

Elba Principality (1814-1815)

by Jaume Ollé, 13 October 1998

In 1814 Elba Island was asignated to Napoleon as principality. Napoleon adopted flag and also standard. This is the flag. The standard is similar, but square (only three bees) and the diagonal orange stripe is placed from hoist to fly without touching any part of the top or bottom.
Jaume Olle' 13 October 1998

Ivan Sache
, 5 June 1999

Emperor Napoleon I had to abdicate due to de defection of his marshals. He received by the treaty of Fontainebleau 4-6 April 1814) the sovereignty of Elbe island, a tlny island off the coast of Tuscany, Italy. He "reigned" there from 3 May 1814 to 26 February 1815. He escaped the British surveillance and came back to France for the so-called Cent-Jours period (until 22 June 1815, when he abdicated for the second and last time, and was definitively exiled to St Helena island, without any sovereignty).
The flags used during the Elbe period are reportes by G. Lemistre in Franciae Vexilla, #14/60 (June 1999). "When Napoleon was exiled to Elbe island, a flag for this territory had to be designed. The French tricolour caould not be used because it was the emblem of the French Empire, which no longer existed. Napoleon was inspired by ancient arms of Tuscany, dating to Cosimo I [1519-1574, first great-duke of Tuscany], which were 'd'argent a bande de gueules'. The flag of the island was a nearly square [6:7 on the image] white field with a red diagonal stripe charged with three flying bees. The width of the red stripe was about 1/3 of the hoist width The
hoist finial was a pike. This is an image of it.
The tiny navy of the island has an ensign. The ensign was an horizontal red-white-red triband with the flag of the island in canton. Mr. Traditi, Mayor of Porto-Ferraio (the island capital) still owns one ofthese ensigns.
The personal standard of Napoleon was charged with a crowned 'N', in gold thread. The sailors had on their cap a white and red cockade."
Ivan Sache, 5 June 1999

W. Smith show flag with four bees. Franciae Vexilla with only three. Probably no regulation exist and both can be corrects. The color of the bees is gold. The diagonal stripe show generally red, but Paul Gruyer in "Napoleon roi de l'Ile d'Elbe" (Hachette 1936) say that the color is orange (that must be darknessed by the time)
Jaume Ollé, 1 August 1999

Elba 1815-1830

by Jaume Ollé, 7 November 1998

A flag of Tuscany for use in Elba, has the Elba principality flag in the canton (in the upper red stripe).
Jaume Ollé, 13 October 1998

Flag According to Steenbergen Book (1862)

by Jaume Ollé, 21 February 2003

No. 264 - Elba commercial.
Source: [stb62]
Jaume Ollé, 20 February 2003

Gemini Islands

by Alessandro Segnini (from <>), 23 February 2001

And the bees on the flag probably refer to the Napoleonian bees, from the time where Napoleon was exiled on Elba Island (1814-1815).
Ivan Sache, 23 February 2001

They're pinpoints just SE of Elba according to Stielers Handatlas (1910)
Jarig Bakker, 23 February 2001

You can take a look at those two rocks outside the south coast of Elba. See: <>.
Dov Gutterman, 23 February 2001

Reading the web page is highlighting: Gemini Islands County is not a micronation, just an association whose aim is to protect an area which is located within the borders of the Elba National Park. At the beginning of the document is clearly stated that: "Associazione Indipendente". This is translated as Council, but it is actually a private society. It is not clear if they have any sort of official status. I would say that their flag is that of a private group of citizens. In fact they say that the territory is part of the Italian State and under its suzerainty.
Pier Paolo Lugli, 27 February 2001

Flagmaster 102 show the flag of Gemini Islands County (Italia)  that I believe before that was an unexistent micronation,  but quoted as autonomous islands.
Jaume Ollé, 18 May 2002

The 'Gemini Islands County' is an indepentent entity, meaning that it does not acknowledge any authority in its inside, except for that being carried by the President's and the Council's decisions, however in respect of national and international laws, obviously, as its Statute declares in its 2nd article.
It is not an independent nation, but this is very clearly shown in the web site.
A. Segnini, 9 July 2002

Be aware that in the very same page there is some confusion about the two rocks close to the Elba coast called Gemini (Twins). There is a reference about a nation on those rocks: in reality there is a curious private association referring to the rocks, but no nation or even micronation over there!
Flagmaster has also published a correction to the article appeared on number 102 to clarify the mistake.
Pier Paolo Lugli, 9 August 2004