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Etrurian Kingdom (1801-1807) (Italy)

Last modified: 2020-07-26 by rob raeside
Keywords: italy | etruria | etrurian kingdom | parma | fleur de lys | tuscany |
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image by Mario Fabretto, 11 June 1997

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This is Kingdom of Etruria State flag 1/1/1804 - /12/1807.
A. Ziggioto "Le bandiere degli Stati italiani" on "Armi Antiche" (1970)
A. Ziggioto "Le bandiere degli Stati italiani pre-unitari" on Vexilla Italica 1, XXIV (1997)
Mario Fabretto, 11 June 1997

Five stripes light blue - white, with the arms in the middle.
Alessandro Martinelli, 29 January 1996

Why the fleur-de-lys? I'm assuming from the dates that Etruria was a Napoleonic satellite state, so I can't imagine they stand for the Bourbons... had the fleur-de-lys come to stand in for "France"?
Joshua Fruhlinger, 12 June 1997

Josh was wondering about the shield of France in the Etruria arms 1804-1807. Well, the Kingdom of Etruria was given by Napoleon to the Bourbon-Parma family, hence the fleurs-de-lys.
Source: Francois Veled's heraldry site.
Nahum Shereshevsky, 13 June 1997

Napoleon established Etruria in 1801 for Louis of Bourbon-Parma (a relative of the Bourbon Spanish king). Louis's son (Charles Louis - Carlo Luigi in Italian?), inherited the Etrurian throne in 1803. He was removed in 1808 and Napoleon then revived the Grand Duchy of Tuscany to Elisa Bonaparte. I think the territory may have been annexed to France at some time after that[?]. The Encyclopeadia Britannica (an older edition) says that Spain tried and failed to have Etruria restored to Charles Louis at the Congress of Vienna. It looks as though the fleur-de-lys is a Bourbon symbol (though I'm not sure just how Bourbon the Bourbon-Parmas were).
Jamie Woods, 12 June 1997

Etruria flag was light blue, white, light blue, white, light blue, with shield in center. The merchant ensign was light blue, white, light blue without shield (i. e. the Argentine flag without sun) Etruria was suppressed 1807 and its territory annexed to the restored Great Duchy of Tuscany.
Jaume Ollé, 13 October 1998

The Kingdom was indeed created by Napoleon (out of Tuscany) for the Bourbon-Parma in exchange for the Duchy of Parma, which was annexed to France. The kingdom was short-lived, as Napoleon gave it to his sister in 1808. The first king of Etruria was Louis of Bourbon-Parma, who died prematurely in 1803, leaving his widow as regent queen and his son Charles Louis as king.
The arms on the flag are Bourbon (for the Bourbon-Parma) and Medici (for Florence). The Bourbon-Parma descend from Philip V king of Spain (grandson of Louis XIV and the first Bourbon king of Spain) and Elisabetta Farnese, heir to the Duchy of Parma. The wife of Louis, and hence queen of Etruria, was Marie-Louise, daughter of Charles IV (Carlos IV) king of Spain. The Dukes of Parma were, in order, Carlo I (later to become king of Naples as Carlo VII, giving rise to the Bourbon-Sicilia branch, and later king of Spain, as Carlos III, giving rise to the present Spanish branch), followed at Parma by his brother Filippo, head of the Parma branch of the Bourbons. The next duke was Ferdinando, followed by Louis (Ludovico, to become king of Etruria), followed by Charles-Louis (Carlo Ludovico), etc.
Etruria was not restored to the Bourbon-Parma. Instead, after the fall of Napoleon, it reverted to being a Grand Duchy, with the Grand Duke from the house of Habsbourg. Carlo Ludovico was made Duke of Lucca, as Napoleon's wife, the ex-empress of France, Marie-Louise, was made ruler of Parma until her death. Then at her death the Duchy of Parma reverted back to the Bourbon Parma.
For those more interested in this short-lived Kingdom, I recommend "La reine d'Etrurie" by Sixte de Bourbon (Parme), 1929, out of print and in French.
Piero Telesio , 15 October 1999

Roberto Breschi, in his presentation: "Flags in Italy under Napoleon's pressure" at ICV 20 in Stockholm, reported about the Etrurian Kingdom: The 5-stripes flag was the state and war flag while the civil flag had only three stripes (b-w-b). Small vessels use the three-stripes flag without the Coat of Arms.
Dov Gutterman, 4 August 2003