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The gonfalon

The Municipality of Naples' gonfalon
The Municipality of Naples' gonfalon

The heraldic description of the Neapolitan civic standard is: per fess gold and red, as on the coat-of-arms, with the inscription "Comune / di / Napoli" in gold.

The characteristics of this kind of standard are establlished by article 5 of the Royal Decree of 7 June 1943, no.652: "...the standard must never have the form of a flag but must consist of a rectangular drape onemetre by two, of the colour of one or of all the colours of the coat-of-arms, hung in a removable fashion from a pole covered with velvet of the same colour, with studs arranged in a spiral, terminating in an arrow-head on which the coat-of-arms will be reproduced, while the name of the province, the commune and the company will be on the lower half.

The richly ornamented, fringed drape will bear the coat-of-arms of the Province, the Commune, the Company, etc. at the centre, above which will be the central inscription "Provincia di ..." "Comune di ...". The fringed drape must consist of tricolour ribbons of the national colours."

reproduction of a gold medal for military valour
Military gold medal awarded to the City of Naples

The city standard is decorated with the military gold medal awarded on 10 September 1944 for the people's rising against the German troups, known at the "Quattro Giornate"(Four Days), which from 27 to 30 September brought the German occupation of the city to an end.

The medal was conferred because: "With a superb surge of patriotism, the people of the city rediscovered, amidst mourning and ruins, the strength to throw the German military out of the territory, challenging the fierce, inhuman retaliation. Many honourable citizens were involved in the unequal battle against the old enemy during the Four Days at th end of September 1943. This glorious example showed all Italians the way to freedom, justice, the salvation of the Country. Naples, 27 - 30 September 1943".

Sketch of the City gonfalon, 1933
Sketch of the City gonfalon, 1933 - Archivio Storico Municipale di Napoli, maps and designs collection

A sketch datable as end of 1933 showing the City standard as it was from that year until the fall of Fascism is kept in the Archivio Storico Municipale (Municipal History Archives).

At the centre is the civic coat-of-arms represented according to royal decree no. 1440 of 12 October 1933 which established the institution of the "capo del Littorio" (In the language of heraldry, the "capo" was the highest point of the shield, at a height of one third of the total height, indicated by a line. The "capo del Littorio" was red with the side "fascio" surrounded by two orak branches and laurel tied by a ribbon of the national colours).


The standard and ceremonies

On the occasion of official ceremonies at which - together with battle and national flags, standards, medals and banners - the standard of the Commune of Naples decorated with its medal is required, the order of precedence according to ceremonial norms at present to be followed is as follows:

  1. Battle flag
  2. National flags with military and civil medals (in the order: gold, silver, bronze)
  3. National flags
  4. Standards with their military and civil medals (in the order: gold, silver, bronze)
  5. Medals and banners of associations with their military and civil awards
  6. Standards of regions, provinces and communes
  7. Insignia of associations.

The order of entrance into the space where the ceremony is held is reverse (on exiting, the order is that of precedence).


Area Cultura e Turismo Servizio Beni Culturali - Archivio Storico Municipale
Salita Pontenuovo, 31 - 80139 Napoli
e-mail: archivi.storici.biblioteche@comune.napoli.it
pec: archivi.biblioteche@pec.comune.napoli.it