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Italy - Houseflags of Italian Maritime Companies (Li-Lo)

Last modified: 2013-08-03 by rob raeside
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Libera del Golfo


image by Jarig Bakker, 5 January 2006

Navigazione Libera del Golfo, S.r.l. (Vessels operating from Sorrento), Naples - blue flag, in top hoist white 5-pointed star; at fly a white standing ladder with 6 rungs.
Source: Brown's Flags and Funnels Shipping Companies of the World, compiled by J.L. Loughran, Glasgow, 1995.
Jarig Bakker, 5 January 2006


Libera Giovanni Racich


image by Jarig Bakker, 18 December 2004

Libera Giovanni Racich, Trieste - blue flag, white standing anchor, charged with white "R".
Source: Brown's Flags and Funnels of British and Foreign Steamship Companies, compiled by F.J.N. Wedge, Glasgow, 1926 [wed26]
Jarig Bakker, 18 December 2004

This also soud like Italinization of a Slavic name Ivan Racic (as was usual at the time), so quite possibly the company originated on the easter Adriatic coast (where Trieste was one of the most important ports after all). However, I have not found any reference to Racic in my files.
Željko Heimer, 18 December 2004


Ligure di Armamento

One of the many Italian house flags shown in the 1940 Spanish source is the house flag of ‘Società Ligure di Armamento’ (Ligurian Shipowning Co.) - Vertically divided light blue (hoist) and white (fly), a coat of arms – within a yellow cartouche – in the centre.  Unfortunately the image is not very clear: the chief of Genoa (argent a cross gules) is easy to spot but the main charge poses a problem:  gules, three [objects] or placed two and one.
The company name crops up on these pages (in Italian) relating the business enterprise of the Piaggio family, active in shipping, the sugar and stearine industry, and now, it seems, in real estate (see: <www.lagaiana.it>. Traces of ships were found on the net between 1927 and 1949; Ligure seems to have been merged into the La Gaiana concern in 1986.
Jan Mertens, 28 January 2008


Lloyd del Pacifico


image by Jarig Bakker, 24 January 2005

Lloyd del Pacifico, Savona - white flag, blue anchor; in canton horizontal RWR stripes; in fly-bottom red "Z".
Source: Brown's Flags and Funnels of British and Foreign Steamship Companies, compiled by F.J.N. Wedge, Glasgow, 1926 [wed26].
Jarig Bakker, 24 January 2005

Established at Savona in Liguria, between Genoa and the French border, this company had the horizontal version of the town flag in the canton. The anchor seems self-evident, while the `Z' refers to the founder's family name as explained on the Ships List: "The Zino Line was formed in Savona, Italy in 1889 to run services between Genoa and South America. Sailings were also made to New Orleans from 1900 and to New York between 1902-1906. By 1908 the company had ceased carrying passengers, but there was increased emigration to Chile, so Zino formed the Societa Lloyd del Pacifico to which he transferred his passenger ships."  
The on-line 1912 Lloyds Flags & Funnels also shows this flag: Last of second row, No. 1245 `Lloyd del Pacifico Società Anónima (Giuseppe Zino, Fu.D.), Savona'.  Differences in artistic rendition are not important here, I trust. I have to guess at the meaning of `Fu.D.
Jan Mertens, 28 June 2007


Lloyd Italiano

A house flag from a shipping company in Genoa. I've come across: <planeta.terra.com.br>. Dates given 1904-1918, and some history here at <www.theshipslist.com>: " The Lloyd Italiano Line was formed in Genoa in 1904 by Erasmo Piaggio to operate passenger services to North and South America. The company came under the control of Navigazione Generale Italiana in 1911 and became completely absorbed in 1918."
The company flag is blue with a white diamond touching the flag's edges but... exactly what emblem is in the centre?  Could it be like the watermarks i.e. initials and an anchor?  Does anyone have a clue? 
Jan Mertens, 22 December 2003

Acording to Mystic Seaport: Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels at <www.mysticseaport.org>, The flag in question is no. 1554 on p. 75 of the steam vessel chapter. Emblem on white diamond: blue disk with initials LIL (the first one in mirror-image), said disk encircled by yellow laurel branches (?) and a yellow anchor placed behind same disk.
Jan Mertens, 22 December 2003

To be more exact, as there was an earlier company this name [no flag known], this one was Lloyd Italiano Società di Navigazione. My copy of Lloyds 1912 does not give a clear image as far as the letters are concerned and they look to be white. According to Bonsor the flag was blue, there was a large white diamond and the charge was a yellow anchor surmounted by a blue circle bearing the yellow letters "LI" and I have in my notes a similar record which is unfortunately not sourced. Certainly the letters seem more logical thought the diamond seems more likely to be throughout going by the <planeta.terra.com.br> image. Bonsor does not mention any surrounding leaves but Lloyds is certainly clear on this point. Consequently my guess is a combination of the sources. See here.
Neale Rosanoski, 22 July 2004

If you look at the filigrane of the document in the link provided by Neale, you see that the letters are (mirrored L) - I - L (the 'scontrino' part shows it even better). But during checking I landed on this nearby page, showing a Lloyd Italiano? flag on a 1910 menu: horizontal VWV, bearing some emblem: <planeta.terra.com.br>.
According to 'The Ships List' website, the firm was founded in 1904, taken over in 1911 by the Navigazione Generale Italiana and absorbed in 1918: <www.theshipslist.com>.
So perhaps the former house flag has really come to light. The point in time seems to bolster my little theory, but we need clearer pictures for that!
Jan Mertens, 23 July 2004

A picture of the Lloyd Italiano house flag is at 1905 poster. Drawings of non-waving items dating from 1912 (on-line Lloyds Flags & Funnels, see last flag on page) and 1913 (Handbook of Signalling, see first of penultimate row) are respectively at  <www.gwpda.org> and <www.mysticseaport.org>.
Jan Mertens, 19 June 2007

This card at <www.cartolineantiche.it> gives a better image of the emblem: Mirrored initial ‘L’ / long ‘I’ / ‘L’, very sharp letters and not placed on a disk, either.
An earlier flag is shown in Griffin’s  'Flags national and mercantile' of 1891 [gfi83]: no. 317 (plate 15, steam  vessels). There is already the white diamond, touching the edges, and a blue hoist; but the fly is red and the diamond contains a meagre blue ‘I.I.’ which somehow does not seem enough!
Was this a faulty rendition, then?
Jan Mertens, 19 May 2008


Lloyd Latino


image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 6 July 2007

A recent Maritime Timetable Images’ update presents Lloyd Latino, an Italian company: url followed by quote, slightly edited: “Lloyd Latino was a subsidiary of the French company Société Générale de Transports Maritimes (SGTM). The Valdivia [shown on the brochure, jm] was owned by that company and was used in a joint operation of SGTM and Lloyd Latino.”
This brochure was issued in June 1924 and concerned a voyage linking Naples, Genoa, and Marseilles to South American ports. Moreover the full company name is mentioned (adding ‘Società Anonima Italiana di Navigazione’, the equivalent of “Italian Navigation Co. Ltd”) as is the company seat, Naples. Also shown is the house flag which is white, a blue (?) holding line dividing it into four parts: red cross throughout in red (Genoa) in upper hoist and blue cross throughout in blue (Marseilles, seat of SGTM) in lower fly; lower hoist and upper fly containing a blue initial ‘L’ (serifed).
For the moment I have no idea when this firm was founded or when it was wound up; it still existed in 1928.
Jan Mertens, 23 April 2007

I think the dividing lines are black, or at least of a much darker blue. Conjectural ratio 3:5.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 6 July 2007


Lloyd Sabaudo


image by Jarig Bakker, 14 July 2004

At home I have a stout "Larousse Commercial Illustré" (a kind of trade encyclopedia) published in Paris, 1930. It has four pages in colour illustrating house flags; a note identifies it as the work of Sandy Hook.
In this book, I found Lloyd Sabaudo, Genova: white, in the centre the characteristic Savoy eagle in blue bearing a red oval shield on the breast and a yellow... speck(?) over its head.
On this Italian page however, see the last image: <planeta.terra.com.br> bearing in mind that here, the eagle looks the other way whereas at flag sold on eBay it was in the same position as Sandy Hook draws it.  It is clear that the 'speck' is meant to be the royal Italian crown, even if the actual house flag was not all that detailed. But on the net we also find a completely different flag, albeit borne by an eagle at on-line 1912 Lloyds (no. 1293 being ‘Lloyd Sabaudo Società Anonima per Azioni, Genoa etc.’), i.e. diagonally divided from top hoist corner to lower fly, white and green (green uppermost), a black monogram LS on the white triangle.  This menu dating from 1910, may we suppose that the more patriotic flag S.H. shows was introduced after WWI?
Jan Mertens, 20 December 2003

Formed in 1906 it merged in 1932 into what eventually became Italia di Navigazione S.p.A. According to Bonsor the original flag of the green and white diagonal biband was changed in 1914 to that of white with the eagle of Savoy and a yellow crown, there being a close association with the Royal House of that name. All of the shipping sources agree that the eagle is blue and in design basically conforms with that shown on the planeta site rather than the military source shown here.
Neale Rosanoski, 22 July 2004

Small image of eagle, appearing on second flag, on a company share and, somewhat better, on this envelope (second photo, clickable). It also appears at the German Flaggenbuch (1928 ed. part II, no. 361 on p. 64) renders the flag better than Sandy Hook does.
Jan Mertens, 26 April 2008


Lloyd Sardegna Compagia di Navigazione


image by Ivan Sache, 9 November 2003

Lloyd Sardegna Compagnia di Navigazione S.r.l. was formed in 1990 and is the shipowning subsidiary of Compagnia Sarda di Navigazione Marittima S.r.l. which in turn is a subsidiary of Marsano Armatori S.a.s. who were once directly involved in shipping and flew a white flag with a red cross (Genoa based) with the fesse point towards the hoist and a blue "M" surmounting the sinister arm of the cross.
Neale Rosanoski, 11 April 2003

Lloyd Sardegna (Genoa - Livorno) - White flag with a blue cross, a red letter L in the first quarter and a red letter S in the fourth quarter.
Ivan Sache, 9 November 2003


Lloyd Triestino di Navigazione


image by Jorge Candeias, 12 February 1999

A very dark red and white vertical bicolour, the red part charged with a skinny fleur-de-lys and the white part charged with a very dark red cross throughout.
Jorge Candeias, 12 February 1999

Original of Lloyd Triestino di Navigazione S.P.A flag from http://www.lloydtriestino.it (defunct) can be seen here.
Dov Gutterman
, 2 February 1999

Lloyd Triestino di Navigazione S.p.A. originated 1833 as Lloyd Austriaco which entered shipping in 1836 and was variously known as Austrian Lloyd, Osterreichischer Lloyd, Austro Hungarian Lloyd Steam Navigation Co. or Austrian Lloyds Steam Navigation Co. A similar variation is shown with its flag with the colour blue being consistent but the yellow charge being either a foul anchor topped with a bishop's style crown placed erect, the charge placed diagonally per bend or placed vertical with a more elaborate crown and being above a yellow scroll inscribed "VORWĈRTS". In 1919 it became Lloyd Triestino and switched from Austria to Italy. The first flag under this name was blue with in the canton a coronet above a foul anchor placed diagonally per bend and in lower fly the half spear with all charges being white although Brown 1929 reverses the flag. However it seem unlikely that charges would be placed in upper fly and lower hoist. One source states that this flag was used until 1935 but this is a bit suspect as Brown 1934 shows the current flag which is the reverse of Italia di Navigazione Srl with the same derivations.
Neale Rosanoski, 11 April 2003

At home I have a stout "Larousse Commercial Illustré" (a kind of trade encyclopedia) published in Paris, 1930. It has four pages in colour illustrating house flags; a note identifies it as the work of Sandy Hook.
In this book, I found LLoyd Triestino, Trieste: blue with two emblems, both white: tophoist corner: combined anchor + letters 'L' and 'T', crowned; lower fly, corner: a spearhead, such as in the city's Coat of Arms.
A 1928 picture of the flag here: <www.timetableimages.com> and a photo (at least I think so) here: <www.lloydtriestino.it>.
These emblems' respective positions on the flag are unlikely, as Neale Rosanoski remarked, but it must have been so nevertheless; the flag's dates remain 1919-1934 or 1935.
Jan Mertens, 20 December 2003

In 2006 the Shipping Company Lloyd Triestino changed its name in Italia Marittima. New brand and logo are at <www.italiamarittima.com>. The flags of the Company are at another page of this website.
Valentin Poposki, 6 October 2006

Post card collection [] confirms the basic design above: Trieste's white halebard on red and Genoa's St. George cross, but uses regular red; I suggest that the R++ shade used once in <www.lloydtriestino.it>> was an artistic license with no contrastive value against regular red.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 21 February 2007

At the 1940 page at <www.24flotilla.com>: "Lloyd Triestino", Trieste - The previous blue flag (used in 1928 documented) is shown to have been superseded.   Here is a link to b/w photo at <www.italiamarittima.it>.
Jan Mertens, 5 January 2008

Neale Rosanoski describes the Lloyd Triestino’s blue flag but has his doubts about the placement of the emblems. Although the Maritime Timetable link leads to a picture confirming their position, the flag is drawn flying in the wind so this does not provide a perfect clue.
Sandy Hook’s image published in 1930 shows initials ‘L’ and ‘T’ accompanying the anchor, placing this emblem in the upper hoist and the spearhead in the lower fly. This page from a forum concerning Trieste (in Italian) shows a cap emblem.
However a picture from the German Flaggenbuch (1928 ed., part I, No. 53 on – also – p. 53), shows the company emblem taking up the entire hoist (no initials) plus a rather sketchy spearhead admittedly in the lower fly. The firm’s name has the form adopted in 1919 whereas the Maritime Timetable Images picture dates from 1928, confirmed by Hook.
Source (brochure) published in 1928 show company emblem with intials and placed in upper hoist. Same emblem within a “cartouche” (rope with Savoy knot, really) and naval(?) crown on clickable photo is at <www.rickshaw.org>.
The above Trieste forum “AdlerTS” gives an impressive timetable of Triestino names (quote):
“1836: Società di Navigazione a Vapore del Lloyd Austriaco (Dampfschiffahrtgesellschaft des Oesterreichischen Lloyd)
-1872: Società di Navigazione a Vapore del Lloyd Austro-Ungarico (Dampfschiffahrtgesellschaft des Oesterreichischen-Ungarischer Lloyd)
- 1892: Società di Navigazione a Vapore del Lloyd Austriaco
- 1919: Società di Navigazione a Vapore del Lloyd Triestino
- 1925: Lloyd Triestino Società di Navigazione a Vapore
- 1931: Lloyd Triestino - Flotte Riunite
- 1937: Lloyd Triestino S.A. di Navigazione
- 1940: "Oriens" Linee Triestine per l'Oriente S.A.
- 1946: Lloyd Triestino S.A. di Navigazione
- 1950: Lloyd Triestino S.p.A. di Navigazione
- 1975: Lloyd Triestino di Navigazione S.p.A.”.
General history (in English) is at <www.italiamarittima.it>.
My guess is that 1919 sees the introduction of the blue flag as shown by Flaggenbuch: crowned anchor in hoist and spearhead in lower fly. In 1925 (till 1931? or 1937?) sees initials added to anchor and entire emblem shifted to upper hoist.

See also: Italia di Navigazione Srl


Lolli-Ghetti Carbonavi


image by Jarig Bakker, 10 December 2005

Lolli-Ghetti Carbonavi S.A., Palermo - blue flag, white italic "LG".
Source: Brown's Flags and Funnels Shipping Companies of the World, compiled by J.L. Loughran, Glasgow, 1995.
Jarig Bakker, 10 December 2005