Flag and coat of arms of Corsica

Gelre Armorial, Folio 62r, 14th century
Flag of Corsica (traditional; 1755-1769; 1980-)
Flag of Corsica before 1755
Coat of arms of Corsica

The Flag of Corsica was adopted by General of the Nation Pasquale di Paoli in 1755 and was based on a traditional flag used previously. It portrays a Moor's Head in black wearing a white bandana above his eyes on a white background. Previously, the bandana covered his eyes; Paoli wanted the bandana moved to above the eyes to symbolise the liberation of the Corsican people.

It was used by the ill-fated Corsican Republic and was practically banned after 1769, when France forced the Genovesi to sell the island to settle the debts contracted by Genoa with France. This was to pay the costs of the French expeditionary corps which should have helped Genoa to secure its control on Corsica; French troops put down the endemic rebellion on the island. During this period under French rule, 1769–1789, Corsican patriots again used the version of the flag with blindfolded eyes, as a mark of protest.[1]

The unblindfolded version, quartered with the British coat of arms, was used as the official flag during the Anglo-Corsican Kingdom of 1794-1796.[2] It then fell into official disuse until 1980, when it was re-adopted as a regional flag.

The Moor's Head is also used on the Coat of Arms of Corsica, the Flag of Sardinia, and on the crest of Clan Borthwick.


In a coat of arms book of the late 14th century compiled in the Germanic area, the Armorial book of Gelre, the unblindfolded Moor's Head is reported for Corsica in the states of the Crown of Aragon.

See also


  1. Thrasher, Peter Adam (1970). Pasquale Paoli: An Enlightened Hero 1725-1807. Hamden, CT: Archon Books. p. 178. ISBN 0-208-01031-9.
  2. Gregory, Desmond (1985). The Ungovernable Rock: A History of the Anglo-Corsican Kingdom and Its Role in Britain's Mediterranean Strategy During the Revolutionary War, 1793-1797. London: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press. p. 84. ISBN 0838632254.
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