This page is part of © FOTW Flags Of The World website

Italy - Houseflags of Italian Maritime Companies (G-H)

Last modified: 2021-06-28 by rob raeside
Keywords: italy | houseflag | house flag |
Links: FOTW homepage | search | disclaimer and copyright | write us | mirrors

See also:


image by Eugene Ipavec, 10 January 2008

The complete name of “Garibaldi” at Genoa was ‘Società Anonima Cooperativa di Navigazione “Garibaldi” (i.e. Cooperative Shipping Company “Garibaldi” Ltd). “Was” since I have the impression this firm no longer exists – possibly succeeded by ‘G. Giuletti’ since 1995. 
So we know that “Garibaldi” was founded by Captain Giuseppe Giulietti in 1918; Our Spanish 1940 source shows a (dark) blue flag bearing a descending white diagonal. In 1936 the firm issued shares showing the house flag – as spotted on eBay on 7 Jan 2007 (item 230205442193 put up by “montalpino”) with a slightly wider stripe or so it seems.
Giulietti must have been quite a character – chairman of a socialist seamen’s union; friend of Malatesta, the anarchist; being involved in d’Annunzio’s Fiume adventure, etc. A book on him (in Italian) at <>.
Jan Mertens, 10 January 2008

Garolla Group

image by Eugene Ipavec, 11 November 2007

One of many flagoid sporting homepages is the one belonging to the maritime Garolla Group, established at Naples at <>.
The following history page gives us the essentials: Founded by Federico Garolla - a Genoan - at Naples in 1870, as a bunkering and coal importing company ‘Ditta [Federico] Garolla”. Coal for the steamers was brought from Great Britain, then distributed locally by tug-towed barges. Sons and successors Roberto and Augusto bought a tanker in 1927 to import oil from the Black Sea area, illustrating the move from coal to oil driven ships.
After WWII the firm was renamed ‘Augusto Garolla & Co.” (later named ‘Sarda Bunkers’), worked for major suppliers such as Esso, Shell, and local Agip.  Bunkering activities expanded to Salerno and Cagliari.
As evidenced by the homepage, Garolla is now technically a group made up of ‘Sarda Bunkers’ which retains the bunkering activity and ‘Med Offshore’ (the former ‘Vigliena’ taken over in 2004) which is an offshore service provider operating supply vessels.   The site’s ‘Fleet’ section offers many details as well as clickable photos of most vessels.
A flag drawing is shown being identical for both companies.  Divided by a descending diagonal, red in the hoist and blue in the fly which last bears a large white initial ‘G’ (serifed).
Jan Mertens, 9 November 2007


image by Miles Li, 3 July 2016

At the 1940 page at <>: ‘Giovanni Gavarone’ at Genoa is the last of the fourth (complete) row. The flag is red and bears a large white initial ‘G’, serifed, next to the hoist.
Besides Giovanni, a Giuseppe Gavarone is also found on the net: sometimes “Fratelli Gavarone” are mentioned without specifying whether these brothers formed a company or not.  In any case various ships have left their traces (many of them sunk during WWII) and were in operation between 1913 and 1960 (first and last year as found). One example, the ‘Grazio Quarto’, appears at (see ‘G’ on funnel):  <>.
Domenico Gavarone, perhaps related to the above, was a ship's portrait artist active in Genoa (1840-75).  This page lists a number of this works:   <>.
Jan Mertens, 10 April 2008

Colin Stewart's Flags, Funnels and Hull Colours [ste63] shows it as a red burgee rather than a rectangular flag, with the letter 'G' in white.
(A point of clarification: Giovanni Gavarone was the owner of INSA SocietÓ di Navigazione; INSA being the initials for 'Industrie Navali SocietÓ anonima')
Miles Li, 3 July 2016


image by Eugene Ipavec, 19 february 2008

Above name, strictly speaking, is a short and easy way of referring to an Italian fishery company represented in the 1940 Spanish house flag source (see fifth of first complete row, between ‘Ligure’ and the ‘Ignazio Messina’ pennant). Full name was ‘Comp[agnia] Gen[erale] Italiana della Grande Pesca" (i.e. General Italian Co. for Fishing on the High Seas) based at Livorno (Leghorn).
House flag: Dark blue field bearing an upright trident vertically divided green and red, accompanied by or issuing from horizontally divided waves green above white above red; in the upper hoist, a large yellow initial ‘G’ without serifs. The use of the national colours is evident, even more so if we include 'azzuro'.
This page (in Italian) recounts the industrial beginnings of Giolfo & Calcagno (Genoa/Livorno), pioneer sellers of frozen fish to the Italian public: explaining the advantages of an Atlantic fishery fleet – Genepesca, their supplier – and on board freezing of catch.
Unilever took over Genepesca in 1968; used as a brand name, it was as popular and well-known as nowadays Findus or Captain Igloo.
Apparently a large ‘G’ and a trident, although less striking than the one on the house flag, served as product symbol.
Jan Mertens, 6 february 2008

Gerolimich & Co.

image by Jarig Bakker, 14 January 2005

Nav. Generale Gerolomich & Co., Trieste - red flag, white diamond, black "G".
Source: Brown's Flags and Funnels of British and Foreign Steamship Companies, compiled by F.J.N. Wedge, Glasgow, 1926 [wed26].
Jarig Bakker, 14 January 2005

At the 1940 page at <>: "Gerolemich", Genoa - The 1940 initial is green, our 1926 source gives a black one.  I will have to come back to this as the on-line 1912 Lloyds Flags & Funnels shows the same pattern with, however, three black initials (and an alternative name).
Jan Mertens, 5 January 2008

'Gerolimich & Co.' was an alternative name for ‘Nav[igazione] Gen[erale] Austriaca’ of NGA (see below) as shown in the on-line 1912 Lloyds Flags & Funnels, no. 85, first on this page: <>: Red field with white diamond bearing black initials ‘NGA’, serifed.
Same firm, now using the family name only, in the 1940 source and resembling the version above with a green initial ‘G’. However, Wedge 1926 (see image here) is right about the initial but not the colour – surely the use of the national (Italian) colours is not a coincidence. 
Jan Mertens,6 January 2008

Nav. Gen. Austriaca

image by Ivan Sache, 24 March 2008

Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of "Nav. Gen. Austriaca (Gerolimich & Co.)" (#85, p. 41), a company based in Trieste (then in Austria-Hungary), as red with a white diamond charged with the black letters "NGA". The flag of "Nav. Generale Gerolimich & Co." is of a similar pattern, but only with "G". I guess that the "Austrian" epithet was dropped from the company name after the First World War and, accordingly, from the house flag. The company was subsequently renamed "Società di Navigazione Generale Gerolimich".
Ivan Sache, 24 March 2008

Gestioni Esercizio Navi Sicilia

image by Miles Li, 28 June 2016

Source: Colin Stewart, Flags, Funnels and Hull Colours [ste63]
Miles Li, 18 June 2016

Gilnavi Line

image by Jorge Candeias, 24 February 1999

Dark red over dark blue with a white stripe separating the two main fields and a white "G" over all. The "G" is very similar in shape to those of Grimaldi. Perhaps a member of the Grimaldi Group?
Jorge Candeias, 24 February 1999

From Fratelli Grimaldi formed in 1947 has come the Grimaldi Group operating in two divisions based in Genoa and Naples respectively. Included in the former is Gilnavi Società di Navigazione S.r.l. Indications are that the various companies have differing liveries but in this case the logo used appears to have come from the agency company Sealine S.a.r.l.. whereas that indicated by the company website is for a swallowtail horizontal biband of ordinary red over dark blue with the white "G" as shown. This "G" format also figures in some of the other liveries with a logo for Grimaldi Group suggesting a dark blue swallowtailed flag with a white "GG" on it, whilst Brown 1995 shows a blue ordinary flag with a single white "G" for Grimaldi Compagnia di Navigazione S.p.A. which appears to be a member of the Naples division (company website) although itself based in Genoa (according to Lloyds). Going by the funnel of the latter company their shade of blue is lighter than the other variations.
Neale Rosanoski, 11 April 2003

Giuseppe Messina

image by Jarig Bakker, 11 July 2004

At <> there is an houseflag for this company.
Jan Mertens, 31 October 2003

Horizontal BWB with in the center the company logo: capital M superimposed by a long C, both red.
Jarig Bakker, 11 July 2004


image by Jarig Bakker, 11 July 2004

The flag of this company can be seen in the company site.
Dov Gutterman, 23 January 1999

Previous Flag (?)

image by Jarig Bakker, 10 December 2005

Grimaldi Compagnia di Navigazione S.p.A., Genoa - blue flag, white italic "G" (just the one G, perhaps predecessor of the one above with two G's).
Source: Brown's Flags and Funnels Shipping Companies of the World, compiled by J.L. Loughran, Glasgow, 1995.
Jarig Bakker, 10 December 2005

The blue swallowtail with "GG" logo no longer appears through the provided link as the Group has changed its websites around. I have a download of the image on file but it is insufficiently clear  to definitely state that the letters are as portrayed. I would tend to guess that they are more likely to be in the flowing style in line with the second flag [but more othodox] shown by Jarig from Brown 1995 which is given as being for the subsidiary Grimaldi Compagnia di Navigazione S.p.A.   As previously  commented my guess is that the swallowtail with the "GG" may have been a previous Group flag . It is now replaced by a blue swallowtail with a single white "G" for which a logo appears on the current website <> though in both cases I doubt whether it was/is used as a sea flag. The subsidiaries under which the shipping operate, with ships interchangeable, all have their own funnel liveries and perhaps their own flags. One definite flag is the recatangle of Grimaldi Compagnia di Navigazione S.p.A. although the Brown letter does not quite agree with the actual which I have taken from a foto of a stem jack worn by the "Grande Napoli". The "G" on the flag is similar to that on the funnel but is more spread out, presumably to occupy more of the flag field.
Neale Rosanoski, 6 February 2007

image by Jarig Bakker and Miles Li, 10 December 2005 and 19 June 2016

Swallow-tail with a single white "G".
Miles Li, 19 June 2016

Fratelli Grimaldi

image by Miles Li, 19 June 2016

The Grimaldi Group was founded in 1947 as Fratelli Grimaldi Armatori.
Miles Li, 19 June 2016

Henry Piaggio

image by Ivan Sache, 24 March 2008

Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of "Henry Piaggio" (#99, p. 41), a company based in Genoa, as blue with a white diamond charged with the blue letters R.G..  
There is a Henry Piaggio mentioned as the owner of an Italian American shipyard at Pascagoula, Texas. "Piaggio was born in Italy (probably Genoa) on March 17, 1874, and was from a prominent well-to-do family.  He came to Pensacola, Florida, as a teenager to work in and learn the sawmill and lumber exporting business his father owned.  He was reported to have served in the U. S. Army during the Spanish American War, although an extensive records search at the National Archives, Washington, DC, failed to substantiate this. In the early 1900s, Piaggio went to Gulfport and opened a lumber export office. While traveling in Europe, Piaggio met Margret Muldowned of Mt. Vernon, Ohio, in London, England. After they married, they traveled to Russia and then returned to the United States. Records indicated Piaggio was involved in exporting timber in the early 1900s.
An insurance document was issued by the Maritime Insurance Association of the Sea and Docks in Genoa, Italy. It was provided by the Maritime Security Police for Cargo in the amount of 8,000,000 lira to insure cargo (probably timber) from Gulfport and Ship Island, Mississippi, to Montevideo, Ecuador, and Buenos Aires, Argentina.  The date on the document was August 4, 1909, and the fee was 5.5 percent. Based on limited information on Piaggio’s ships, the use of Italian insurers seemed to be Piaggio’s policy."
That Piaggio dynasty started with the ship builder Rinaldo Piaggio, whose name might have explained the "R" on the house flag, but I have not found evidence that they were subsequently involved in ship owning. The evidence reported concerning Henry Piaggio is slim, too.
Source: <>.
Ivan Sache, 24 March 2008

For a few traces of Piaggio's - no Henry I believe - see Soc. Ligure di Armamento and Alta Italia.
Jan Mertens, 26 March 2008