The national flag of Albania is a red flag, with a silhouetted, black, double-headed eagle in the center. The eagle is the national and ethnic symbol of the Albanians.
The double-headed eagle on the flag is borrowed from the banner of the Byzantine Empire, and adopted as the emblem of the House of Palaiologos, which was one of the ruling dynasties of the empire. The symbol showed up again when Albanian nationalists used it as a symbol of their campaign for the country’s independence from the Ottoman Empire during the 19th century. On November 28, 1912, the Albanian Declaration of Independence was proclaimed in Vlora and the flag was adopted as the symbol of the new nation.
The flag has gone through a number of changes over the years as different regimes have modified it. Royalist regimes added a crown above the eagle, then after the war, a communist regime added a red star. Briefly, a hammer and sickle was shown. It was not until April 7, 1992 that the new, plain design was reintroduced after the collapse of the communist government.
Albania is located in Southeast Europe. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea to the west and the Ionian Sea to the southwest. It is less than 45 miles from Italy, across the Strait of Otranto, which links the Adriatic Sea to the Ionian Sea. With its rich cultural heritage from being situated between the Greek and Roman empires, there is a multitude of museums, archeological parks, natural parks, castles and fortresses, monuments and vernacular architecture. With its beautiful mountains and amazing oceanfront it is a perfect tourist destination. The financial crisis does not seem to have affected Albania much. Its economy has improved over the years, but Albania still remains one of the poorest countries in Europe. The current President of Albania is Bamir Topi, and the current prime minister is Sall Berisha.
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