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British Rule



armed forces

order of St John




Brief History

Malta, located on the border between two key culture areas and in a strategic position in the mediterranean sea, has been under foreign rule for centuries. In succession it was occupied by the Phoenicians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Byzantines and the Saracens. [1]  In 1090 it was conquered by Roger, Count of Sicily, a nobleman from the Norman family De Hauteville. For more than four and a half centuries Malta was under the rule of the counts, soon kings of Sicily. Here were successively rulers from the house De Hauteville, Hohenstaufen, Aragon and Habsburg.

Roger de Hauteville would have received a special blessed banner from Pope Alexander II (r.1.1061-'73) for his fight against the Saracens. Possibly this was white with a red cross. Later, under the kingdom of 1130, the eagle and the lion make their entry into the power symbolism of the Hautevilles.

Afterwards, under the Hohenstaufen a coat of arms with a black two-headed eagle on gold and then a black eagle on white were the arms of the rulers. The Aragonese bore a coat of arms quarterly of Sicily-Hohenstaufen and Aragon and at last quarterly in saltire from Aragon and Sicily-Hohenstaufen. This last coat of arms has always remained the coat of arms of the island of Sicily, including Malta.

 (ð Sicily).

In 1530 Malta was donated by King Charles I of Spain to the Order of St. John without the feudal relationship being broken. The symbolic tribute that the Order was obliged to pay to the Sicilian crown was one falcon per year.

For the arms of the Order of St. John, reference is made to the chapter on the Order of St. John.


The coat of arms of Malta.

Tradition has it that the Maltese got their national colors from Count Roger of Hauteville. For the time being, however, there are no indications that confirm this tradition. The oldest known image of the coat of arms of Malta is located in the Cathedral of St. Paul in Mdina and is dated to 1521. A rose is depicted above the coat of arms. It could therefore be that the arms were granted by a member of the Orsini family who was either bishop of Malta or count of Malta. From the beginning of the fourteenth century, this family wore a coat of arms barry Argent and Gules with a chief Argent charged with a rose Gules. Galbreath also attributes this coat of arms to Pope Nicholas III (1277-80) (Gian-Gaetano Orsini) who ruled during the reign of Charles I of Anjou in Sicily. [2]

Be that as it may, the arms are certainly to be regarded as those of the Università of Malta, which from the Norman period had great powers on the island and which it has always been able to maintain through the ages.

After the takeover of the island by the  Order of St. John, the coat of arms was continued by the Maltese in Mdina and Rabat. It was applied to the city gates, among other things. In the 17th century it was covered with a crown.

The disappearance of the Order of St John also created the possibility that the Maltese population became sovereign and in this sense the arms parted per pale also acquired a new political meaning as a coat of arms of the National Assembly of which the British Alexander Ball was elected president. A version of the Maltese coat of arms of this time shows it covered with a crown with five points because Malta considered itself to be a Republic and no longer a (feudal) county (with a crown of a count with five fleurons). Around the shield lie flags and weaponry.

In the light of the recognition by the British of Sicilian sovereignty over the island which would mean that Malta would once again end up in the French sphere of influence, the National Assembly requested the English king to assume sovereignty. This request was honored in 1813.

Of a participation of the Maltese population in the board nothing came for a long time because Malta was placed under direct British rule.

In 1887, however, a legislative council was established and from this time onwards we see the impaled arms appearing in the flight of the red British banner being used on the island.

The legislative assembly was suspended again in 1903 but in 1919 a new attempt was made and in 1921 a new constitution was passed. From this time on, the white-red impaled coat of arms is crowned with a mural crown and surrounded by a wreath of olive and oak branches.


In 1936 the self-government was again suspended and the island became a British colony again. For it we see a coat of arms appearing with a Maltese cross on the ancient white and red impaled field. The British Imperial State Crown is on the shield. (This thus more or less referred to the uniform of the naval officers of the Order of St. John)


In 1943, the people of Malta were awarded the “Georg’s Cross” by King George VI because of the courage they had shown during the Italian and German bombing of the island. Malta had become the target of this because the English on the island had made the base of operations from which targets in Italy and the Balkans could be harassed. On 28 December 1943, the cross was included in the coat of arms and on the flag. It got a place on a blue canton. The Maltese cross fell away.

On 5 September 1947 Malta became autonomous and on 21 September 1964 it became an independent member of the Commonwealth. Nineteen days earlier, Queen Elizabeth gave the governor of the island, the Duke of Norfolk, a new coat of arms with helmet, crown, supporters and motto.

The blue canton was removed from the shield. To meet the heraldic rules, the cross was rimmed red.

The helmet is a golden gratied helmet guardant (a royal helmet) with lambrequines in the colors of the arms It is covered by a mural crown with five towers.

Two dolphins serve as supporters, rising from a sea that surrounds a rock. They are the symbols of the Mediterranean, the rock represents Malta. On both sides of the shield an olive branch and a palm branch have been placed and on the rock is a small Maltese cross as a reminder of the time of the Order of John.

The motto VIRTUTE ET CONSTANTIA means "Through Courage and Perseverance".


On 13 December 1975, the Parliament of Malta proclaimed the Republic. The ancient state coat of arms was abolished. Instead, a more naturalistic emblem was adopted. It represents a Maltese boat on the quay under a bright sun. On the shore there is a rake and a hoe for agriculture and a fig cactus as a typical representative of the flora of the island. The legend reads: REPUBLIKA TÁ MALTA.

In 1987 there was a regime change by which the National Party came to power. On 19 October 1988 the old emblem was abolished and a new one was adopted. It is the coat of arms of 1964 but without helmet, supporters and other showpieces. Instead, the mural crown is now directly on the shield. Around it lie an olive branch and a palm branch tied together with a ribbon bearing the name of the republic: REPUBLIKA TA 'MALTA.







“(Pope) Alexander II (1061-’73) presented three specially blessed flags during his reign; one to Roger of Sicily, to encourage him and his Normans in their struggle against the Saracens another, said to have been white with a red cross to Erembald, captain of Milan and leader of the reforming party. “ [3](Galb. p. 2).


Roger de Hauteville



Accoring to legend Roger de Hauteville would have granted the colors red and white to the citizens of Malta as a reward for their help at the chasing of the Saracens from the island


Rulers of MALTA


Margaritone da Brindisi, Grand Admiral of Sicily, Principe di Tarento and Duca di Durazzo. Count of Malta




The first Count of Malta was Margerito de Brindisi, a sailor of Greek descent or origin from the city of Brindisi (south Italy), who was granted the fief by Tancred of Lecce then King of Sicily, for his service as admiral for the Kingdom, known at the time as ammiratus ammiratorum. Margerito de Brindisi then lost his fiefs including Malta in 1194 when Henry VI Holy Roman Emperor took control of the kingdom by military invasion; in 1197 on the death of Henry VI the title was given to Guglielmo (William) Grasso a Genoese pirate which was one of many North Italian and German warlords who had great interests in the new territory that was now open to them. Some accounts indicate that he was also admiral to the King of Sicily but it is also attested that he was a conspirator along with a Markward Von Anweiler to remove the young Frederick I from the throne and therefore in conflict with the crown.  It is also attested that he was a corsair first and foremost with the population of Malta rising up against him by 1198 on various issues.


Guglielmo da Brindisi, son of Margaritone. Count of Malta


Enrico Pistore, son-in-law of Guglielmo, Count of Malta


Nicolo Pistore, son of Enrico, Count of Malta




Lucina Pistore, daughter of Nicolo, Countess of Malta


Ruggiero de Flohr, Vice Admiral of Sicily, Count of Malta.








Prince William of Sicily,  Count of Malta.


younger son of King Frederick II of Sicily


Photo H.d.V.2006

Coat of arms of William of Aragon on his tomb in Palermo Cathedral


Arms: Quarterly in saltire, the first and 4th paly Gules and Or, the second and third Argent an eagle Sable crowned Or.


At around 1320 King Frederick II, gave the title of Count of Malta to his son by Eleanor of Anjou, Guglielmo. It seems that in 1330 Guglielmo invested the county of Malta to his half brother Alfonso Federigo. Although no records are known to substantiate the common belief, it is maintained that he held the fief until his death in 1349. At this date the fief was inherited by his son Pietro Federigo. A year later in 1350 King Louis of Sicily incorporated the islands to the royal dominion, apparently after petitioning from the local nobility. During this period Queen Jeanne of Naples appointed Niccolò Acciaiuoli Count of Malta which title he claimed until 1360. In 1360 King Frederick III the Simple gave the fief to Guido Ventimiglia but by 1366 the fief was passed by the crown to Manfred III Chiaramonte. Once again in 1370 King Frederick III the Simple entrusted the fief to his illegitimate son Guglielmo d’Aragona. Manfred III Chiaramonte being Admiral for the King of Sicily, Captain of Djerba and the Kerkenna Islands, and Count of Modica took control of the islands later on after the death of the aforementioned king in 1377.

In reality during much of this period the islands were in the control of Giacomo de Pellegrino, a Messinese who had settled in Malta, and who from 1356 to 1372 holding various titles and administrative positions along with a lucrative cotton cloth warehouse along with a privateering business took over the politics of the fiefdom. He was finally removed from power after an invasion of Malta from an allied force of Genoese and Sicilian navies and a 2-month siege of Mdina by both these forces and Maltese rebels from both peasants and other noblemen. his power in local politics and administration made him many enemies on the islands and with the Sicilian claimants to the county, while his privateering business made him enemies in both Sicily and Genoa.

Manfred III Chiaramonte than held the fief until his death in 1391, after which the fief was to be inherited by his eldest child Elizabetta Peralta Chiaramonte, although actual management of the territories was probably undertaken by her brother Andrea Chiaramonte. Finally Andrea Chiaramonte was executed in 1392 after he had been accused as a major conspirator in the anti-Aragonese unrest during the early reign of Maria of Sicily.


Prince John of Sicily, Duke of Athens younger son of King Frederick II of Sicily, Count of Malta.



Prince Frederick of Sicily, son of John, Count of Malta



1350  on the 5th October 1350 the fief of Malta was directly incorporated to the crown of Sicily (First Incorporation).


Marco de Vassallo, grandson of Prince John, De-Jure Count of Malta



Between 1357 - 1360 Malta was governed by the Acciajoli and Chiaramonte Families.


Arms of Chiaramonte

On the painted wooden ceiling (1377-80) of the Sala Magna at Palazzo Chiaramonte or ‘Steri’ in Palermo. [4]


Arms: Argent, a chief Gules a mountain of the first


Nicolo Acciaiuoli


Grand seneschal of  Sicily

Lord of Satriano 1348

Count of Terlizzi 1349

Count of Melfi 1352

Count of Malta en Gozo 1357

Vicount of Corinthe 1358


Gemellion with the arms Acciajuoli, 1300 ca

Grado, Treasury [5]


Arms: Argent, a lion Azure

Supporters: Three dragons


Probably belonging to Angelo Acciaiuoli, *1298,  bishop of Aquila (1328-1342).


Seal of Nicholas Acciajuoli


Arms: Argent, a lion rampant Azure. 

Crest:: A pointed hat

Legend: X  nicolai acarolis : comitis : melfie : et magni regni sicilie senescalc. [6]



Coat of arms of  John and Louis of Anjou. Below the coats of arms of Mainardi Cavalcanti and his wife Andreola Acciaiuoli, 1364 ca.  Villa Bellosguardo, Florence.


(Cavalcanti: Argent, strewn with crosslets pateé lozengy / D'argento, seminato di crocette patenti ritrinciate di rosso.)



Guido Ventimiglia, Conte di Golifano, Count of Malta



The arms of the Ventimiglia famliy seems to have been: Gules, a chief Or


The seal of Filippino Ventimiglia count of Maro in the 13th century.




Guglielmo d'Aragona, illegitimate son of Frederick III of Sicily, Count of Malta


Giacomo d'Aragon, illegitimate son of Frederick III of Sicily, Count of Malta


Guglielmo / Raimondo de Moncada, Marquis of Malta




Moncada: Gules  8 besants (Or) 2,2,2,2. (Gelre, n° 644: Gaston de Moncada)


Artale d'Alagona, Count of Malta.




d´Alagon:  Argent 8 balls Sable, 2,2,2,2. (Gelre, n° 664: Don Blasco d´Alagon;


Bellenville: fol. 8r1 Don blasco dalago: a 6 tourteaux).


arms of d’Alagona in Armorial Bellenville


Arms of  d'Alagon

On the painted wooden ceiling (1377-80) of the Sala Magna at Palazzo Chiaramonte or ‘Steri’ in Palermo. [7]


Directly under the Aragonese crown



War broke out between the D'Alagona and Moncada families with one or the other claiming the fief of Malta. The years 1391-1397 are known as the "Age of Tyrants" due to the suffering incurred by the Maltese people under these feudal lords. On 27th November 1397, Malta was again directly incorporated to the Crown of Sicily (Second Incorporation)


Bartolomeo de Vassallo, son of Marco. De-Jure Count of Malta



Don Antonio Cardona, Viceroy of Sicily, Count of Malta



Arms of Cte de cardona

= Ugo II de Cardona (~1328-1400)

Bellenville, fol. 8n°9 (unfinished)


Arms: .Tierced per pile Gules and Argent  three thistle flowers from a trunk

Hugo de Cardona and Beatriz de Xerica y Martinez de Luna,



Arms: De gu. au cardon feuillé d’or. L.: le g de cardona. Bergshammer fol. 220v° n° 3315. (chardon = thistle )


Don Gonsalvo Monroy, Count of Malta



The Maltese led by the nobles, rose in rebellion and forced the count to flee the island. The cost of the fief was paid back to Monroy by the people of Malta who endured terrible hardships to raise the money.



Directly under the Aragonese crown



Alfonso V the Magnificent


King of Aragon and Sicily-Trinacria 1416-1458

King of Sicily-Naples 1442-1458

Knight of the Fleece N° 42, 1445


On the 3rd January 1427, King Alfonso directly incorporated Malta to the Crown of Sicily and promised that never again would Malta be granted as a fief (a promise already given and broken in the first and second incorporations) As a token of his Royal sincerity he gave the Maltese permission to take up arms against him or his descendants without incurring the penalty for high treason, should his promise ever be broken. It was!... on the 23rd March 1530, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor and Suzerain of Sicily and Malta, a descendant of Alfonso, ceded the Maltese islands to the Order of St John of Jerusalem and of Rhodes.


Order of St John




French occupation




Emblem of the French Republic in Malta

Letterhead with the date10 fructidor year 7 (27.10.1799)





During the french siege the Maltese organized a provisional government and a National Assembly. On 9 February 1799 Alexander Ball, charged with the command of the British Fleet by Nelson, was appointed by that National Assembly its President


Alexander Ball (1800-1809)

Coll. The National Archives of Malta


Arms: Ermine, a lion Sable , in chief two balls Gules voided Argent and in base a grenade Sable ignited Gules.

Crest: The crown of an earl crested of an arm uprigh,t vested Azure with the insignia of a vice- admiral,  holding a grenade Sable, ignited Gules.

Order: The cross of the Order of St. John



After the Treaty of Amiens of 1802 the National Assembly declared the King of Great Britain its sovereign. This was accepted by the British Government in 1813. By Treaty of Paris of 1813 it was ratified. At the same time the National Assembly was suspended.

The next years the Maltese were by and by involved in the government. In 1887 a constitution was designed by which a legislative council was created consisting of 14 elected and 6 appointed members.

The constitution was suspendedn again in 1903 in favour of a civil government.

In 1919 a National Assembly of the 1798 model was again created and in 1921 a new Constitution was permitted.


British Crown Colony



Achievement of George III  on the Main Guard in Valetta.





1835 Creation of a Government Council.


Hundred and fifty years after the acceptance of the sovereignty of Malta by Great Britain Malta became a sovereign state with the name Stat ta´Malta.


The coat of arms of the Universitá and the Republic Malta


Photo H.d.V 1997

The coat of arms of Mdina/ Malta

on the entrance door of St. Paul´s Cathedral in Mdina 1521.



Arms of the City  of Mdina

On the Façade St. Pauls cathedral Mdina, completed 1702.


Arms:  Per pale Argent and Gules

Crown: 5 Leaves and 4 pearls.

Garland: Two olive branches.


The arms are called Arms of the Cty. To the left are the arms of Ramon Perellos, grand master from 1697-1720


The arms are probably placed at the beginning of the 20th century.


Badge of Malta, 1870-1903

on a white disk on the Blue Ensign


Arms: Per pale Argent and Gules, an eight-pointed cross of the last.


These arms were on the blue ensign and they are a combination of the arms of the city of Mdina and the cross of the Order of St John. Only nine years later the Order was revived by Pope Leo XIII  and thus the eight-pointed cross could be claimed by the Order. Probably for that reason the eight-pointed cross was removed from the British arms for Malta in 1903.


According to A. Fox Davies in his ‘Book of Public Arms’ (Edinburgh, 1915): No arms are recorded for Malta, but the Admiralty publish for use upon the Union flag by the Governor, the arms per pale argent and gules, a bordure or.

Badge in the Blue Ensign1903-1944


Arms: Parted per pale Argent an Gules (in the flight of the blue ensign)


British Colony with restricted self Goverment



1922-1926 ca.

Arms: Per pale Argent and Gules a Maltese cross from the one in the other.

Crown: St. Edwards’crown.


Arms of  1926-1927

On a stamp of 1d


Arms: Per pale Argent and Gules

Crown: A mural crown of five towers

Garland: Of branches of olive and oak. 





In 1943, the people of Malta were awarded the “Georg’s Cross” by King George VI because of the courage they had shown during the Italian and German bombing of the island. Malta had become the target of this because the English on the island had made the base of operations from which targets in Italy and the Balkans could be harassed. On 28 December 1943, the cross was included in the coat of arms and on the flag. It got a place on a blue canton. The Maltese cross fell away.




Granted 1943.12.08

Arms: Per pale Argent and Gules, in dexter chief  a canton Azure charged with the George’s Cross.


Founded 24.08.1940. The cross is a George’s cross in silver with the cypher of  King George VI in the corners. In the middle a medallion with the effigy of St. George and the Dragon within the motto FOR GALLANTRY.





Stat ta’ Malta



Foto H.d.V. 03.1997

Achievement in appliqué on a purple backgound in a golden frame

Co-Cathedral of  St. John, Valletta (probaly from the palace of the Grand Master)



Arms: Per pale Argent and Gules in dexter chief the George’s Cross with a bordure Gules.

Crest: On a helmet guardant of five bars Or, lambrequined Argent and Gules, a mural crown of five towers.

Supporters: Two dolphins proper, the dexterwith a branch of Olive and the sinister with a branch of palm, standing on a rock rising from the sea also proper and charged with an eight-pointed cross Argent.


Granted by Queen Elizath II through the Duke of Norfolk as an Earl Marshal and Hereditary Marhal of England on  02.12.1964


Standard of Queen Elizabeth  1967.10.31 – 1974.12.12.


Republika ta’ Malta





Arms: A harbour under a sun radiant, a traditional Maltese boat with “Eye of Osiris”, a spade and fork in saltire on the shore and a cactus in the distance all proper.

Adopted 1975.07.11.


Photo H.d.V.03.1997.

a. Intarsia in the floor of the Palace of the Grand Master


Throne room 1975-1987


Traditional Maltese boat as in the arms of 1975


Republika ta’ Malta





To make provision concerning the Emblem and Public Seal of Malta.

(11th July, 1975)*


ACT  XXXIII  of  1975,  as  amended  by  Acts  XIII of 1983  and  XXIX of1988; and Legal Notice 423 of 2007


1.The short title of this Act is the Emblem and Public Seal ofMalta Act.


2.(1) The Emblem of Malta shall consist of a shield showing an heraldic representation of the National Flag of Malta; above the shield a mural crown in gold with a sally port and eight turrets (five only being visible) representing the fortifications of Malta and denoting a City State; and around the shield a wreath of two branches the dexter of Olive, the sinister a Palm, symbols of peace and traditionally associated with Malta, all in their proper colours, tied at base with a white ribbon, backed red and upon which are written the words REPUBBLIKA TA’ MALTA in capital letters in black; as shown depicted in the First Schedule to this Act.

(2) The Emblem of Malta shall replace the Emblem of Malta adopted by this Act on the 11th July, 1975, as well as the armorial ensigns assigned for Malta by warrant dated 2nd September, 1964 and published in the Gazette by Government Notice No. 550 onl2th October, 1964.[8]


Foto H.d.V. 03.1997

Coat of arms of 19.10.1988

In the throne room on a purple background  [9]


Seal [10]


Presidential standard 1988-present


European Service & Intelligence Agency



ESIA, acronym of European Service & Intelligence Agency, is an Intelligence Agency to support NATO activities. Its mission is to provide support to Governments and Institutions, both military and civilians, to contribute to the stabilisation of territories in which is present, giving top priority to security in every sector it’s responsible for, from the military to the socio-humanitarian field, included cyber security and multimedia.

Arms of ESIA

The arms are:

Arms: Gules, a winged eagles’ claw accompanied of an four-pointed star Or, and a sinister base indented of 11 points Argent,.

Crown: An eleven-pointed crown Or.

Motto: AD NUTUM (To a nod)

Design: Orazio Mezzetti, 2017




The Malta Police Force in its present form dates from a proclamation during the governorship of Sir Thomas Maitland (1813-1814). When Malta became a crown colony of the United Kingdom and Ireland by the Treaty of Paris, Maitland was appointed Governor and commander-in-chief of Malta and its dependencies by the Prince Regent’s Commission of 23 July 1813. On his appointment Maitland, embarked on many far reaching reforms, including the maintenance of Law and Order.


By Proclamation XXII of 1st July 1814, Maitland ordered and directed that all powers up to then exercised with respect to the administration of the police of the island of Malta and its dependencies were, after 12th July 1814 to be administered by the authorities under established procedures.

The police was to be divided into two distinct departments – the executive police and the judicial. The inspector general of police (Nowadays The Commissioner of Police) was to be the head of the executive police. The Magistrates for Malta and the Magistrates of Police for Gozo were to be the heads of the judicial police.

From  12th July 1814 onwards, the entire management and control of the executive police came under the immediate superintendence of the inspector general of police who received his orders from the governor.

After the grant of self-government in 1921, the police department became the responsibility of the Maltese government.

Coat of arms

Sleeve Patch


Cap Badges




Pre 1964

1964-1974 X



1974-1988 a






AD COMMODUM POPULI = To the advantage of the people


Armed Forces


The Armed Forces of Malta were founded 19 April 1973.

The AFM was formed upon Malta becoming a republic in 1974, when 1 Regiment Royal Malta Artillery was renamed as 1 Regiment, AFM. This initially continued the artillery role, with 2 Regiment formed as an engineers unit. In 1980, 1 Regiment became a mixed unit, with infantry, aircraft and maritime responsibilities, the artillery element being transferred to 2 Regiment. In 1992, there was a major re-organisation, which led to the formation of 3 Regiment and the current structure.



Arms: Gules, a De Redin tower Or


The charge is one of the towers of the De Redin, which represents the fortifications and Malta defences back to the time of the knights of St. John's.


The De Redin Towers (Torrijiet ta' De Redin) are a series of small coastal watchtowers built in Malta by the Order of Saint John between 1658 and 1659. Thirteen towers were built around the coast of mainland Malta, eight of which still survive.






In April 1800, while the blockade of Valletta was underway, Thomas Graham raised the first official Maltese Troops in the British Army, which became known as the Maltese Light Infantry.


This battalion was disbanded in 1802 and succeeded by the Maltese Provincial Battalions, the Malta Coast Artillery and the Maltese Veterans. In 1815, Lieutenant Colonel Count Francis Rivarola was entrusted with the task of raising the Royal Malta Fencible Regiment following the disbandment of the Provincials, Veterans and Coast Artillery.


The King's Own Malta Regiment was a territorial infantry regiment on the British Army colonial list. It was formed in 1801 as the "Regiment of Maltese Militia", existing only until the following year (1802). It was reformed as the "Maltese Militia" by Sir Adrian Dingli in 1852 before being disbanded again in 1857. It was raised again, this time as the "Royal Malta Regiment of Militia" in 1889; this regiment was considered to be the successor to the "Maltese Chasseurs" of the early 19th century. The regiment was renamed the "King's Own Royal Malta Regiment of Militia" in 1903 and was disbanded in 1921. The regiment was raised for a fourth time in 1931 as the "King's Own Malta Regiment". Initially on the British Establishment, in 1951 it was transferred to the Malta Territorial Force before becoming part of the Malta Land Force on Malta's independence in 1970. The regiment was disbanded in 1972.




Since 1800, when Britain administered and later took possession of the Maltese islands, a number of infantry regiments were raised such as the Maltese Light Infantry, the Royal Regiment of Malta and the Royal Malta Fencible Regiment, which all were regular regiments, as well as the short-lived Malta Militia of 1852-57. None of these regiments bore any connection with the lineage of the KOMR.

The badge knows its origin to the first infantry militia raised in Malta on a regimental strength between 1889 and 1902, the Royal Malta Regiment of Militia.


Since at the time the Foreign Service (White Cork) Helmet was still part of the ‘Warm Climate’ uniform, a helmet plate of a different pattern was worn. The badge worn on the side cap or glengarry was very similar to the later one worn by the KOMR except for a number of differences; the Regimental title was shown shortened to ROYAL MALTA MILITIA and was on a belt or strap rather than on an annulus, the Maltese Colours within were reversed and the hatching denoting the red was to the left of the badge and not to the right as on the flag and the monarch’s crown was the ‘flat topped’ or Imperial Crown which was made for Queen Victoria to wear on her bun when crowned Empress of India.

1889 - 1902


Following the demise of Queen Victoria in 1901, her son Albert Edward ascended on the British throne as King’s Edward VII. On his first visit to Malta in 1903, and the first in Malta by a British monarch, he accepted becoming the Regiment’s Patron and Colonel-in-Chief. In return he was pleased to redesignate the name of the Regiment to The King’s Own Malta Regiment of Militia. A new badge was introduced, based on the former one, except that an annulus was introduced for the new title KING’S OWN MALTA REGIMENT OF MILITIA and the crown changed to a Tudor or King’s Crown.



King’s own Malta regiment of Militia



In 1931, since the term ‘Militia’ had long been dropped from use in the British Army, the Regiment was reorganised on territorial basis and renamed the King’s Own Malta Regiment.  Once again, the badge was also changed but remaining on the same design as the former.  The annulus now bore the new name KING’S OWN MALTA REGIMENT and the erred Maltese Colours were corrected and placed in their proper sequence.


The badge worn by members of the KOMR during the Second World War consists of an annulus with the Regiment’s title KING’S OWN MALTA REGIMENT. At centre is an eight-pointed Maltese Cross in white metal mounted on a field denoting the Maltese Colours, all within a wreath of oak leaves. At bottom is a scroll with ‘MDCCC’ (1800), commemorating the Maltese Light Infantry during the blockade of the French garrison of occupation, and as the first Maltese regiment raised by the British. The whole topped by a Tudor or King’s Crown, denoting the British monarch of the time.[12]


After the demise of King George VI in 1953, Queen Elizabeth II became the new monarch and the crown on just about every badge worn by British and Colonial regiments was changed to the St. Edward’s or Queen’s Crown. This change did not occur with the badge of the KOMR, however, officers of the Regiment had the King’s Crown removed from their badges by local craftsmen and replaced by matching Queen’s Crown. The badge remained being worn until the KOMR was disbanded in 1972.

A number of versions of the 1931-1972 pattern badge were worn, and are as follows:

Other Ranks’ -Cap badge, brass and white metal (bi-metal), large.

Side cap and beret badge, same.

Officers’ -Cap badge, enamelled for No. 1 Dress, large.

Cap badge, bronze for Service Dress, large.

Side cap, enamelled collar badge.

Officers and Warrant Officers - Cap badge, Bakelite, large, ‘war economy’.


The Royal Malta Fencible Regiment was converted to an artillery regiment in 1861 and became known as the Royal Malta Fencible Artillery.

Royal Malta Fencible artillery



Twenty-eight years later, the direct predecessors of the modern Armed Forces of Malta came into existence following the formation of the Royal Malta Artillery on 23 March 1889.

Royal Malta Artillery



The badge is based on that of the Royal Regiment of Artillery of which The Royal Malta Artillery was an integral part. It was adopted in 1939. It comprised of an old-fashioned gun superimposed on the Maltese Cross; below, a scroll inscribed TUTELA BELLICAE VIRTUTIS (Custodian of Military Prowess); the whole ensigned with the Crown.


Emblem. 1974






Arms: Sable, a trident per pale Or, charged with a Maltese cross, and a garland of a branche of Olive and a branch of palm.

Crown: A mural crown of five towers

Supporter: An anchor per pale proper.

Compartment: Another shield per fess Gules and Azure



Malta's first navy was built when it was under the Order of Saint John. The Order participated in various naval exploits against the Ottoman Empire while based in Malta, most notably the Battle of Lepanto of 1571 and the Battle of the Dardanelles of 1656.


Ships of the Order at the Battle of Lepanto, 1571


In the 17th and early 18th centuries Maltese vessels also went for corsairing expeditions against Muslim ships. Eventually corsairing decreased and the Order was weak and bankrupt, so there was little resistance when Napoleon landed on Malta in 1798. The Order's navy, was integrated into the French navy and Malta no longer had its own naval force.


Soon after the British occupied the island, the Mediterranean Fleet of the Royal Navy transferred its base to Malta. and it remained so during the Second World War and until the 1960s.

Three stamps of the Court of the Vice Admiralty of Malta.

(Coll. Maritime Museum, Valetta, foto H.d.V. 03 1997)


a. Crowned anchor between the letters G. R.; below: malta. (copper) (fig.)


b. Anchor within circle and the legend: vice admiralty court   malta (silver)

c. Like b, the circle smaller in relation to the rim. (copper with wooden handle).


The Mediterranean Fleet was disbanded in 1967, and three years later Malta's first naval force appeared after over 150 years. The Maritime Troop of the Malta Land Force was established in November 1970. In July 1971 the force was renamed 1st (Maritime) Battery of the Malta Land Force and was based in Senglea.

In 1977, the Battery moved to its present base at Hay Wharf, or Xatt it-Tiben. On 1 April 1980 it was renamed Maritime Squadron of the Armed Forces of Malta, as it is today.


Naval Jack, present


Air Force








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 © Hubert de Vries




[1]  In this time Egypt was ruled by Al-Mustansir (1036-1094). The color of the Fatimids is siad to have been green and its symbol a crescent. (Æ Egypt).

[2] Also compare Gelre fol 67 v°: Orsini: bendy of six Gules and Argent, and a chief Argent a rose Gules; Revenne: Gules a c hief Argent.

[3] Galbreath, Donald Lindsay: Papal Heraldry. Second edition revised by Geoffrey Briggs. Heraldry Today. London, 1972...P. 2

[4] https://iicmontreal.esteri.it/iic_montreal/en/gli_eventi/calendario/2018/03/rencontres-conflits-echanges-l.html

[5] Marocco, Ezio:  Il Tesoro del Duomo di Grado, pp. 36-37.

[6] Sturdza, Mi­hail Du­mi­tru: Grandes Familles de Grèce, d'Albanie et de Constantinople. Dictionnai­re Historique et Genealogique. Paris, 1983., p. 494. Rietstap: Acciajuoli, Florence, Grèce: d’arg. au lion d’azur arm. et lamp. de gu.  

[7] https://iicmontreal.esteri.it/iic_montreal/en/gli_eventi/calendario/2018/03/rencontres-conflits-echanges-l.html

[8] http://www.justiceservices.gov.mt/DownloadDocument.aspx?app=lom&itemid=8747&l=1



[11] https://afm.gov.mt/en/info/Pages/AFM-Colours.aspx

[12] http://maltacommand.com/KOMR%20badge.html


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