Marigo Posio, the mother of the flag

A woman with a big heart who did not bow to the darkness of that time. Mrs. Marigo, whom the patriots call the mother of the nation, has spared nothing for the Homeland. She was an ardent fighter and emancipatory model of the Albanian woman. In this blog we have summarized some facts from the life of this woman, who dedicated her existence to freedom.

 

About Marigo's life...

Marigo Pozio (or Posio), with the maiden name Poçi, was born in Korça, on February 2, 1882. She was the daughter of the priest Kosta Poçi and Lenka Ballauri, originally from Voskopoja. She also had two sisters: Urani Poçi (married to Kristo Floqi) and Angjeliqi Poçi (married to Koço Kota, Prime Minister in the time of King Zog).

Marigo herself married Jovan Pozion from Hoçisht of Devoll. The family later settled in Vlora. She and her husband moved from Korça to Vlora due to the great violence and pressure exerted by the Turkish authorities on those who spread the Albanian language. Marigo would give birth to three daughters, Evridhiqi, Fereniqi and Liria.

 

Marigo's doings

The official Albanian version recognizes Marigo Posio as the embroiderer of the flag raised on the day of the Declaration of Independence. For this she was called the "mother of the flag" but Marigo Posio did much more than that.

- She was the leader of the first Albanian Women's Organization founded on May 13, 1914, the 27th student enrolled in the first Albanian school and the initiator of the opening of the first school in Vlora in 1909.

- Marigo wrote and published in the press of the time quite a few poems. She started publishing her newspaper called "Shpresa Shqiptare" on February 6, 1921 where she kept the Albanian spirit alive and spread new ideas. She sewed with her money all the flags placed in the offices of the government of Vlora and almost all the old families of Vlora can still have flags sewn and donated by Marigo Posio himself.

- Her house was turned into a hospital that secretly treated the wounded and base of the gathering of patriots like Çerçiz Topulli, etc.

To help the Albanians who came and settled in the olive groves of Vlora during the Greek attacks, she worked for the collection of donations door to door with the inhabitants of Vlora. She also wrote letters to other Albanians living in America or elsewhere to help with the issue. Funds raised with great effort and for a few days, although in a time of war where poverty was very high, exceeded the money needed for aid. Marigoja also published in her newspaper the way every penny was spent in aid of the national cause.

- She was an activist of the National Awakening and the Movement for Independence and a member of the Patriotic Club Labëria founded in Vlora in 1908 even though she was from Korça.

 

Some interesting stories about the Independence's flag:

 Kol Rodhe, described in a long letter this amazing story that every Albanian should know:

 In the summer of 1911, on the pretext that she would be treated for her illness, Mrs. Marigo goes to Corfu and there she meets all the nationalist representatives of the Albanian colonies who had gathered on the Greek island to enter Albania together with rifles in hand to start national war.

 Among these were the representatives of America, sent by the "Besa Besa" society. They, and especially Kola and Thoma Katundi's brother, handed Mrs. Marigo a flag embroidered in gold and silk, which, "with a spear and a steel vulture, had cost $ 140."

While the 13 people who made up the American platoon were suffering in the basements of Gjirokastra, Mrs. Marigo returns to Vlora with the flag worn on her body under her daily clothes, for fear that the customs guards who payed even more attention to her clothes would find it out. A year later, Kol presented this flag to Ismail Qemali to raise it on November 28, on the balcony of Xhemil Bey.

 

 What are the other versions regarding the arrival of the Albanian flag?

"The flag that Ismail Bey raised for the first time was painted black by Marigo herself. In fact, I myself warmed this flag near the brazier to dry it as soon as possible. "Soon, Thina," said the revered Lady, "cause Ismail Bey urgently needs after the lunch."

"The flag we made was not completely red, but a bit white, in the color of pepper. We painted many more flags that day to distribute to the people. We also had a small Albanian that was painted black and stamped with white sheets for all the leprosy that was part of the manifestation "- said the maid Thina Ferra.

But there is more...

According to Zhaneta Poçi, granddaughter of Marigo Pozio, Marigo embroidered the national flag according to a model by Dom Mark Vasa, for her dowry, since she was a little girl. She gave this flag to Ismail Qemali.

18-year-old Marigo is thought to have embroidered the flag on a piece she had bought from a trader with the surname Diamanti. Then in all the windows of that building were waved the flags stamped by Marigo with dimensions 70 - 40 cm, with vultures in the middle and on the side with the inscription: "Long live Albania".

... 

What happened to Marigo

She died of tuberculosis after her children and husband had died of the same disease. During the last period of life, she had lost her sight. She died neglected and forgotten in 1932, at the age of 40, and was buried in the Zvërnec Monastery.

 In her honor and so that her memory does not die, we created this collection.

January 21, 2021 — Esmeralda Perseku