Fez del Partito Nazionale Fascista

Fez of the National Fascist Party

When the Italian "Bersaglieri" took part in the Crimean War from October 1853 to February 1856 they fought together with the French "Zouave" light infantry. These "Zouaves" have a red Fez as headgear, which the "Bersaglieri" took over as piece of their uniform.
With the establishment of the Reparti d'Assalto (Assault Units) during the First World War, consisting of the so-called "Arditi" (The Daring Ones), equipment and manpower is extracted from the "Bersaglieri". Thus the Fez, but in a black version, came in use with these elite stormtroopers. The "Arditi" formed after the war the core of the "Squadristi" (Squad members). These "Squadristi" and their Squadre d'azione (Action Squads) formed the Fasci di Combattimento (Fighting Bands). The political body of the Fasci di Combattimento is the Fascista Partito Nazionale (National Fascist Party) which is established during the first National Congress in Rome from November the 7th till the 10th of 1921during which the Fez is included in the dress regulations.
The first type of Fez of the P.N.F. is therefore the same as the one in use by the "Arditi".
The Fez is not rigid and has a black tassel to its end.

After this first model Fez three subsequent basic models are introduced. Variations on these models exist however as regulations are unclear, or have not been respected.

Modello 1923 (Model 1923)
In 1923 a new type of Fez is introduced for the executives within the P.N.F.. This type of Fez is rigid shape and covered with black silk. The Fez is equipped with a black tassel and a black silk cord. The cord runs over the full length of the middle of the top of the Fez and is turned at the right-hand side in a Knot of Savoye.

Modello 1931 (Model 1931)
The Fez for the executives is made out of coarse black felt and has a base height of 11 cm. The upper edge is trimmed with a black band of 1.5 cm sides. In the middle of the top runs a light fold. A cord runs across the middle and the right side of the Fez. The cord is turned at the right into two (sometimes less or more) Knots of Savoye of each 7 cm. According to the text of the dress regulations a black tassel is attached to the Fez in the fold. The accompanying illustrations show however black fringe present over more than half of the side of the Fez. The latter variant is the standard for the Model 1931.
The Fez for the other personnel is made out of coarse black felt and has a base height of 4 cm. The top is not trimmed with a black silk band. In the middle of the top runs a light fold. The Fez has a black tassel or black fringe over more than half of the side, but it has no cord.

Modello 1935 (Model 1935)
The Fez for executives is lowered to a base height of 9 cm, while the cord is rotated in a single Knot of Savoye. For the rest the Model 1935 remains in shape the same as the previous model 1931.
The Model 1935 distinguishes itself however from the previous models by the presence of a shield at the left side of the Fez which indicates the position of the executive. Wearing these shields is established in 1934 and includes the following shields:

Gerarchi Nazionali (National Members of the Hierarchy)
The shields of National Members of the Hierarchy consist of a grey shield with a gold outline on a red background. The Fasces is in gold with the blade of the ax in silver. The stars which indicate the rank are in the gold.
Three stars with a red border: Segretario del P.N.F. (Secretary of P.N.F.)
Three stars: Gran Consiglio (Grand Council), Ministri (Ministers), Sottosegretari (Secretaries of State), Vice Segretario del P.N.F. (Deputy Secretary of P.N.F.)
Two stars: Direttorio Nazionale (National Party Administration)
One star: Ispettore del P.N.F. (Inspector of the P.N.F.)

Federazioni Fasci di Combattimento (Confederations of the Fighting Bands)
The shields of the Confederations of the Fighting Bands consist of a grey shield with a red outline on a amaranth background. The Fasces is in gold with the blade of the ax in silver. The stars which indicate the rank are in the gold.
Two stars with a red border: Segretario Federal (Federal Secretary)
One star: Direttorio Federal (Federal Party Administration)
No star: Ispettore Federal (Federal Inspector)

One exception to above is the shield of the Commissioni di Disciplina (Disciplinary Committees). This shield has a amaranth color with a silver outline on a black background. The Fasces is in silver with on both sides a silver star.

Fasci di Combattimento con gruppi rionali (Fighting Bands with neighborhood sections)
The shields of the Fighting Bands with neighborhood sections consist of a amaranth shield with a gold outline on a amaranth background. The Fasces is in gold with the blade of the ax in silver. The stars which indicate the rank are in the gold.
Three stars: Segretario di Fascio (Secretary of the Fascio)
Two stars: Direttorio di Fascio (Party Board of the Fascio)
One star: Fiduciario di gruppo rionale (Confidant of the neighborhood section)
No star: Consulta di gruppo rionale (Advisor of the neighborhoud section)

Exception to above are the shields of the Capo Settore and the Capo Nucleo. These shields have a amaranth color with a gold outline on a amaranth background. The Fasces is in silver with a silver star which indicates the rank.
One star: Capo Settore (Sector Leader)
No star: Capo Nucleo (Section Leader)

Fasci di Combattimento senza gruppi rionali (Fighting Bands without neighborhood sections)
The shields of the Fighting Bands without neighborhood sections consist of a amaranth shield with a gold outline on a amaranth background. The Fasces is in gold with the blade of the ax in silver. The stars which indicate the grade are in silver.
Three stars: Segretario di Fascio (Secretary of the Fascio)
Two stars: Direttorio di Fascio (Party Board of the Fascio)
One star: Capo Settore (Sector Leader)
No star: Capo Nucleo (Section Leader)

One exception to above is the shield of the Commissioni di Disciplina (Disciplinary Committees). This shield has a amaranth color with a silver outline on a black background. The Fasces is in silver with a silver star on the left.

Several entities and associations attached to the P.N.F. or the state wore the Fez. These each have their own type of emblems.

With the dress regulations of 1938 the Fez as part of the uniform of the P.N.F. is replaced by the Berretto Rigido (Visor Cap).

Sources:
littorio.com
MVSN 1923-1943 ; Badges and Uniforms of the Italian Fascist Militia; G. Rosignoli; 1980

Fez del Partito Nazionale Fascista
This Fez del Partito Nazionale Fascista (Fez of the National Fascist Party) is a Model 1931 for other personnel and is produced by Massaua. The Fez is a size 58.