The Fez has the leaders shield from the Milizia Volontaria per la Sicurezza Nazionale (MVSN, “Voluntary Militia for National Security”), commonly called the Blackshirts.

Originally the paramilitary wing of the National Fascist Party in 1919 leading to after 1923, an encompassing of all-volunteer members of Italy to the fascist movement. Its members wore black uniforms (modelled on those of the Arditi, Italy’s elite troops of World War I) and all recruits swore an oath to their fanatical leader Benito Mussolini. The original members were nationalist intellectuals, former army officers and young landowners. Their methods became harsher as Mussolini’s power grew, using violence and intimidation against Mussolini’s opponents. In 1943 the MVSN was integrated into the Italian armed forces.

The first regiment – the Squadre d’Azione (Action Squad), was organised in March 1919 to destroy the political and economic organisation of socialists. By the end of 1920 the Blackshirts were also attacking  communists, republicans, Catholics and trade unionists.

Early in 1923, the private Blackshirts were officially transformed into a national militia, the Voluntary Fascist Militia for National Security. The black shirt was worn not only by these military Fascists but also by other Fascists and their sympathisers.

War-Den found this fez in the South of France, very close to the Italian border. It is unfortunately well mothed and the internal silk lining is missing, although the leather sweatband is present and has no tears. The fez though has a good solid form and for an item from the early 20s, overall its in good shape.

In the gallery photos there is a very early photo of members of the Milizia Volontaria per la Sicurezza Nazionale wearing the fez.
A very rare item of headwear almost impossible to find.