During the fascist occupation of Ethiopia between 1936 and 1941, Ethiopia was proclaimed to have been annexed by Italy, and the King of Italy was declaired “Emperor of Ethiopia” by the Mussolini regime. Ethiopia was incorporated into the new entity called “Italian East Africa” or “Africa Orientale Italiana”. The Royal Italian flag, the green white and red tricolor with the arms of the House of Savoy centered became the flag of the colony.
With the expulsion of the Italians in 1941, and the restoration of the Emperor Haile Selassie, the Imperial flag was restored also. The King of Italy renounced his Imperial title over Ethiopia in November 1943. In the immediate aftermath of the Ethiopian Revolution of 1974, the Provisional Military Administrative Council(PMAC) or Derg, removed the crown from the head of the Lion of Judah and replaced the cross with a spear, calling this emblem the “Lion of Ethiopia”. In the first few public statements of the millitary junta, lip service was paid to the preservation of the monarchy, with statements made that the Crown Prince would be sworn in as “King” rather than Emperor, and the role of the monarch cut back to a purely symbolic role. This flag was used only briefly between September 11th, 1974 when the Emperor was deposed, to November 1974 when the Derg removed the Lion symbol completely from the flag.