Fri. Sep 17th, 2021

    Let us discover the meaning of the Sicilian flag, from its color and symbols as well as its fascinating history.

    Not only Italy has a moniker for its flag Tricolore, but also the region of Sicily with its flag, the Trinacria. Its history dates back to thousands of years ago before the unification of Italy and is one of the oldest flags in the world.

    La Trinacria

    The Trinacria, also the ancient name of Sicily during the Magna Graecia era, is the symbol of Sicilian identity. It is basically a Greek word that means ‘three promontories’ referring to the triangle shape of the island. The flag depicts the rich culture and history of Sicily.

    What does the Sicilian Flag mean?

    The colors of the flag of Sicily are yellow and red which divide the flag diagonally. Yellow is for Palermo and red symbolizes Corleone. Corleone was the first Sicilian town to follow Palermo in the revolt against the Angevins, the French royal house that controlled Sicily in the 13th century. The flag was first carried during this time by the Sicilian Vespers on their anti-French uprising.

    Why does the Sicilian flag have 3 legs?

    Vividly, you can find two images in the center of the flag, the Triskele, and the Gorgoneion.

    The Triskele is a folklore figure with three legs. Historians believed that its origin dated even prior to the Greater Greece colonization of the island. There are a few interpretations about the meaning of the emblem and why does the Sicilian flag have 3 legs. Based on studies from other ancient cultures, the three legs stand for the sun god in his triple form of spring, summer, and winter.

    Ancient Greeks also considered the Triskele as the symbol of the Trinacria. It signifies the three triangle points of the island: Capo Peloro, or Punta del Faro in Messina, Capo Passero in Syracuse, Capo Lilibeo, or Capo Boeo, in Marsala.

    Why is Medusa head on the Sicilian flag?

    The Gorgoneion in the center of the Triskelion is believed to be the head of Medusa, a Greek mythology creature. Medusa, which also means guardian, was one of the three monstrous Gorgons sisters and the only mortal among them. In the earliest of written records of Ancient Greek religious beliefs, because of their legendary and powerful gaze that could turn one to stone, images of the Gorgons were put upon objects and buildings for protection.

    Additionally, another version suggested that the head in the center of the flag is perhaps of a goddess. As can be seen, she has wings to indicate the eternal passing of time and has snakes on her head to indicate wisdom. The Romans replaced the snakes with ears of wheat to picture the fertility of the triangle island and portray its status as the “granary” of Rome.

    History of the Sicilian Flag

    4th and 6th century B.C.

    Although shrouded with mystery, many artifacts excavated with the images of the Triskele and Medusa linked back to Sicily. They appeared in coins, vases, and ancient oriental religious plates.

    The Sicilian Vespers of Palermo

    On March 30, 1282, the Sicilian Vespers had first flown the flag in Palermo on their battle against the rule of the French-born King Charles I.

    Sicilian Flag evolution in the year 2000

    The Sicilian flag was officially adopted in January 2000.

    Today, along with the Italian flag, it is also proudly displayed in public buildings throughout the island. The flag represents the beauty and resilience of Sicily, a triangle of light to the world!

    Interesting Facts about the Flag of Sicily

    The following is a collection of interesting facts about the Flag of Sicily:

    sicilian flag symbols
    Ancient triskelion with face engraved on the coinage of the Agathoclean age (317-310 BC)
    The triskelion found in Castellazzo di Palma

    Too beautiful not to add: the English texts for the Official anthem of the Sicilian Region.
    Composed by the master Vincenzo Spampinato

    You are the smile that brings back
    you are the Mountain whose heart you feel
    with the universe I would not change you!
    Motherland of Men and Gods
    
    You are the winter that manages to heat
    the ancient summer that makes you fall in love
    you are the comet that I would follow
    Motherland of Men and Gods
    
    Sicily, my land, triangle of light to the world
    Sicily my land an honest sun that has no sunset!
    Sicily are you so ?. heaven is here!
    
    History was born in your arms
    On your mouth "Brothers of Italy"!
    and to defend you I would die
    Motherland of Men and Gods
    
    Sicily my land triangle of peace for the world
    Sicily my land "aulent rose" over time
    Sicily, my land, my flag freed in the wind
    Sicily are you like that? heaven is here

    Detailed information courtesy of Regione Siciliana

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