The flag of Sicily

The flag of Sicily: the official flag of the Sicilian Region.

The flag, whose origins date back to the 13th century, was officially adopted, on the proposal of the then president of the ARS (Sicilian Region Assembly) Nicolò Cristaldi.

The flag of Sicily

See also: What makes Sicily an ideal holiday destination

The History

The Sicilian flag always had the triskelion and the gorgoneion as distinctive symbols.

The triskelion, also commonly called trinacria, is the historical symbol of Sicily.

The three legs represent the three promontories of Sicily which are: Capo Passero (south under Ragusa) Capo Peloro or Punta del Faro (near the Strait of Messina) and capo lilibeo or boeo (near Marsala).

The symbol is of Neolithic origin, and has a complex history; 

It is similar to other ancient civilizations symbols such as the Celts, and from other different geographical areas of the planet, like Central America, Mesopotamia and India.

Palermo was the capital since the time of the Emirate of Sicily, while Corleone was an important agricultural and civil center of the Sicilian hinterland.

The flag was used for the first time in the 1282 Sicilian Vespers Revolution: a successful Sicilian rebellion against the french king Charles I, this flag symbolised the unity of Sicily in driving out the Angevins (French).

In 1296, with the rise of Frederick III, on the throne of Sicily, the Kingdom of Sicily flag was introduced and remained unchanged until 1816.

Kingdom of Sicily Flag
Kingdom of Sicily Flag 14th century

In the revolution of 1848, precisely on May 27, the Trinacria, placed at the center of the Italian tricolor, was adopted by the Sicilian Parliament as the symbol of the island.

The triskele was also used on the helmet of the Sicilian National Guard between 1848 and 1849.

The same symbol was then briefly reused by the revolutionary committees, and later by the administrations of the island in 1860 under the administration of Garibaldi, during the expedition of the Thousand, but it was replaced a month later by the flag of the Kingdom of Italy.

In 1944 the Movement for the Independence of Sicily adopted a flag in red and yellow, as a symbol of Sicilian separatism.

Sicily Indipendence flag
Indipendence of Sicily Flag 1944

The Sicilian Regional Assembly in 1990 approved the adoption of the coat of arms and banner, and in 2000 of the current flag.

The gorgoneion

The other symbol of the Sicilian flag intersected with the triskelion is the gorgoneion, or the head of the Gòrgone (commonly called Medusa), whose hair were snakes.

Another version of the head is that of a woman with wings that symbolize the passage of time, surrounded by snakes to indicate wisdom. 

The ears of wheat were added by the Romans, both as a symbol of fertility as Sicily was in fact the first province and “granary” of Rome.

The meaning of the colors

Positioned in reverse order with respect to today’s flag of the Sicilian Region, would symbolize the union of the municipal colors of Palermo (leader in the rebellions) and Corleone (in order, red and yellow), first united in the revolution that saw the Sicilians face the Angevins. 

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