The Flag of the Old Kingdom of Sicily (1296-1816)

You may recall that the flag of the Sicilian Region was officially adopted only a few years ago, after a long and hard fought battle between the various political factions in the Sicilian Parliament. But while the new flag has been in existence for only a brief period, the flag of the old Kingdom of Sicily officially represented the island kingdom for over 500 years. Frederick III who was elected King of Sicily in 1296, adopted a flag with vertical yellow and red stripes with two black eagles. The flag was abolished in 1816 when King Ferdinand Bourbon, who bore two titles (Ferdinand IV of Naples and Ferdinand III of Sicily) united the two kingdoms into the The Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. When Sicily came to be annexed by Garibaldi in 1860, becoming part of the Italian State, the flag was abandoned, but the colors survived in the present flag. The Imperial eagles have disappeared and have been replaced by the image of the Trinacria which has been a symbol of Sicily for nearly 3000 years.

By the way, responding to the request by many members of Arba Sicula to purchase a Sicilian flag, I made a point of buying 5 of them during our last tour of Sicily. They are nicely produced and they measure approximately 30 x 60 inches. If you want to buy one, send me twelve dollars and I will send one to you. If the demand is greater than the limited supply I can order them from Sicily. The flag is of course the one you see below, minus the blue background. The image of the the Trinacria, the woman with three running legs, as I said earlier, is probably the most ancient symbol of Sicily. The original  face was the face the Medusa whose gaze had the power of petrifying anyone who looked at her. Instead of hair she had snakes upon her head.The three legs have come to symbolize the three corners of Sicily, capes Peloro, Pachino, and Lilibeo, whereas in more ancient times they may have symbolized the passing of time. The Medusa’s face has been replaced by a kinder image of an agrarian goddess with wheat stalks coming out of her hair, symbolizing Sicily’s fertility.  Ě 

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