Our History: the Sicilian Flag
Every Sicilian in the world recognizes this flag – it is the Sicilian flag and brings to us a lot of memories and feelings.
Maybe you recognize the flag too, but most of the Sicilians don’t know its history and meaning – What is the name of the head with three legs? Why is it red and yellow? How old is this flag?
The Sicilian Vesper and The Sicilian Flag
The origin of this flag dates back to 1282, during the “Sicilian Vesper“, the rebellion of Sicilians against Angevins; having a flag was very important because it represented the Sicilian people against the stranger ruler. The colours of the flag, red and yellow, are the colours of Palermo and Corleone (also famous because of the movie “the godfather“), first two cities in which revolt started.
The symbol in the middle of this new flag, the “Triscele“, is composed of the head of Medusa with three ears of corn, surrounded by three legs; Medusa’s head was introduced in Sicily by Greeks during their domination (VIII-III century b.C.), used as a talisman and decoration for jewels and everyday objects, while the ears of corn represent the fertility of Sicily; during the Roman period the island was considered the “Empire’s Barn“.
The three legs, another greek symbol, are the three corners of Sicily: cape Peloro (near Messina), cape Passero (near Siracusa) and cape Lilibeo (near Marsala). Notice that you can often find the term “Triscele” used as synonymous of “Trinacria“, an ancient word used for Sicily!
This flag has been used during the revolutions of 1848 and the Italian Risorgimento, but it became the official one only on 4 January 2000, 718 years after its creation. Nowadays you can find it in every public building in Sicily, and of course in every part of the world, since Sicilians are everywhere and they love to show their origins!
Have you ever been to a Sicilian restaurant trying these amazing dishes? We are sure you would find one of our flags!!
And what about you? Do you have the Sicilian Flag at home?