What Is The Meaning Of The Sardinian Flag?

What Is The Meaning Of The Sardinian Flag featured photo

Sardinia not only has beautiful beaches and natural landscapes. The island of Sardinia also has a rich history and a very interesting flag. You might have seen Sardinia’s flag and wondered who the heads are. Sardinia is an old island and the flag definitely has its own share of history.

Sardinia’s flag has the Red Cross of Saint George and four Moors heads facing away from the hoist. The four Moors, or I Quattro Mori, represent the island’s history, people, and identity. The four heads were said to be the heads of four Moorish princes who were decapitated by St. George, hence why the Red Cross is also in Sardinia’s flag.

Aside from this hypothesis, there is also another version of why Sardinia’s flag looks the way it does. In this article, we will be talking about the history of the flag, its evolution, and how it is represented in modern times. If you are ready to learn a little bit more about Sardinia, read until the end!

History of the Sardinian Flag

History of the Sardinian Flag

There is a lot of history behind Sardinia’s flag and its meaning. There are two variations of how the flag came to be but what does the Sardinian flag mean and what do the four heads represent?

The flag of Sardinia also called the flag of the Four Moors (vessillo dei Quattro Mori), symbolizes the island’s identity, rich history, and its people. The flag’s roots can be traced back to the medieval period when Aragon (modern-day Spain) achieved victory over the Saracens (Arab Muslims).

The heads on the Sardinian flag were said to be the severed heads of four Moorish princes who were decapitated by St. George. This is why the Saint George’s Red Cross is also on the flag. St. George was said to have appeared during the battle to help the Aragonese and King Peter I of Aragon fight the invaders.

Another version tells the tale of when Sardinia was divided into four kingdoms, known as the Giudicati, sometime between the 9th and 15th centuries. These four Giudicati were Cagliari, Arborea, Torres, and Gallura, and each had its own ruler. The first hypothesis is the widely accepted reason behind the Sardinian flag and it is said that the flag first appeared on the seals of the Crown of Aragon in the 13th century.

Evolution of The Sardinian Flag

Evolution of The Sardinian Flag

The flag of the Four Moors has undergone some changes after it became the official flag of Sardinia. The early versions of the flag had the four Moors facing the left as Aragon is located west of Sardinia. The four Moors were also blindfolded which was said to have been a mistake made by the copyist. Others said that the blindfold represented the victory over invaders. Some say the blindfold was a symbol of royalty.

Up until the flag’s revision in 1999, the Four Moors changed depending on the new rulers. Some say that the Moors head was changed to turn right and was changed back by another ruler. The bandanas and earrings on the four Moors also seem to appear and reappear throughout history.

In 1999, the four Moors were flipped to face away from the hoist and the heads now turned to the right towards mainland Italy. The blindfolds over the eyes of the Moors are now turned into bandanas and are said to depict the Royal Crowns of the four Moors.

The Sardinian Flag In Modern Times

The Sardinian Flag In Modern Times

The four Moors can be seen in Sardinia’s Sardinia’s coat of arms as a testament to the island’s rich history. In the present day, the Sardinian flag is still a source of pride for the island’s inhabitants. If you visit Sardinia, you will see the flag everywhere – from the beaches to a local eatery.

You will find boats and yachts carrying the Sardinian flag. Some beach umbrellas and beach towels even have the Red Cross of St. George and the four Moors. You will also find that the flag appears at festivals, cultural events, and official ceremonies. You will even find the Red Cross of St. George and the four Moors Birra Ichnusa bottles, Sardinia’s most famous beer.

The Flag Of The Four Moors and Corsica

The Flag Of The Four Moors and Corsica

If you have been to Corsica or have seen the Corsican flag, you might have noticed the similarities between both islands’ flags. While Sardinia has Saint George’s cross and four Moor heads, Corsica’s flag only has one and it does not have a red cross. The Moor’s head in Corsica’s flag is the same with the head just facing left. The similarities in Corsica and Sardinia’s flag stems from the islands having historical and cultural ties.

In Summary

Sardinia’s flag is definitely very interesting. The flag consists of 4 Moors heads and a red cross. The heads on the flags were said to be the heads of four Moorish princes defeated by the Aragonese and failed to invade the island. Others said that the four heads depicted the four rulers of the divided island of Sardinia during medieval times. No matter the story behind the flag, it is rich in history and the flag stands as a representation of the island’s people and culture, and it is a source of pride for the Sardinians.

If you plan to visit Sardinia soon, you will see how the people of Sardinia take pride in their flag. If you have any other questions, let us know via the contact form on our website.

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