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The Pisan Cross is the symbol of Pisa.
It was the coat of arms of the people of Pisa: the symbol of the cross was granted, in fact, to Pisans by Pope Benedict VIII to fight Saracens in Sardinia in 1017.
Pope Benedict VIII reigned from 18 May 1012 to his death in 1024. He was born Theophylactus to the noble family of the counts of Tusculum, descended from Theophylact, Count of Tusculum, like his predecessor Pope Benedict VII (973–974). Horace Mann considered him "...one of the few popes of the Middle Ages who was at once powerful at home and great abroad."
Saracen was a term widely used among Christian writers in Europe during the Middle Ages to refer to Arabs and Muslims. The term's meaning evolved during its history. In the early centuries of the Common Era, Greek and Latin writings used this term to refer to the people who lived in desert areas in and near the Roman province of Arabia Petraea, and in Arabia Deserta. In Europe during the Early Middle Ages, the term came to be associated with tribes of Arabia. The oldest source mentioning the term Saracen dates back to the 7th century. It was found in Doctrina Jacobi, a commentary that discussed the event of the Arab conquests on Palestine.
Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. It is located west of the Italian Peninsula and to the immediate south of the French island of Corsica.
The Pisan cross is technically described as with keys (or paws) and three spheres on every arm. Its symbolism is unknown; the cross itself may represent Christ, and the twelve spheres his Apostles.
Although the symbol of the Pisan cross dates to 1017, the oldest surviving representation is in the city walls, built in 1156 by counselor Cocco Griffi. The city flag, red with the white cross on it, was officially recognized by Pope Callixtus II. In fact, originally the flag of Pisa was simply vermillion red, being derived from the Imperial Rome flag.
Pope Callixtus II or Callistus II, born Guy of Burgundy, was pope of the western Christian church from 1 February 1119 to his death in 1124. His pontificate was shaped by the Investiture Controversy, which he was able to settle through the Concordat of Worms in 1122.
Nowadays the cross is still the symbol of the city of Pisa. A red shield with the cross on it is the symbol of the Comune of Pisa. It appears in the ensign of the Italian Navy along with the emblems of the other medieval Maritime Republics: Venice, Genoa and Amalfi.
The comune is a basic administrative division in Italy, roughly equivalent to a township or municipality.
The maritime republics of the Mediterranean Basin were thalassocratic city-states which flourished in Italy and Dalmatia during the Middle Ages. The best known among the maritime republics are Venice, Genoa, Pisa, and Amalfi. Less known are Ragusa, Gaeta, Ancona, and Noli.
A national flag is a flag that represents and symbolizes a country. The national flag is flown by the government of a country, but can usually also be flown by citizens of the country. A national flag is designed with specific meanings for its colours and symbols. The colours of the national flag may be worn by the people of a nation to show their patriotism, or related paraphernalia that show the symbols or colours of the flag may be used for those purposes.
Pisa is a city and comune in Tuscany, central Italy, straddling the Arno just before it empties into the Ligurian Sea. It is the capital city of the Province of Pisa. Although Pisa is known worldwide for its leaning tower, the city of over 91,104 residents contains more than 20 other historic churches, several medieval palaces, and various bridges across the Arno. Much of the city's architecture was financed from its history as one of the Italian maritime republics.
Amalfi is a town and comune in the province of Salerno, in the region of Campania, Italy, on the Gulf of Salerno. It lies at the mouth of a deep ravine, at the foot of Monte Cerreto, surrounded by dramatic cliffs and coastal scenery. The town of Amalfi was the capital of the maritime republic known as the Duchy of Amalfi, an important trading power in the Mediterranean between 839 and around 1200.
In heraldry, Saint George's Cross, also called the Cross of Saint George, is a red cross on a white background, which from the Late Middle Ages became associated with Saint George, the military saint, often depicted as a crusader.
The national flag of Greece, popularly referred to as the "sky-blue - white" or the "blue-white", officially recognised by Greece as one of its national symbols, is based on nine equal horizontal stripes of blue alternating with white. There is a blue canton in the upper hoist-side corner bearing a white cross; the cross symbolises Eastern Orthodox Christianity, the established religion of the Greek people of Greece and Cyprus. The blazon of the flag is Azure, four bars Argent; on a canton of the field a Greek cross throughout of the second. The official flag ratio is 2:3. The shade of blue used in the flag has varied throughout its history, from light blue to dark blue, the latter being increasingly used since the late 1960s. It was officially adopted by the First National Assembly at Epidaurus on 13 January 1822.
The flag of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is the flag of Massachusetts. It has been represented by official but limited-purpose flags since 1776, though until 1908 it had no state flag per se to represent its government. A variant of the white flag with blue seal was carried by each of the Massachusetts volunteer regiments during the Civil War alongside the National Colors. An exception were the two "Irish regiments", each of which was permitted to carry an alternative green flag with a harp symbol. The state currently has three official flags: a state flag, a "naval and maritime flag", and a governor's flag. With Florida and Minnesota, it is one of only three state flags to prominently feature a Native American in its heraldry.
The Senyera is a vexillological symbol based on the coat of arms of the Crown of Aragon, which consists of four red stripes on a yellow field. This coat of arms, often called bars of Aragon, or simply "the four bars", historically represented the King of the Crown of Aragon.
The Republic of Genoa was an independent state from 1005 to 1797 in Liguria on the northwestern Italian coast, incorporating Corsica from 1347 to 1768, and numerous other territories throughout the Mediterranean.
A jack is a national flag flown from a short jackstaff at the bow (front) of a vessel, while the ensign is flown on the stern (rear). Jacks on bowsprits or foremasts appeared in the 17th century. The word "jack" is said to result from the signature Jacques of King James I in whose reign (1603–1625) the Union Jack was designed. A country may have different jacks for different purposes, especially when the naval jack is forbidden to other vessels. The United Kingdom has an official civil jack; the Netherlands has several unofficial ones. In some countries, ships of other government institutions may fly the naval jack, e.g. the ships of the U.S. Coast Guard and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the case of the jack of the United States. Certain organs of the UK's government have their own departmental jacks. Commercial or pleasure craft may fly the flag of an administrative division or municipality at the bow. Merchant ships may fly a house flag. Yachts may fly a club burgee or officer's flag or the owner's private signal at the bow. Practice may be regulated by law, custom, or personal judgment.
The Maltese cross is a cross symbol, consisting of four "V" or arrowhead shaped concave quadrilaterals converging at a central vertex at right angles, two tips pointing outward symmetrically.
The Italian Navy is the Navy of the Italian Republic. It is one of the four branches of Italian Armed Forces and was formed in 1946 from what remained of the Regia Marina after World War II. As of August 2014, the Italian Navy had a strength of 30,923 active personnel with approximately 184 vessels in service, including minor auxiliary vessels. It is considered a multiregional and a blue-water navy.
The Mahdia campaign of 1087 was an attack on the North African town of Mahdia by armed ships from the northern Italian maritime republics of Genoa and Pisa. It had been prompted by the actions of the Zirid ruler Tamim ibn Muizz as a pirate in waters off the Italian Peninsula, along with his involvement in Sicily fighting the Norman invasion. The attack was led by Hugh of Pisa, with military aid from Rome and the Genoese navy; the nobleman Pantaleone from Amalfi was also involved, and the whole endeavour had the backing of Matilda of Tuscany. It succeeded in capturing the city, but they could not hold it; the money from the plunder was spent on the cathedral at Pisa and to build a new church.
The emblem of the Italian Republic was formally adopted by the newly formed Italian Republic on 5 May 1948. Although often referred to as a coat of arms, it is technically an emblem as it was not designed to conform to traditional heraldic rules. The emblem comprises a white five-pointed star, with a thin red border, superimposed upon a five-spoked cogwheel, standing between an olive branch to the left side and an oak branch to the right side; the branches are in turn bound together by a red ribbon with the inscription "REPVBBLICA ITALIANA". The emblem is used extensively by the Italian government.
The Republic of Pisa was a de facto independent state centered on the Tuscan city of Pisa during the late 10th and 11th centuries. It rose to become an economic powerhouse, a commercial center whose merchants dominated Mediterranean and Italian trade for a century before being surpassed and superseded by the Republic of Genoa. The power of Pisa as a mighty maritime nation began to grow and reached its apex in the 11th century when it acquired traditional fame as one of the four main historical Maritime Republics of Italy.
The flag of Sardinia, called the flag of the Four Moors or simply the Four Moors, represents and symbolizes the island of Sardinia (Italy) and its people. It was also the historical flag and coat of arms of the Spanish and later Savoyard Kingdom of Sardinia. It was first officially adopted by the autonomous region in 1950 with a revision in 1999, describing it as a "white field with a red cross and a bandaged Moor's head facing away from the left in each quarter".
The Kingdom of Sardinia was a state in Southern Europe from the early 14th until the mid-19th century.
The Lion of Saint Mark, representing the evangelist St Mark, pictured in the form of a winged lion holding a Bible, is the symbol of the city of Venice and formerly of the Venetian Republic.
The Genoese Navy, also known as the Genoese Fleet, was the naval contingent of the Republic of Genoa's military. From the 11th century onward the Genoese navy protected the interests of the republic and projected its power throughout the Mediterranean Sea. The navy declined in power after the 16th century, periodically coming under the control of foreign powers, and was finally disbanded following the annexation of Genoa by the Kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont in 1815.
The Regatta of the Historical Maritime Republics is a sporting event of historical re-enactment, established in 1955 with the aim of recalling the rivalry of the most famous Italian maritime republics: those of Amalfi, Pisa, Genoa and Venice, during which four rowing crews representing each of the republics compete against each other. This event, held under the patronage of the President of the Italian Republic, takes place every year on a day between the end of May and the beginning of July, and is hosted in rotation between these cities. The regatta is preceded by a historical procession, during which parade through the streets of the city organizing some figures that play the role of ancient characters that characterized each republic.