Monday, October 21, 2019

The Florentine Triple Cross - A Flag of History in the Modern Era

PATRIARCHAL SEE 21 October 2019 (ORCNS) - The Florentine Triple Cross is one of the official flags of the Anglo-Italian Imperial Patriarchate. It is also sometimes known as the "military flag" of the Patriarchate since it is the flag used by the Walsingham Guard, the Patriarchate's  humanitarian wing with a military heritage dating back to the Crusades. The Florentine Triple Cross, similar to the other flags of the Patriarchate, helps to tell its rich and ancient history.

The Florentine Triple Cross flag
It is called the "Triple Cross" because of the three crosses superimposed on each other. First is the red cross of St. Stephen in the centre, which refers to the celestial patron of the Imperial Patriarchate, St. Stephen the Deacon and Protomartyr. That cross, with origins in Florence, is found in much of the symbolism of the Patriarchate.

Next is the red St. George's cross of Barcelona. That refers to the County of Barcelona, which represents the convergence of the Burgundian House of Arles and the Spanish Houses of Ivrea and Barcelona to which the Imperial Patriarchate is heir in the Imperial Italy. Ivrea, located in northwest Italy, was the seat of the House of Ivrea, which was also of Burgundian origin and ruled as Kings of Italy along with their relatives, the Burgundian House of Arles. Pope Leo X, of whom the Imperial Patriarchate is heir and successor, also descended from the House of Arles. From Italy and Burgundy, a branch of the House of Ivrea obtained the Kingdom of Castile y León and Empire of All Spain through marriage.

The coat of arms of Barcelona,
showing the St. George's cross
quartered with the arms of Aragón.
Barcelona is also significant to the heritage of the County of Sainte Animie, the personal title of the Archprince of St. Stephen and Imperial Patriarch in descent from Gévaudan in the Merovingian dynasty. The County of Gévaudan (also descended from the Burgundian House of Arles), where Sainte Animie is located, eventually passed to the Counts of Barcelona. They then became united through marriage to the crowns of Aragón and Castile y León, bringing together the houses of Arles, Ivrea, and Barcelona. (For more on that heritage, please see this article and this article.)

Burgundian Cross flag
The third cross in the triple cross is a white rotated Burgundian cross. The historic Burgundian cross, which formed a military flag of the Spanish Army and also served as the flag of the Spanish Empire, was a red St. Andrew's cross "ragully" (jagged) on a white field. (The St. Andrew's cross is in the form of an X is in memory of the cross on which St. Andrew the Apostle was crucified.) It came to Spain from the Duchy of Burgundy. In the Florentine Triple Cross flag, it is rotated 45 degrees to be in the same orientation as the St. George Cross. 

The diocesan coat of arms
of the See of St. Stephen
Lastly, the three crosses are on a blue field representing Our Lady of Walsingham the Patroness of the Patriarchal Household of the Anglo-Italian Imperial Patriarchate. A white cross on a blue field also evokes an image of the diocesan arms of the See of St. Stephen, and white-on-blue similarly corresponds to the colours of the coat of arms of the Archprince of St. Stephen. Also, the red St. George's cross on a white field is the coat of arms of the Electorate of Trier in the Holy Roman Empire, which is part of the patrimony of the Patriarchate, and also is the inverse of the coat of arms of the ancient Roman Catholic See of Utrecht, from which the Imperial Patriarchate's Roman Catholic Apostolic Succession derives.