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Milan (Lombardy, Italy)

Cittá di Milano

Last modified: 2004-12-04 by dov gutterman
Keywords: italy | lombardy | lombardia | milan | cross: saint george | viper | snake | crown |
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by Andre' Serranho

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Milan Flags

About the origin of the white flag with the red cross, some authors state that in the year 930 the town got the citizenship of Milan, receiving the standard from the archibishop of Milan, Lambert. The use of the cross dates back to the X century, well before the crusades. On the other hand, in 1113 the flag is shown as the "Admiral flag" and when in 1138 the town obtained from the Emperor to mint coins, they presented a cross on a side and a Griphon on the other. This last was the elder symbol of the Comune and going to last for a long time.
Pier Paolo Lugli, 28 December 1997

While being at Milan-Malpensa  airport, I noticed that in the Milanese flag hoisted outside the termonal, there is a viper at the canton. It is the same viper as appear on Visconti flag below.
Dov Gutterman, 26 October 2004

Coat of Arms

by Andre' Serranho

Milan Dukedom

by Jaume Olle', 25 October 1998

Visconti flag 1277-1397. Reconstructed from writen descriptions. In 1397 the use of imperial eagle was granted by Empeor. Seems that a flag with three eagles was used until 1537 when Aragon and Castilla King took the country. From the Austria dinasty the country was in heir to Austria but was occuped temporary by French. Under Austria a King named "Lombardo veneto" was created. Their attribued flag was already posted, but is doubteful. Milan used also the white flag with red saint george cross.
Jaume Olle', 25 October 1998

Jaume Olle said: "Visconti flag 1277-1397. Reconstructed from writen descriptions. In 1397 the use of imperial eagle was granted by Empeor". However in Padanian Flag of Insubria page, Gallinelli said: "It was granted by the emperor Wenceslaw in 1395 to Gian Galeazzo Visconti first duke of Milan, being the dukedom part of the Holy Roman Empire. That is why the black eagle appears in the first and fourth quarter" In conclusion Jaume's image is, chronologically, the first flag of the Dukedom; and the image at Insubria's page was the evolution after 1395 of the previous flag . So it seems that the Padanian Flag of Insubria should be considered as a political flag in its modern use (autonomist of Insubria), but it is also an historical flag of Milano and Western Lombardy.
Matteo Colaone, 11 November 2000

From 1395 onwards the Visconti family became Duke of Milan and added the imperial arms to their standard. An interesting document reports about the title grantin. The Chronicle of Bernardino Corio, laid down a few years after the event, says that Benesio, Lieutnant of the Empero Wenceslaw, lead the cerimony. An Alaman knight bore the Imperial standard on the right of the future Duke and Ottone Mandello, a knight, bore the standard of the viper, symbol of the Visconti family, quartered with the imperial eagle.
A miniature by Anovelo da Imbonate shows the two standards square in shape.
On the burial monument of Gian Galeazzo Visconti, the cerimony is simplified and only the family banner flies: the viper is on a swallow tailed flag.
Source: I 600 anni del Ducato di Milano (600 years of the Dukedom of Milan), D. Pozzagalli, Milano 1996.
pier paolo lugli, 11 June 2001