Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Flying Vatican City Flag

       This flag is flown or displayed worldwide in Roman Catholic churches and institutions, usually alongside the national flag of where the church or institution is located.
       The Papal States traditionally used a yellow and red cockade, the traditional colors of the Roman Senate and the Roman people. However, these colors were not used on flags. In 1808 Pope Pius VII ordered the Vatican's Noble Guard and other troops to replace red color with white, in order to distinguish them from the troops that had been incorporated into Napoleon's army. In 1803 the Papal States started using a white merchant flag with the Papal coat of arms in the center. This flag was made official on 7 June 1815. On 17 September 1825 it was replaced with a yellow and white flag which took its colors from the materials of the key (yellow for gold, white for silver). These colors were probably taken from the 1808 flag of the palatine guard. This was the first bi-color used by the Papal States and the ancestor of the modern flag of Vatican City. The merchant flag also served as a state flag on land.
       Starting in 1831, the papal infantry flew square yellow and white flags. At first they were diagonally divided, but after 1849 they were vertically divided like the merchant flag. The last infantry color, adopted in 1862, was a plain square white and yellow flag. On 8 February 1849, while Pope Pius IX was in exile in Gaeta, a Roman Republic was declared. The new government's flag was the Italian tricolor with the motto "Dio e Popolo" on the central stripe. The papal government and its flags were restored on 2 July 1849. On 20 September 1870 the Papal States were conquered by Italy and the yellow and white flags fell out of official use.
       After the Lateran Treaty was signed in 1929, papal authorities decided to use the 1825 merchant flag as the state flag of the soon to be independent Vatican City state. However, the official drawing in the constitution used a drawing of the square 1862 infantry flag as a template. The treaty came into effect on 7 June 1929, and with it the newly-square Vatican flag. Read more about this flag. . .
      All flag animations are made by the staff at our blog and are created with graphics attributed to the public domain at both Wikipedia and by some visitors that have requested that flag animations be made for their own Denominations or church groups.
       To read about how we make the flags go the the index page. To request animated flags for your own church:
  • Visit your churches denominational pages to request that they contact our gallery staff via email to make inquiries about including their own versions on our web pages. Many logos are copyrighted and are only free to use under special permissions. So if you do not see your Denomination's flag represented here, it may be because it has not been filed at Wikipedia under "fair use" or tagged as public domain.
  • If your flag design is for a church youth group or a missions organization we will make the animation for you. However, if we make it, it will be included on this blog for others to download.
  • There are no fees for the making of flag animations.
  • You may contact Kathy Grimm at and she will pass on the information.

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