Vatican City Flag

On 7th June 1929, Pope Pius XI signed the Lateran Treaty with Italy, which led to the creation of a new Independent state governed by the Holy See. On the same date, the Vatican City flag was adopted.

The flag comprises of two vertical bands, one of gold (or yellow) and the other white, with the crossed keys of Saint Peter and the Papal Tiara centered in the white band. The crossed keys consist of one golden and one silver key, whereby the silver key is placed in the dexter position.The Vatican City flag and the flag of Switzerland are the only square country flags in the world. The yellow and white stripes on the flag of the Vatican City break the heraldic rule of tincture; this is because the Vatican follows God’s rules and not man’s.

Originally, the Vatican used a yellow and red flag. In 1808, Pope Pius VII ordered the Vatican’s Noble Guard and other troops to replace the yellow and red colors with yellow and white. However, the troops that were serving in the French armies were exempted and they kept using the former colors. In 1824, the Vatican’s merchant navy used a white and yellow flag, but they were set in diagonal. In 1848, tri-color ties (green and red) were added to the merchant navy. In 1849, Pope Pius IX returned from his exile in Gaeta and ordered the colors of the flag to be placed vertically, replacing the ties with the papal coat of arms. Then on 7th June 1929, the current flag of Vatican City was adopted after Pope Pius XI signed the Lateran Treaty with the Italy.

The design of the Vatican flag is specified in the constitution of Vatican City. It is a ceremonial flag, and it is normally flown during various Roman Catholic religious feast days. Whenever a Pope dies, the Vatican City flag is flown at half-staff until the end of the nine-day mourning period. However, this flag is not only used in the territory of Vatican City. This flag is also used by Catholics across the world to promote the identity of the Catholic Church. These include educational institutions, churches, and more.

Within the white half of the Vatican City flag, there is the Vatican City coat of arms. The coat of arms consists of the papal tiara; two keys which represent the keys to Heaven (the golden key represents spiritual power while the silver key represents worldly power). The order in which the keys of the coat of arms of Vatican City is the reverse of the coat of arms of the Holy See; the major reason for this being to distinguish between the two entities); and a red cord which connects the two keys.

The Vatican flag has no restriction on where it is flown or displayed. Mostly, it is flown worldwide, where the Catholic Church is represented or located. The flag is of great importance to the Catholics, and thus it is always in high demand. Currently, the flag can be purchased online, and therefore you can get the original Vatican City flag regardless of your location.