Yes, yes! And they are not very proud of it and they don’t want to acknowledge it at all 😉 But here in Liguria people have good memory 😉 and in 2018 the mayor of Genoa, Marco Bucci, asked the English Queen for paying 247 years of back taxes for the concession of the Genoa’s flag that was not paid since 1771 (!!!) But let start from the very beginning!
Saint George Cross
In heraldry, Saint George Cross 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 Cross of St. George was then chosen as a symbol of the pilgrims who went to the holy places of Christianity. It became also a symbol of the Crusades armies among which the army of the Republic of Genoa. In 1095 Genoas conquered Jerusalem, in response to repeated attacks on the Turks. And after that victory in 1099, the Saint George Cross was officially adopted as the symbol the army of the Republic of Genoa.
Flag of the Republic of Genoa
The flag, historically used by the Republic of Genoa, had an automatic defence value. If the enemy ships saw it on any other ship, they avoided the conflict and didn’t even move close to them. Thus in 1190, the London rulers obtained the use of the Genoese flag for their ships entering the Mediterranean to benefit from the protection of the Genoese fleet. However, for using the flag the English Monarchs had to pay an annual tribute to the Republic of Genoa.
Decline of the Republic of Genoa
Then, in 1797 Liguria was occupied by the army of Napoleon Bonaparte who overthrew the old elites which had ruled the city for all of its history and replaced them with a popular republic named the Ligurian Republic under control of France. However, the decline of the Republic of Genoa started much before and the city wasn’t so powerful for many years already.
England took advantage of that situation and in 1771 stopped paying the tax to the Republic of Genoa. What is more, started to use the flag as its official flag of England and in 1801 became a part of the Union Jack, the flag of United Kingdom of Great Britan.
And now … what will happen??? Who knows 😉 Maybe England will pay all that taxes … even if I don’t really believe in it 🙂
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