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Salamis Island (Municipality, Greece)


Last modified: 2015-08-15 by ivan sache
Keywords: salamis island | ampelakia |
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Flag of Salamis Island, two versions - Images by Olivier Touzeau, 29 December 2014

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Presentation of Salamis Island

The municipality of Salamis Island (39,283 inhabitants in 2011, 9,609 ha) was established in 2011 as the merger of the two former municipalities of Ampelakia (Αμπελάκια, 7,507 inh.) and Salamina (Σαλαμίνα, 31,776 inh.).
Salamis is the largest Greek island in the Saronic Gulf, about 2 km off-coast from Piraeus and about 16 km west of Athens. The chief city, Salamina, lies in the west-facing core of the crescent on Salamis Bay, which opens into the Saronic Gulf. On the Eastern side of the island is its main port, Paloukia.

Salamis is mentioned in Homer's writings. Salamis was probably first colonised by Aegina and later occupied by Megara, but became an Athenian possession in the time of Solon or Peisistratos, following the war between Athens and Megara around 600 BC.
Salamis island is of course known for the Battle of Salamis, the decisive naval victory of the allied Greek fleet, led by Themistocles, over the Persian Empire in 480 BC. It is said to be the birthplace of Ajax and Euripides, the latter's birth being popularly placed on the day of the battle.
In modern times, it is home to Salamis Naval Base, headquarters for the Hellenic Navy. During the German invasion of Greece in World War II, the harbor was bombed by the Luftwaffe on 23 April 1941.

Olivier Touzeau, 28 December 2014

Flag of Salamis Island

The municipality has been using a new flag since 2011, blue with the coat of arms of the municipality surrounded by a circle of 23 stars.
The 23 stars may represent the cities which took part in the Battle of Salamis. As far as I know, there were 21 cities: Athens, Corinth, Aegina, Chalcis, Megara, Sparta, Sicyon, Epidaurus, Eretria, Ambracia, Troezen, Naxos, Leucas, Hermione, Styra, Cythnus, Ceos, Melos, Siphnus, Serifos, and Croton. It could make 23 adding the two former municipalities on Salamis island, Salamina and Ampelakia.

Two versions of the flag appear to be used:
- the first one has ochre greek ornaments on each side of the flag, ochre stars, a wreath in a circle under the stars (photo, photo);
- the second one has a golden fringe, white stars, a different rendition of the coat of arms, two green branches under the coat of arms, and, below, the municipality name (ΔΗΜΟΣ ΣΑΛΑΜΙΝΟΣ) and the words ΚΟΙΤΙΣ ΤΗΣ ΕΛΕΥΘΕΡΙΑΣ ΚΑΙ ΤΗΣ ΔΗΜΟΚΡΑΤΙΑΣ (photo).

The new flag without the traditional trireme symbol raised some controversy (text, text).

Olivier Touzeau, 29 December 2014

Former municipality of Ampelakia


Flag of Ampelakia - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 13 July 2013

Ampelakia (lit., Vineyards) lies on the central east coast of Salamis island. The municipality had a land area of 15,169 sq. km, comprising about one-sixth of the island's area. The town of Ampelakia (4,537 inh.) lies at Ampelakia Bay where the famous Battle of Salamis occurred in 480 BC, during which the Greek ships defeated the Persian fleet of Xerxes.

The flag of Ampelakia (Kokkonis website) was white with its coat of arms in black and white, the name of the municipality above, and the name of the island below.

Olivier Touzeau, 13 July 2013

Former municipality of Salamina


Flag of Salamina - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 28 December 2014

The flag of Salamina (photo, photo, photo, photo, photo, photo) is white with a blue border with Greek-styled ornaments and a blue oval-shaped emblem in the center. The emblem is made ofa white Greek trireme, and above the words by Aeschylus in The Persians ἴτε παῖδες Ἑλλήνων (Sons of the Greeks, Forward). Below the emblem is written Ναυμαχία Σαλαμῖνος 480 πΧ, (Naval Battle of Salamina, 480 BC). Above the emblem is sometimes written something, and there seems to be several versions with or without this additionnal writing.

The flag appears to have been used after 2011 by the new municipality, at least until 2013.

Olivier Touzeau, 28 December 2014

Battle of Salamis commemorative flag


Commemorative flag - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 28 December 2014

In ceremonies related to the Battle of Salmais, a commemorative flag can be seen (photo), made of a blue field with a white Greek cross, a golden thin inner border, a white disk with commemorative emblem in the center, and the golden text Σαλαμίνομαχοί / 480 πΧ / ω παίδες Ἑλλήνων ίτε.

Olivier Touzeau, 28 December 2014