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Insubria (Italy)

Last modified: 2021-08-24 by rob raeside
Keywords: italy | insubria | bellinzona | ticino | lombardy | milan | eagle | lombardo veneto kingdom | serpent |
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image by Matteo Colaone, 21 August 2000

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Padanian Flag of Insubria

That is the historical region where I live [=Lumbardia Ucidental/Western Lombardy(I) + Cantun Tisin/Canton Ticino (CH)]. Insubria flag was born on tne 5th september 1395, created by Emperor Venceslao of Holy Roman Empire for Duca Gian Galeazzo Visconti of Milan
Matteo Colaone, 21 August 2000

I see a connection with Ticino by the II and III quarters, showing a charge quite similar to the arms of Bellinzona. What about the other quarters, what does the black eagle on gold stand for? Roman Empire, in any of it's incarnations?...
Antonio Martins, 30 August 2000

Antonio is absolutely right here, the serpent (in italian "biscione") appearing on this flag is the same as the one appearing on the arms and on the flag of Bellinzona (Ticino).
Pascal Gross, 30 August 2000

Insubria is another term to refer to Western Lombardy. It is taken from the celtic tribe (Insubrae) which settled between the Tessin and the Adda rivers in ancient times. The heraldic flag is the historical banner of the Dukedom of Milan. 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. The figure in the second and third quarter is the traditional heraldic simbol of the possessions of Milan first and the Dukedom after. Possession which included the whole of nowdays Western Lombardy, parts of Piedmond and the whole of Canton Tessin in Switzerland. That is also why the City of Bellinzona still bears the same arms today (in different colours though and without the moor in the mouth of the snake. Bellinzona was always one of the most faithfull cities of the dukedom) and why the people on both side of t! he border speak the same language (that is western lombard). The origin of the use of the snake, apart from the legends, dates back to the first crusade when it was granted by the municipality of Milan to Ottone Visconti one of the leaders of the lombard contingent. Since then it has rappresented the arms of the State of Milan. The flag has been the official emblem of the Dukedom from 1395 till 1796 when Napoleon dismantled it (together with the Holy Roman Empire) and it appears also in the arms of every emperor of the house of Hapsburg from Carl the fifth onwards (having carried the emperors themselves the title of Duke of Milan after the death of the last Sforza). When the Hapsburgs will re-enter their possessions in 1815 after Napoleon's fall the dukedom will be unified with the former Republic of Venice and Dukedom of Mantua to form the Lombardo -Veneto kingdom.
GianPietro Gallinelli, 29 September 2000

The Padan's Insubria flag was first presented on 4th of June 2000 at Pontida (Bg), Lombardia by Cultural Association "Terra Insubre". See
Matteo Colaone, 4 October 2000

In Milan (Lombardy, Italy) page, Jaume Olle said: "Visconti flag 1277-1397. Reconstructed from writen descriptions.
In 1397 the use of imperial eagle was granted by Empeor" . Above GianPietro 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 the image at Milan's page is, chronologically, the first flag of the Dukedom, and the above flag was the evolution after 1395 of the previous flag , so it 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

This flag is not to be considered a "Padanian" flag, as it has directly nothing to do with the Padanian or Northern League movement. The Insubrian flag (also called "Ducale") is simply the historical flag of the Duchy of Milan (Ducato di Milano). This land is also called Insubria: this name is currently used in historical, folkloric, socio-economical and association fields. The flag started to be used with quite a political aim by the Insubrian autonomists after its "rediscovery" in 2000.
Matteo Colaone, 28 June 2005