The Mysterious Flag of Sardinia

This is not even all of them, I have about 15 collecting dust in my dresser drawer.

I have a fascination with flags. This is not because I am Canadian and wear my flag with pride on my backpack, hat, t-shirt, underwear and socks but I find them truly and utterly beautiful. They flap effortlessly in the wind and they represent their country with amazing pride.

When I first moved to Sardinia 4.5 years ago and noticed the flag of Sardinia floating angelic like against the blue sky, I was shocked. Why shocked? Well, because of the four heads blindfolded. I silently pondered the meaning behind this odd flag and vowed to find out more.

I asked my husband what the flag represents and he told me some fable about four Africans taken into the mountains and shot. This can’t be true. I allowed my Italian language skills to improve over the years and asked the same questions to the same people, no one seemed to know what the flag stands for. I can understand the confusion of the locals as the flag over the years has changed without notice and without explanation adding only increased mystery and confusion.

Over the centuries the 4 Moors have changed at times they are looking left, other times right, sometimes blindfolded other times wearing headbands, eyes open, eyes closed, bareheaded and sometimes with a crown.

I was perplexed and curious. I would get to the bottom of this mystery.

The Four Moors Flag | Bandiera dei Quattro Mori

The original flag of Sardinia

File:Bandera nacionalista sarda.svg

The original flag of Sardinia showing the 4 Moors heads turned to the left and blindfolded.


Some sources (who? I have no idea) state that the flag is of Spanish origin representing four Moorish invaders blindfolded for execution. However, the  Sardinian Autonomous Region states that the emblem dates back to 1281, and can be seen on a seal of the Royal Chancellery of Peter the Great of Aragon.

It wasn’t until the 14th century when the Kingdom of Sardinia became part of the Confederation of the Crown of Aragon, that the Four Moors became associated with Sardinia.

Official Coat of Arms of Aragon

It was not until the 18th century that the arrangement of the heads was fixed, with the Moors facing left and being blindfolded. On July 2, 1952, by decree, the emblem became the official symbol of the region, and on April 15, 1999, the official flag, but this time with the Moors facing right, wearing headbands, and with their eyes open.”

4 Moors’ beach towel with heads facing left and blindfolded.

Beach vendors continue to sell Sardinian souvenirs like beach towels, umbrellas, t-shirts and cooler bags with the 4 Moors’ heads facing left or right, blindfolded or not. Why? I don’t have the answer.

Sardinian beach umbrella with 4 Moors’ heads facing right.

Confused? Yes, so am I.

Source: Wikipedia – The Flag of Sardinia
Source: To My Sardinia – has a fantastic article on the 4 Moors.

Do you know the real story behind the 4 Moors? Please tell me below.

***If you’ve read this far, thank-you! I urge you to also take a few extra minutes to read the comments from my trusty Sardinian followers. They have the knowledge I seek and I trust their advice, they have put a few things into perspective for me about the regional flag of Sardinia. Grazie mille.

106 thoughts on “The Mysterious Flag of Sardinia

  1. I’ll end this senseless debate & say this, the term more meant “Dark” & was originally used to describe Arabs/Berbers who are not in fact black, in fact North Africa itself is not black…the region is classified as (MENA) meaning middle eastern & North African.

    The term moors has been adapted throughout history as Berger’s & Middle Eastern Muslims rose to royalty: Dubai, Arabia, Qatar etc.

    The British began coining Blacks as Moors during the periods of slavery.

    The Aragon crest shown was meant to display the Arabs/Berger’s with their pointy noses & olive skin.

    The reason for the present day depiction in black can be a result of two things

    1.Europeans saw black, brown, dark as one race at a time.

    2.Artist often used black to depict Arabs as well…we can call it lazy ness. Regardless the original Sardinian invaders were not black & North Africans are not black!

    Most black Africans come from, West, Central, East & South.

    The north despised black Africans & their are still killings & slavery taking place to prove it.

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  3. Wow, you set off one hell of a thread, Jennifer!
    Nothing to do with recent posts (which seemed to have gone off on a tangent), but when I was there I heard that the reason for the shifting of the blindfold was to represent a new sense of direction for the country, which was missing in the past, hence Sardinian’s couldn’t ‘see’ the way forward. Nothing to do with its history though, so may be just be a nice story.

    • That’s why it’s such a mystery. Anyone I talk too, locals included have differing stories. Thanks for giving your two cents, maybe one day we will get to the bottom of this. Kind regards.

      • Hi. I certainly don’t have the power to do that. Have you read about the history of Sardinia’s flag, or shall we change history too?

  4. The Queen’s private garden is in Gibraltar. I went there to see two statues side by side. Queen Agnes and her Cousin – best friend in the world. Yes, she was a cute little black girl with pigtails.
    If you haven’t done so please read Hitler’s meine kompf carefully then read the bio of Preist Martin Luther.
    All the clues are in those two books.
    Were they really killing Jews, Native Germans, Swabians or mixed Blacks? They were all one in the same.
    They were using this bank called Reichbank (Rich Bank).
    After WWII USA took the gold they were storing within national Reichbank.
    Remember Germany got it’s name from Julius Caesar, he called them ‘Germs’ hence the word Germany. That’s because the Saxons and Barbarians were race mixing. The natives were Multiracials. Prior to Julius Caesar renaming the country it was called KeisserReichs (Rich Empior). The natives lived very poorly but were rich in gold.
    And they didn’t like paying taxes therefore they would leave their money in the bank. The bank invested in gold only. When a customer lost his her job the bank would give him a 0 interest loan and find the customer a new job.
    Gov really didn’t like this form of business. Especially when Reichbank was printing $10bil to $50 billion dollar notes.
    Filthy rich!
    The Swabians had to turn it all over to Gov and leave the country.
    Otto would be very disappointed.

  5. By the way, I read Otto’s speech and it was beautiful. I believe the image is his brother King Conrad.
    When the headband is covering his eyes it means he’s ashamed of what he’s seeing.
    King Otto moved out of his Castle into a monetary in Bavaria. He also built the first school and A college for enlightenment. Bavaria became a main hub for information and theory.
    Otto was a genius!
    Since his death all evidence of German blacks has been almost completely erased. But you can find them as Mohr(en) or as Swabi Tribe.
    What’s not clear is his statement that his mother was Ethiopean because at that time Germans referred to all Africans as Ethiopeans.
    Otto also wrote rules that we call today Legislation. He did a lot in his lifetime that can’t be matched to this date.

    • “What’s not clear is his statement that his mother was Ethiopean because at that time Germans referred to all Africans as Ethiopeans.”

      Because many Ethiopians are Jews? And most Germans are Jewish?

      • take off the layers……
        when something is ISH….. it means to have the essence of the TV show Black ‘ ish……

        only a few know the truth…….
        As a young kid we grew up poor’ ish…… we were not poor….

        As a group of people your are either the real mccoy or pretending by using ” ISH!”

        So read the comment again and get the answer yourself

        The Ethiopians are Jews…..
        Most Germans are jewISH……

  6. I read about this years ago in Rome. A great man by the name of Otto Von Freising gave a speech known as ‘Men of all men’ while wearing a white head band in year 900s.
    Otto was the archbishop and the King of Freising. Also he looked white as his father King ??? His older brother King Conrad was dark skinned mohr like their mother. One day a Muslim merchant made a derogatory comment about Conrad to Otto not knowing they were brothers. Calling Conrad a Moor or mohrin. Otto went ballistic and had many Muslims killed.
    Mohr means dark black,
    In German moor means dirty, muddy…
    His speech was his way of telling the people we are all mixed, we’re all one man created by all men.
    The white headband stood for years as a trend against racism during a period when racism was completely new and unheard of.
    After this the Royal family decided to completely breed into the Weis race, white race due to concerns of this new trend called racism.
    Otto’s mother was Ethiopean. I can only imagine how upset he was. He also closed the Vatican for restructuring over this issue because Muslims had breached the Vatican posing as Jewish Conversos to Christianity carrying Kabbalahs…

    • Thank you for this information. I’ve come across similar knowledge in my own personal research. The book “Ancient and Modern Britons” by David Mcritchie also provides some further insight.

  7. Interesting piece. I am also a flag geek and wondered about this flag. We are currently on a beach in Tuscany & have just bought an inflatable pillow with this flag on. Am also going to Sardinia shortly on a cycle trip so I will see if any locals have gained any knowledge recently. I like the idea of the heads turning to face Italy… Maybe the Corsican head is looking up now towards France? Am also interested in other regional flags, particularly the ikurrina – the Basque flag seen during various cycle races…

  8. Hi there!!!
    Just stumbled across your blog!!! Do not know if after all these years you still live in Sardinia or still want to know.
    The real story behind the ” quattro mori ” is very… very … very simple. You just have to have an understanding of how historical facts do unfold in reality.
    Everything is clarified in a recent book by a brilliant sardinian guy who’s name is Franciscu Sedda and he teaches semiotic in some university.

    Very nice straight forward story…….. and very exciting too, It put’s under a completely different light sardinia and Sardinians.

    Now ..take care and have a good one whatever you are doing!!!
    Cheeriooooooo !

  9. Is it not obvious? The original looked african moor. The latest flag (and the coat of arms is BLATANT) changes facial characteristics to more Anglo features. Straight nose, less protruding lips and less bushy hair. Research the Senagalese Moors. The Muslim Arabs invaded Africa before they hit the Iberian peninsula. Maybe this is blatant racism as a result of the multiculturalist agenda? Perhaps the government doesn’t want to revisit that the area was heavily raped by these invaders of a darker shade? Why wouldn’t the IRS recognize it? What dog does that organization have in the hunt? To me, this is racism or political correctness (aka everything is protected but being white and Christian). Go ahead and freak out and call names now. I just call it like I see it and refuse to ignore the very obvious.

    • I came across this flag on my visit to Sardinia this year, although my arrival came with slightly less intentions to invade, than my african ancestors… a mere tourist.

      I was curious as to why this country would have a black person on its flag, when most of its inhabitants looked Mediterranean.

      When I saw childeren on the beach playing with black gollywog dolls. I found it amusing.

      It only dawned on me at the departure lounge, when I went into the souvenir shop and saw this:

      I concluded that they simply wish to make a mockery out of their former captors, even to this day….

    • It’s deeper than you believing it’s to protect multiculturalism or to be “PC”…this story and history is being covered up for more than your white ego. The history and contributions of black people to Europe is what’s not being told here….the idea is perpetuated that black skinned people are inferior and unaccomplished historically is what the lie is…not about your precious whiteness and Christianity (which by the way has its origins from the black race).

      • Amen Chilli………

        Moors taught other races…… one simple test…..

        Raise your hand if you wash your meat…….

        There is a group of people that wash their meat without a second thought… There is a group of people today that washing meats seems foreign/ not natural to do!!!!

        All Moors were known for having high standards for personal hygiene and standards for preparing food!!!!!

        If I was poor and starving there is a race of people I would not eat any meat from their house!!!

        Gotta love being sunkissed!!!

    • Thank you for being honest and frank. What a ni c e thing to witness in these times.

    • Ruled Rome for 10 years ?wth are you talking about ?Black moors ruling Rome ! damn its a little much ! the afrocentrists are getting crazy when they think africans were involved in old europe ! i dont understand ? is it like a see (we were not just slaves but we ruled you kind of thing ) ! its very childish ! anyway the Arabs used blacks in conquest of spain !

      • I don’t know about Rome but they did rule the over the Nordic region. If I remember correctly they were Multiracial Scythians that settled in the Nordic. Same as native Rus before the mongolians came and took over Russia. The Nordic and Russian natives were called Swabi.
        Matter of fact they did rule Rome at some point but not as Africans but as Multiracials.
        If you’re interested look for a book that refers to ‘‎History
        … the founding of Rome by over five-hundred years. He identified the Amazons, a race of female warriors from the Caucases, along with the Swabi and Vindeliker, .’
        Hard to beleive but it’s true. It was women running the wars of the Swabi Confederation. Therefore the men of the Saxons and Barbarians. They were Multiracials negros. The same happened to Hungaria when the Ungri Nigri Tribe defeated the Hun. Translation ‘Young Blacks’.
        They later changed the name of the tribe to Magyars after forcing the Hun to blood-in. They were all of the Swabi Confederation.
        Matter of fact a branch of Roman military was the Swiss Guards.
        The Swiss Guards were a mixed breed due to the Theban Legion from Africa that settled Switzerland.
        Good luck denying documented facts. What did you think WWI and WWII were really about? The genocide committed by Russia, China, Italy, and Germany’s occupiers…

      • When people say Arabs used blacks is a false positive message and that’s your mistake. Africans, Arabs, Iranians and Afghans were race mixing. It was something like six ethnic groups that fell under one umbrella as Swabians. They ruled Spain, Portugal, Angola, Ghana and possibly all of Europe.
        Too bad Gov’ts F’ed up history to the point people don’t understand even with a DNA test they don’t get it. They didn’t migrate into Europe from Africa rather from Asia.

      • Matter of fact it was way more than 10 years. The first three Popes were Africans. Swabians built Sicely Italy. I can’t think of too many places they didn’t build.
        Russia, China, Europe, America, Africa…
        For some strange reason when people hear the words African, negros or blacks they jump back yelling ooh hell no. But when it’s something unfamiliar like Swabi then it’s permissible.
        Well these are Afro-Asiains, Eurasians, Prussians (Swabians).
        I guess I’ll have to keep repeating myself until somebody says ‘Shitz now I get it!’

      • I found a picture of a very noble man from the 16th century who is believed to be white…..

        Why does the pic look exactly like a male member of my family!!!!

        If you saw the DNA commercial about the lady who found out that George Washington was a relative and she hold up the picture and you can see the resemblance!!!!

        Well my picture is better than that!!!!!

        So who is telling the truth and who is not??

        Gotta love being sunkissed!!!!!!

  10. Very interesting topic. I too have often wondered about the flag. After living in Europe for many years and doing research I have realized history has been deceptively fabricated. Whether we want to admit it or not there is traces of Moor “Black” royalty throughout Europe even the Anglo countries. There is a reason why countries around the Mediterranean have predominantly black straight to fairly curly hair, brown eyes, and a darker hue. That has little to do with being closer to the equator and more to do with mixing with the moors “Black” race. Initially Sardinia was conquered by Moors again “black” and reconquered with the help of England army with new weaponry( i.e, guns)! IMO the flag initially stood for Moorish royalty as you can find many coats of arms with “black heads” throughout European villages,towns,etc… then with reconquering stood for a symbol of captured black moors, now there are tons of urban legends about the flag unfortunately probably rooted in racism with the Sardinians refusing to admit they were once ruled by BLACK AFRICANS. History lies ,DNA doesn’t. Pay close attention to many Sardinians characteristics, though hundreds of years have past of racial purity if you will the black dominant gene still seeps through to the surface. Much Love to all on this thread we all (myself highly included) should leave our prejudice and preconceived notions out and search for ultimate truth. Ciao tutti

  11. @Jason: Is Othello a racist drama? They’re not “black men”, they’re moors, a broad term from medieval and early modern times. Nowadays some people would find the term “moors” offensive and so it shouldn’t be used. On the other hand it would be a shame to ban the title “the Moor of Venice” just for the sake of political correctness: it is somehow racist to judge the past with our moral codes as well.

    I read a lot of comments about Sardinia, Italy and Spain being conquered by the “moors”. I would like to state that this is not entirely correct. Sardinia has never been ruled as a whole by anyone, thus including the romans. Certainly Italy and Spain were never conquered by the moors, they ruled some areas but not the entire countries as we know them, same goes for spanish, french and austrian later on. @Daryl Wide The moors didn’t bring Europe “out of darkness” as there was no darkness to be brought off. A conquer is a conquer what it brings is war and oppression, it doesn’t matter where it comes from.

    @Jennifer I seriously doubt it has its origins in the defeat of the saracenes, wheter by the aragoneses or the sardinians, it was written down once a long time after the battles (ca. 1000) and it became some sort of official explaination by word of mouth.
    It is more likely that the moor’s head comes from saint Maurice. He used to be a widely venerated saint in western Europe from 1200 (the same century we find the first representation of the 4 heads) until mid 1500 and the well known leader of the Theban legion (3rd century).
    If you look at paitings of saint Maurice (in France, Germany, Italy) you’ll find them very similar to the sardinian and corsican flags (including all the variations you described, e.g. wearing a crown, as well as many coats-of-arms in use in Europe. Being the pathron of swordsmiths and soldiers I am not surprise his face was used everywhere and for no specific reason stayed until today on the corsican, sardinian and aragonese flags.

  12. Has everyone forgotten that the Moors conquered Spain and all the islands in the Mediterranean, I was told that the 4 heads represent the 4 kings or rulers. The moors brought euroupe out of darkness into civilization.

  13. Why would a country create a flag of Four African Heads to symbolize defeat of them? Doesn’t make sense, I would thing a country would make a flag in Honor of them………just my two cents….

    • The flag represents them the moors ruled those places, the demographics of those countries where quit different 800 yrs ago when black Africans ruled southern Europe and introduced their modern technology like paved roads and running water etc…

      • only one group of people practiced personal hygiene……

        If you ever notice people after using a public bathroom…..

        Their is one race that will always wash their hands and one that 7 out of 10 will not!!!!!

        There are even scenes in movies about them not washing their hands after using the bathroom!!!!

        Gotta love being sun-kissed!!!

    • Honor what? That they taught their sex slaves how to count and bathed them before they admitted them to a harem under bondage? At least they brought culture while they were brutalizing. Sardinia should be so grateful. Right?

      • hey! countries are not the people usually. the people just come with the land. rulers dictate through media! canada’s flag is 50yrs old! the red maple leaf we all know and love. is a replacement from the original! nobody fought for maple trees! i thought i could post pics here!

    • So if they honored them , why wouldnt we know all about it ! The defeat and beheading of these (black/arab/whatever men) was more religion than anything((Islam bonded them)) not color ! muslim verse christian ! color is a new thing ! they looked at black africans or the arabs that ruled Spain and Sicily just like any other people just darker ! the racism came with the trans-Atlantic slave trade of millions of Africans ! Its exactly why when the arabs were kicked out of Sicily and given land in Lucera ,the townspweople revolted and did not trust living next to muslims ! they did not want another caliphate situation like in Spain and most of Sicily !

  14. First of all sardines did not defeat the moore England did for that country when the queen and the king gotten married the finally had an army to defeat the moors using the Gun the moor took the country by hand that the differences between the two races

  15. i have visited sardegna many times, have some family, I’ve asked about the flag, and was told an interesting story. back in history, one of the last times sardegna was attacked by an african nation, who wanted to take over the island, but were not successful, the four heads represent the four leaders who tried to invade and take over the island, they were captured and either hanged or beheaded. thus how the four heads became a symbol of the islands flag. I’m not sure if thats true, but i think its something like that

    • If someone tried to kill me and stole things from my house, I would not take a picture of them and make a flag and hang it outside my house!!!!

      If I overpowered a household I would take a pic of myself and hang it outside to let people know I’m the new OWNER!!!!

      If that is the norm everyone would have pictures of people that hurt or violated them in picture frames all over their house!!!!

      The flag could mean I ( I being the moors) conquered this land so easily ( that is why they are blindfolded) or they abducted Blacks and brought them to this land without them knowing where they were being taking to.


      We might never know

  16. Koh, the four beheaded Moors on the Sardinia’s coat of flag represent four Black African men not Arab men. The word “Arab” denotes a culture not a race or color. Just like with the word “Latino,” any black or brown or white Latino person knows that it denotes a culture not a race or color. Both actor Mario Lopez (Mexican-American) and actress Zoe Saldana (Afro-Dominican/Puerto Rican-American) are proud Latino people. Moor denotes a skin complexion or hue. Moorish men were black people from Northwest Africa. Moor has its etymological root in the Spanish word “Moro” (like Morocco in Northwest Africa) and French word “Mauri” (like Mauritania in Northwest Africa). Amy had it right by commenting that the four beheaded Moors were black Africans. Koh, technically, sub-African is a geopolitical term. The continent is called Africa and it cannot be geographically or politically divided. No one calls countries like Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece, etc. sub-Scandinavian Europe nor does any one call Spaniards or Italians or Greeks “sub-Scandinavian Europeans. Sub denotes less than. Are you asserting that tropical African people are culturally and ethnically less than “Saharan” or northern Africans? Like yourself, I too was a product of the public school system, which is a system based on Western education. Due its origin in scientific racism, Western education is being challenged by various schools of thought, everyday. My school of thought is the story of the hunted lion not the two-legged hunter. By the way, the lion is a hunter too.

    • I could not have said it any better. A good read is, “Black Star- The African Presence in Europe”. It talks about both flags.

    • Actually “sub-saharan” means “south of Sahara”. In this case the latin prefix sub- is used in the literal meaning of “below, under” (e.g. submarine).
      “The continent is called Africa and it cannot be geographically divided.” er…no? So there is no mediterranean sea, no iberian peninsula, no Ireland or Great Britain, no northern Europe, no northern Africa, no south-eastern Asia? Interesting.

    • “Koh, the four beheaded Moors on the Sardinia’s coat of flag represent four Black African men not Arab men.” Huh? If you knew squat about the history of Sardinia and the Western Mediterranean you would know well that in this context “Moors” means “Arab Muslims” and specifically “Arab Muslim Pirates”.

  17. The flag of Sardinia recalls the Spanish reconquista, it represents the victory of Christians over Arabs with the Battle of Alcoraz, it has has been introduced in Sardinia during Aragonese Era. If you look for the Flag or Aragon you can see the same symbol.

  18. Hi Jennifer,
    This is a Sardinian guy currently living in a Celtic area, Ireland but with my own island, Sardinia stamped on my heart!!! not to mention the flag :0)!!!
    Talking of which, have a look at the link below, I’m pretty sure you will stumble on something we’ve already come across… 🙂

    Hugues de Payns or de Paynes, co-founder and first Grand Master of the Knights Templar!!

    and look up for “Commanderie Hugues de Payns”…

  19. Sorry but you have 4 heads of black men on a crusaders background….

    Do you not see this as being… well… racist? After all the flag was designed to be a warning?


    I like the new flag, the one that faces right : )

      • Isn’t a Saracen an Arab,but the 4 heads are clearly black Africans,meaning that the moors were actually black Africans,kinda seems like the elephant in the room no one really wants to mention.

        My two cents worth 🙂

      • Amy, that flag represent 4 beheaded moors, so arabs from northafrica, it has nothing to do with subsaharians!

      • Subsaharians? Wow racist much? I have been to Sardinia and done research on this flag. Koh…….. First of all; The Balearic Islands as well as most of the Mediterranean were conquered by “The Moors” (Moor means Black). In fact they ruled Spain for 800yrs; conquered Sardinia, Sicily, and Southern Mainland Italy. Arabs as we know them today were not yet present in number at the time of the Moorish conquest. If you would like to be technical; Morocco, Algeria, Tunis, and Southern Spain were ruled and owned by a Powerful Dynasty of Sultans from Senegal known as the Almoravides, building the city of Marrakesh and Morocco City.

        There are several associations of Moors being who they obviously were. The Sardinian flag is evidence (they wouldn’t specifically make this mistake), Zwarte Piet in Holland whom comes from Spain, The Coat of Arms of Pope Benedict XVI, Sankt Peter am Kammersberg……… The list goes on and on…… Everyone characterizes their depictions as a “Moor”………….And yes Amy! The Elephant has been in the room for years. Some people like Koh are too naive to see it.

      • Joel is an idiot.

        1. Moor means dark not black, and that was a word to personify non-Christians rather than non-Whites, as such a race system did not exist back then

        2. Sardinia and Southern Italy were never Moorish

        3. Moors were Berbers (google Zinedine Zidane or Karim Benzema), not black

        4. So why are the Moors on the first flag, of Aragon, not black?

        5. Zwarte Piet is fictional, just as paintings of Jesus could be used as “proof” that he was fair-skinned

      • Furthermore Joel, if you’re saying there were no Arabs in North Africa at the time, how were the Moors Muslim?

        You’re just proof that people need to read and travel more. Fantasist

    • Lol@ the people calling Joel a fantasist and dismissing his commentary. He is speaking historical facts. What you have been told is what’s inaccurate. The moors of that era, were indeed what you would consider “Sub-Saharan African” in appearance. They were not light skinned or Arab or any other falsities you believe to be truth.

      Begin your OWN research and look at the photographic evidence for yourself, and you will clearly see moors mainly depicted as fully black African looking people. For starters, have a look at the Fairbairns Book of crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland — you will notice that the families with the names Blakemoore, Moore, More, etc. have a moors head/bust on their crest. These moors are strictly shown as African in appearance. Even those without “Moore” in their surname, like Gorton, Bowman, and Griffiths, also depict Moors. Furthermore, have a look at some of the Moors depicted on German crests…you will see an African face as equating to being a Moor.

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  22. According to my sources it was Pope Benedict VIII in 1015/16 to rally to the defense of the Island
    Creating a standard depicting the Cross of St. Geroge (The Crusaders come to mind) and the beheaded Saracens….Read on:
    Saracens raids
    Flag of Sardinia depicting the christian symbol of the San George’s Cross surrounded by four blindfolded beheads of Saracens pirates
    Starting from 705–706, the Saracens from North Africa (recently conquered by the Arab armies) harassed the population of the coastal cities. Due to Saracen attacks, in the 9th century Tharros was abandoned in favor of Oristano, after more than 1800 years of occupation; Caralis, Porto Torres and numerous other coastal centres suffered the same fate. There was news of another massive Saracen sea attack in 1015-16 from the Balearics Islands, led by Mujahid (Latinized in Museto), the saracen’s attempt of invasion of the island was stopped by Sardinian Giudicati with the support of Pisa and Genoa. Pope Benedict VIII asked the aid of the maritime republics of Pisa and Genoa in the struggle against the Arabs.I thought I put my two cents worth to the pot!!!!

  23. I will def ask my mother who is from Sardegna [original spelling] and will get back to you.

  24. Hey Jennifer!!

    Just stumbled on your blog!

    As Sardinian, I wondered the same ’bout the flag… and couldn’t get why it changed!!!
    Well, I once heard that the flag is from the Spanish invasion and that the blindfolded Four Moors are from the old Kingdom of Sardinia: they got blindfolded cuz ashamed of submission by the Kingdom. After many years, someone (guess the region :S) decided to change the flag to represent freedom from the Kingdom, facing the Moors right and having the bands on their forehead.

    I don’t know if this is right but it’s a nice story! lol
    Though, few years ago someone told me…. the original flag is now back as the official flag!!!!!!

    ….whatever… 😀

    • Ciao Anna,

      It is a nice story, rather confusing but beautiful nonetheless. When I first arrived on the island I was perplexed at the different flags of Sardinia and started asking around – not a lot of people knew, so I had to do my own investigation. Thanks for stopping by! Where in Sardinia are you from?

  25. Grazie Jennifer….seguo il tuo Blog con vivo interesse e spesso condivido nella mia pagina FB le tue avvincenti argomentazioni! Le tue ricerche sulla nostra amata bandiera, hanno chiarito diversi miei dubbi e sono stati interessanti anche gli interventi degli altri lettori!! Un caro saluto
    Maria Giovanna

  26. Pingback: THE FRIDAY FEATURE: Chase the Dart/Believe in Dreams | Thirdeyemom

  27. I am of Sardinian origins living in Australia and as far as I can remember the 4 moors were always blindfolded and turned to the left.Lots of blood has been shed by Sardinian soldiers in various wars around the world and their flag has always been a subject of pride to them and to the many migrants from this island spread around the globe,why change it after centuries?This flag has mysterious and unclear origins,so what?Civil libertarians,bored public servants and attention seeking petty politicians suddenly found all these various meanings,all of them negative of course and they could not help themselves,they had to change it!The moors were looking towards Spain they said,what,with their eyes covered?!There are many many people that share my same view,that`s why you will find merchandise being sold with the old flag all over the island and all over the world online…… thankfully

  28. the flag of sardinia celebrates the victory of Sardinians against the attempts of conquer by the Arabs,unlike Sicily and the Balearics, Sardinia is the only western mediterranean island together Corsica (that has got a similar flag) who was never invaded by the Saracens,
    It represents 4 heads of north african pirates beheaded after the execution, the red flag is the saint George Cross, a cristian symbol, banner used by the Crusaders and the Templars.

    • When people refer to ancient Rome they mean Constantinople not Italy. The Eastern Church Took no part in the Crusades. The Eastern and Western Church didn’t split until 1054 (now referred to as Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox). Before 1054 the term Pope was equal with Patriarch, no more or less since there was no primate but a council of Bishops (which the East maintains).

      • I am soooooooooo glad you did !!!! I love hearing all these wonderful pieces that make it a whole. it must be fun to dig in to these types of mysteries. Might have to start doing that myself one of these days with little old NZ. Just keep ’em coming ppppllllleeeeaaaasssseeeee

  29. Pingback: Get your DIY blog banners and wave…to this awesome bloggers! « Sweetjellybean/Blogging, with Love.

  30. It is a cool flag and I collect patches from the places we visit as well. I kinda like that they have a mysteriously flag. Is the place mysteriously in other aspects?

  31. You know that I’ve read somewhere there is an interpretation that wants the red cross of the flag linked somehow to the Templars? Sardinia’s flag is certainly fertile ground for an interesting research 😉

    • There is a really great explanation in the comments!

      Looking to the left they are looking towards Spain, at one time in history Sardinia was ruled by Spain.

      The new flag has the 4 Moors looking right, at Rome.

  32. The flag itself looks like beeing a flag that we got from the spanish that conquered Sardinia. Since the 4 moors came inot the island they got more and more popularity, becoming later on the symbol of the 4 countries the independent Sardinia was divided in. In time it became the symbol of the Sardinia, regardless of its original meaning (which probably was related to a battle between spanish and africans), and it is brough around the world with pride by all the sardinians! Did you see the gold medal in archery? Beside the italian flag there was ours! We are almost the only ones to bring the flag to concerts, events or strikes as our symbol of identity!
    It is wonderfully surprising!

    • I did see the gold medal in archery, fantastic! When watching soccer matches or concert events I always scan the crowds looking for the Sardinian flag and well, the Canadian flag!

      Thank you for the great explanation on the flag of Sardinia! It’s a beautiful flag and one I’m proud to adopt! 🙂

  33. The “original” one is the one with moors wearing headbands and earrings and facing left.
    They changed it because perhaps it looked too sharp, outrageous and Spanish; since the moors are looking toward Spain and are in the positions of the Aragon Flag’s moors:

    So in 1999 they are no longer facing left but right: “Hey guys that’s Italy! I can see Rome looking right, how cool isn’t?” they no longer wear earrings nor are erroneously blindfolded.

    Why do you find 4 different version of beach merchandise? It’s for several reason, some might not like the “new” flag, some others simply don’t know which is the official one, and mostly… they use the version that fits better or they like the most – as you can see in this page: – There is the new logo of Regione Autonoma della Sardegna (top left), there also are two variants of pirate skulls facing right and blindfolded Sardinia facing left… all done by the same guy.

    • Fantastic, and thank you! I had never thought about the Moors looking at Spain or Rome. It all makes sense now! I’ve seen the official coat of arms and should have included it in this post. Thank you for the links. The T-shirts are great!

      • I think there is more to it than looking at Italy. Look at the change in facial features and hair as well.

  34. Interesting! The same symbol, looking left, is also on the Corsican flag, Sardinia’s neighbouring island. A single moor’s head symbol on a white background with the bandana on the forehead. This was moved off the eyes to symbolise Corsica’s liberation in the 18th century.

    • Ciao Kathryn,

      I’ve seen the flag of Corsica only on the internet and thought how strange that these two islands would share such a symbol. The more I look into the history of Sardinia’s flag the more I’m confused to find the real answer.

      • The real answer is political correctness. We can’t have anyone that enslaved people unless they are white and European. They changed nose, hair, eyes and lips to make the Moors look less African and more European. Pretty obvious if you look at the facial features. Why? I venture to guess for Political Correctness because of the African slave trade that was so brutal and people are still hurt. They don’t want a flag that reveals anyone with African roots who is also darker colored did the same to white Europeans. It gives racist people an excuse to diminish their hardships, which there is no excuse to do that to anyone no matter what anyone else did to them.

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