by Br. Alexis Bugnolo
Ordo Militaris Inc. is now offering this Gonfalone for sale to customers anywhere in the world. (See here to order).
Here are some photographs and a short video of the Flag of Marcantonio Colonna, High Admiral of the Catholic Forces of the Holy League, at the Battle of Lepanto, October 7, 1571.
The Gonfalone or Banner measures 1 meter by 1.8 meters, and is printed on polyester. The Gonfalone is the historical form of the flag, designed as it was to be flown on the Galley of Admiral Colonna and to catch the wind from every direction.
This flag is an accurate historical reproduction of the original flag which flew at the Battle of Lepanto. It is the very flag which was raised to signal to the Catholic Forces the opening of the battle.
In this photo you can see the design better. At the heart of the Flag is Christ Crucified on a Latin Cross, with the accusation of Pontius Pilate, INRI, above His Head. At His Sacred Feed are the Escutcheons or Shields of the 4 military powers which participated in the Holy League of 1571, at the request of Pope Saint Pius V, the great Dominican Pontiff. His shield is immediately below Christ’s Feet, and is supported by the Keys of Peter. On the right hand of his shield is the shield of Philip, King of Spain, and to the left of Pope St. Pius V’s shield is that of the Serenissima, or Republic of Venice. At the bottom, is the Shield of Don Juan of Austria, son of King Philip, who was Commander in Chief of the Marines at the Battle. The four shields are joined by a Chain representing the Holy League of 1571, which was signed in May of that year.
The Flag itself is highly symbolic. The braided border represents the beads and chain of the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, to whose intercession the Victory was entrusted and obtained. The ovals in gold, upon the blue field, represent the Galleys of the Catholic Flotilla, and the golden blooms emanating from some of them represent the military innovation which was first deployed at Lepanto: Cannonade upon the brows of the Venetian Ships, which was instrumental in dealing a devastating blow to the better part of the Turkish Fleet. Finally, there are 3 sections of the Flag, that with the Cross, and to its right, another two, each smaller. These represent the 3 Fleets which joined together at Messina, Sicily, before proceeding to the Battle at Lepanto (Naupactos) off the Greek Coast of the Adriatic: The Spanish, the Venetian and the Papal. This last included ships of the Republic of Genoa and of a Knightly Order from Tuscany, as well as those of the Knights Hospitaliers.
The reason I have had this flag produced, is that in 2021, on October 7, the Christendom will celebrate the 450th Anniversary of this epic battle which saved Europe from Islamic domination. And I believe, that here in Europe this flag will be of great interest.
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