Flag of Malta
(Maltese: Bandiera ta'
Malta) is a basic bi-colour, with white in the hoist and red
in the fly: colours from the blazon of the arms of Malta.
Tradition states that the colours of the flag were given to Malta
by Count Roger of Sicily
, in 1091.
The banner of Count Roger was a chequered red and white flag and he
gave a set from this banner.
A key stronghold during the Crusades, much of the heraldry of Malta
is influenced by the colours and devices of the Knights of Malta.
Their badge was the characteristic Maltese
, and their arms were a white cross on a red field. From
these colours came the red and white shield that was used during
Malta's colonial period. In the upper hoist
corner (in the canton
of the white field) is the George Cross
, outlined in red.
The honour was
in 1943 by King George VI
to the entire Maltese population, for their exceptional bravery and gallantry during World
. In 1964, the blue canton on which the cross was
originally placed was replaced by a red fimbriation. This flag was
adopted upon Malta's independence, on 21
. The Maltese national
flag is unique in bearing a decoration from another country, in
this case the United
The civil ensign
is totally different:
it shows a red field, bordered white and charged with a white