Skip to comments.The story behind the white and yellow colors of the Vatican flag
Posted on 07/15/2008 10:37:31 AM PDT by NYer
.- LOsservatore Romano published an article last week explaining how Pope Pius VII decided in 1808 that the Vatican colors would be white and yellow. Historian Claudio Ceresa explained the history behind the Popes choice.
In an article entitled, Two centuries of yellow and white as the papal colors, Ceresa explained that in order to understand why the colors were chosen, one must consider the occupation of the city by Napoleonic troops in February of 1808.
The commander of the French forces, General Miollis, posted notices on the walls informing that the Popes army would be incorporated into the imperial forces. Those officials who remained loyal to Pius VII were to be arrested and deported, Ceresa explained. Reaction was minimal because it was reported that the Pontiff was aware and did not resist. Only a small group of loyalists were deported to a prison in Mantova.
In order to underscore the unification, and probably to increase the situation of uncertainty as well, Ceresa continued, the papal soldiers were allowed to continue using the distinctive yellow-red colors on their hats.
Ceresa afterwards noted that the Pope did not want the Vatican State to be subject to Napoleon, and therefore on March 13, 1808 he forcefully protested. He ordered, among other things, that the units that were still loyal to him substitute the Roman insignia colors with white and yellow.
Abbot Luca Antonio Benedetalla wrote in his diary on the same date that in order not to confuse the Roman soldiers who were under French command with the few that remained in his service, the Pope ordered the new yellow and white insignia. The noble guard and the Swiss have adopted it. They like it, he wrote.
Ceresa explained that three days later, on March 16, 1808, Pius VII sent the order in writing to the diplomatic corps, the document is considered to be the act creating the colors of the current flag of Vatican City.
“Under Napoleon” is the key detail.
Ah. Yes. The french are only good when they are being ruled by foreigners...
So did every country in western Europe as the 18th century turned into the 19th, to say nothing of much of North Africa.
Of course, the French Emperor was actually a Genoan Italian who was born in Corsica, but the army was largely French nonetheless.
French troops. Corsican commander.
Besides, how many divisions has the pope?
If God is on your side, how many divisions do you need?
...Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand: and let all the other people go every man unto his place...
More than the other guy. Or if not more, at least a few that are better than the other guy.
God seems inclined to sit these things out nowadays.
And while God may hear all prayers, sometimes the answer is "No."
As Pius XII said to the Russian Ambassador, "Tell my son Josef [Stalin] that he will meet my divisions in the next life."
We humans don't always know what we need.
Or, alternatively, at least twelve legions of angels, Matthew 26:53. If you figure on a Roman legion of 6,000 men, and a typical Communist Russian division of 12,000 men, that figures out to an answer of, “SIX.”