8.6.09

Flying Monday June 8, 2009.


The flag of Malta: I only got this flag a few days ago, and really I should have flown it yesterday, June 7, which was the anniversary of Sette Giugno (Italian for 7 June). In 1919 British troops fired on a rally protesting against new taxes, killing four Maltese men. This led to increased resistance and support for the pro-Italian parties that had challenged the English presence on the island. The event is commemorated every year. 


Great Britain formally acquired possession of Malta in 1814. The island staunchly supported the UK through both World Wars and remained in the Commonwealth when it became independent in 1964. A decade later Malta became a republic. Since about the mid-1980s, the island has transformed itself into a freight transhipment point, a financial centre, and a tourist destination. Malta became an EU member in May 2004 and began using the euro as currency in 2008.

In the upper hoist corner (in the canton of the white field) is the George Cross, outlined in red.

On 15 April 1942, King George VI awarded Malta the George Cross, the highest civilian award for gallantry in the Commonwealth, normally awarded to individuals: "to honour her brave people, I award the George Cross to the Island Fortress of Malta to bear witness to a heroism and devotion that will long be famous in history". President Franklin Roosevelt, describing the wartime period, called Malta "one tiny bright flame in the darkness".

 In the first six months of 1942, there was only one 24-hour period without air raids. Luftwaffe records indicate that between 20 March and 28 April 1942, Malta was subjected to 11,819 sorties and 6,557 tonnes of bombs. 

The siege caused significant hardships for everyone on Malta. Bombs killed many and left even more homeless. Businesses and civil infrastructure were destroyed. The disruption of shipping caused food, fuel, and other commodities to be in very short supply. 

The State Ensign 1923-1943 (before the award of the George Cross)

The State Ensign 1943-1964 (Independence)