Flying Saturday June 20, 2009.

Today I am flying the flag of Savoy.

Note: Do not confuse with the Danish flag............

Savoy (French: Savoie Italian: Savoia) a region of Europe on the western flank of the Alps that emerged following the collapse of the Frankish Kingdom of Burgundy.

I am prompted to make the link with today as June 20 is the anniversary of the birth of Charles Emmanuel II (Italian: Carlo Emanuele II di Savoia) (20 June 1634 – 12 June 1675), the Duke of Savoy from 1638 to 1675.

Carlo Emanuele IIdi Savoia

The House of Savoy was installed by Rudolph III, King of Burgundy, officially in 1003, and it became the longest surviving royal house in Europe. It ruled the County of Savoy to 1416 and then the Duchy of Savoy from 1416 to 1714. The County and Duchy of Savoy incorporated Turin and other territories in Piedmont, a region in north western Italy that borders Savoy, which were also possessions of the House of Savoy. The capital of the Duchy remained at the traditional Savoyard capital of Chambéry until 1563, when it was moved to Turin. In the 18th century, the Duchy of Savoy was linked with the Kingdom of Sardinia. While the heads of the House of Savoy were known as the Kings of Sardinia, Turin remained their capital. The original territory of Savoy was absorbed into France in 1860, as part of the political agreement with Napoleon III that brought about the unification of Italy, but the House of Savoy retained its Italian lands and its heads became the Kings of Italy.

In modern France, Savoy is part of the Rhône-Alpes region, the Department de la Savoie.

The Savoy cross in the Italian Flag

One of my favourite flags in my collection is my huge Italian flag, in use in Italy until 1946.

I bought this on Ebay from someone who sold it as “probably an Italian football club”, so it escaped the view of other collectors. It is huge and linen, and is a dream to look at flying, given a strong wind which is essential. The “Tricolore”, charged with the Savoy/Savoia shield in the centre, became in 1848 the national flag of the Kingdom of Sardinia and, in 1861 of the Kingdom of Italy. Finally, in 1946, King Victor Emmanuel III abdicated, The Kingdom of Italy (Regno d'Italia) was no more. The Savoy family was forced to leave Italy, the Savoy shield was removed, and the plain tricolour became the flag of the Italian republic


Mystery Flag

The Savoy cross appears in a strange and unidentified flag in my possession.

I acquired this years ago when I bought an old Rectory from the Church of England for use as my home. Some years later, in the roof space, I discovered a cache of old flags. Amongst them was this flag, a blue ensign with the same Savoy cross, Despite my research over the years I am still unable to identify the purpose for which it was made. It was not, apparently, intended to fly from a flag pole.

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