History of Corsica: the legend of the Moor’s head flag

legends of Corsica: the Moor’s head flag

A Moor’s head on a white field is the famous flag of Corsica. Indeed, more than famous: legendary. Behind this flag, waving on the ports and buildings of the island of beauty, there is an ancient history. A story of courage, of determination, of attachment to land.


The history

The origin of Corsican flag reserves many mysteries.

  • According to one theory, the Moor is a reference to Alcoraz victory in 1096 and to Spanish Reconquista.
  • According to another theory, the blindfolded Moor would be a reference to the Egyptian saint Mauritius, martyred during Diocletianic Persecution.

Whatever the right theory, the Moor was blindfolded on the very first flag of Corsica. The bandage was “removed” from the Moor’s head by General Pasquale Paoli in 1755, as a symbol and hope for the liberation of the island.


The legend

Where history is not clear, there the legend rises. At the time of the raids of the Saracens, the Corsican fighters bravely defended their homeland from the invaders. They beheaded enemies and impaled their heads on poles to deter any other invaders.


Previous legend: eyes and devotion of Santa Lucia | Next legend: Santa Devota


Image source: Flickr.com/photos/keyboardsamurai

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