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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The meaning, importance of Pope Francis' flag

The Vatican flag on the Honda Ballade in which Pope Francis rode from the JKIA to State House in Nairobi upon his arrival in Kenya for a three-day tour on Wednesday. Photo/COURTESY
The Vatican flag on the Honda Ballade in which Pope Francis rode from the JKIA to State House in Nairobi upon his arrival in Kenya for a three-day tour on Wednesday. Photo/COURTESY

During Pope Francis three-day visit to Kenya, a yellow and white flag featured several times; on his official car, airplane and in the different meetings he attended.

The flag is one of only two square country flags in the world, the other being the flag of Switzerland.

Officially called the Vatican flag, this is the banner of Vatican city, whose head of state is the Pope.

Also referred to as “The flag of the Holy” the banner was adopted on June 7, 1929, by Pope Pius XI has a spiritual meaning.

It is flown or displayed worldwide in Roman Catholic churches and institutions usually alongside the national flag of the host country.

The flag consists of two vertical bands; a gold or yellow one on the hoist side and a white one bearing the crossed keys of Saint Peter and the Papal Tiara at the center.

The white band is used as the Vatican state's official flag and as a sign of the Roman catholic.

The crossed keys - one gold and one silver, also have meaning.

The gold key, leaning to the right, alludes to the power in the kingdom of the heavens while the silver one placed on the right side, indicates the spiritual authority of the papacy on earth.

This was derived from Matthew 16:19, where Jesus bestowed authority on St Peter, which is the name of the catholic church in Vatican.

The papal tiara was a crown worn by Popes of the Roman Catholic church from as early as the 8th century to the mid-20th.

It was last used by Pope Paul VI in 1963, only at the beginning of his reign.


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