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Stemmi di comuni e province d'Italia
Italian Civic Heraldry

MILANO

Province : Milano

Origin/meaning:
Founded by the celtic people Insubri around the 15th century b.C. in the middle of the Valle Padana (from which the Latin name Mediolanum derives), Milan is one of the main towns in northern Italy.
In the 14th century a lot of north Italian towns rebelled against the power of their Lords and became independent as little states: they elected their authorities, did their laws, made justice, minted their money and named themselves "Comune" (means "Mutual"). The Emperor Friederik I of Swaben, named "Readbeard", moved war against the Comuni to restore his authority in the peninsula. In 1160 he besieged Milan and after two years, in the Palm's Sunday of 1162, the city was destroyed.
In the 7th April 1167, in the benedictine abbey of Pontida (near Bergamo) the main cities of the area took an oath: to fight against the Emperor for their liberty and independence. Together with Milan, the representatives of Lodi, Bergamo, Brescia, Vercelli, Alessandria, Verona, Vicenza, Padova, Treviso, Venezia, Cremona, Mantova, Piacenza, Parma, Modena, Bologna, and Ferrara took part to the event and assumed the name of Lega Lombarda ( "Lumbard Alliance") and adopted the banner of the Roman Church: a red cross in a wite field, consigned in 1066 by the pope Alessandro II (Anselmo da Baggio, from Milan) to Erembaldo, the city-captain and head of the Reformist Party. In meantime the "Vexillum Ecclesiae" (the same of saint George, saint Michael and the reborn Christ) became the arms of Milan. In 1183 the same Emperor acknowledged the Municipal Autonomy with the treaty signed in Konstanz. After this most part of the allied cities adopted a red cross in their arms.

During the Mussolini regime, the arms showed a chief with fascist symbols, see below :

Literature : Louda, J. European civic coats of arms. London, 1966, Massimo Ghirardi



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