The Trinacria, a three-legged design resembling a triskele, is a symbol of the Isle of Sicily. The three bent legs are supposed to represent good luck and prosperity. The winged head of Medusa and three wheat ears also were added in modern era staves of wheat the symbol their staple.
The term Trinacria means "triangle" as for the shape of Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean. Triangular, the three points represent the three capes of Sicily, also known as Trinacria in ancient times. The Greeks called it Trinakrias; the Romans called it Trinacrium, meaning, "star with 3 points". Today it’s known as Sicily, or Sicilia in Italian taken from the Siculi indigent tribes on the Island. The Siculi, who spoke an Indo-Italic-European language, occupied eastern Sicily as well as southern Italy where the Sicani and Elymi tribes inhabited central and western Sicily. These three Italic indigenous groups were well established far before Magna Græcia, before pre-Greek, pre-Punic or the pre-Latin tribes had ever arrived.
Sicily was known as “Trinacria” from the Roman times and up until the early 1800’s when it was the Kingdom of the Two Sicily’s including southern Italy during the city-states era. Later just known as Sicily when it was an island province after the unification of Italy, The “Sicily” name comes from the indigent Italic tribe, the “Siculi.” Old tales related that the Siculi once lived in central Italy but were driven out by other Italic Apennine tribes and finally crossed to Sicily.
The Medusa in the center of the design implies the protection of the Goddess Athena of ancient Grecian mythology, the Patron Goddess of the Isle. In early mythology, Medusa was the destructive aspect of Athena, later, a monster slain by the hero Perseus, who adorned Athena's shield.
The Sicilian Flag recently adopted again in 2000 by the autonomous region of Sicily has the Trinacria in its center on a shield of yellow gold and red-orange. The head in the center was that of Medusa, whose hair did the outraged goddess Athena turn into snakes. In their wisdom, the Sicilian parliament replaced the Medusa head with one that is less threatening to the innocent onlooker who, after all, should not be anticipating being turned to stone.
Historically, the name was used after the Peace of Caltabellotta (1302 A.D.) to distinguish between the two Sicily’s that became a reality after the War of the Sicilian Vespers. The flag of Sicily was first adopted in 1282. Frederick III of Sicily was recognized as king over Sicily, with the title of "King of Trinacria." Trinacria is both an alternative name for Sicily and its national symbol. The flag looks somewhat similar to the flag of the Isle of Man, especially for the use of the triskelion in both; today, the triskelion (or trisceli) is also widely considered the actual symbol of Sicily.
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