The Flag of the Vatican City

The flag of Vatican City, the sovereign city-state enclave surrounded by Rome, Italy, is one of the two square country flags in the world. It consists of two vertical bands, one gold or yellow (hoist side) and one white, with the crossed keys of Saint Peter and the Papal Tiara centered in the white band. The flag symbolizes the Vatican's role as the spiritual and administrative center of the Roman Catholic Church.

The Flag of the Vatican City

History

The flag of Vatican City was officially adopted on June 7, 1929, following the signing of the Lateran Treaty, which established the independent state of Vatican City and formalized its sovereignty and neutrality. The design reflects key elements of the papacy: the gold and silver keys are said to represent the keys to Heaven given by Jesus Christ to Saint Peter, with the gold key symbolizing spiritual power and the silver key symbolizing worldly power. The Papal Tiara above the keys is a symbol of the papal authority. The flag's colors of gold and white are traditional Papal colors, which have been used for centuries. Prior to 1929, the Papal States, which were much larger and included much of central Italy, used a variety of flags and emblems, but the modern design was chosen to represent the new, smaller sovereign entity of Vatican City.