Rome is the only city in the world that is home to another 'country', namely the Stato della Città del Vaticano, which came into being on February 11th, 1929, during the reign of Pope Pius XI (r. 1922-39).
The flag of the Vatican City is made up of two fields, vertically divided in half: the yellow half flies alongside the flagpole, while the white half is emblazoned with the coat of arms of the Vatican City.
The coat of arms is made up of the crossed keys of Saint Peter surmounted by the Papal Tiara. The crossed keys consist of a gold and a silver key, in which the silver key is placed in the dexter position. The two keys represent the Keys of Heaven (according to the Gospel of Matthew, 16:19), which Christ gave to Peter. The popes see themselves as the successors of Peter, who is thought to have been the first bishop of Rome.
The gold key represents spiritual power, while the silver key represents worldly power. The two keys are connected by a red cord to mark the link between spiritual and worldly power. The two colours of the flag also symbolise the keys of St Peter.
Blogging about Rome,
its art, history and culture.
My name is David Lown and I am an art historian from Cambridge, England. Since 2001 I have lived in Italy, where I run private and
small-group walking tours
Search Walks in Rome: