The Maltese Flag

A symbol of unity and heroism ...

The Maltese flag is a simple two coloured flag with the white in the hoist and red in the fly. Legend says that the colours of the flag of Malta were given to the Maltese people by Count Roger of Sicily in 1091.

The count’s banner was in fact a chequered white and red flag and tradition states that the Count cut off a piece from his banner and gave it to the locals. Although this incident is still thought in history classes to this day, it is generally agreed that this is just a legend that had developed through time.

Researchers generally claim that the colours of the Malta flag were influenced by those used by the Knights of Malta.

If you’re interested in learning more about the legacy that the Knights of St John left on the Maltese Islands, visit our Knights of Malta page.

maltese flag

The Malta Flag and its George Cross

What does this important cross mean and why is it on the flag of Malta?

The tiny island nation of Malta is renowned worldwide for the bravery shown by its people during World War II. In fact, King George VI of Britain gave the islanders the George Cross to honour their heroism during the war. It was the first and only time that the George Cross was awarded to a whole country.

maltese flag george cross

The George Cross was added to the flag of Malta in the 1943, in the top left hand corner.

The Malta flag was officially adopted when Malta gained its independence on the 21st of September 1964.

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