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Isle of Man Flag of the Isle of Man

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National Flag of the Isle of Man National Flag of the Isle of Man

The national flag of the Isle of Man shows a yellow, three-legged triskele in the centre of a red flag.

The Manx flag was created in 1968 using the historical coat of arms of Magnus III, a Scandinavian king of Mann who ruled the island in the 12th century. King Magnus' coat of arms consisted on a Trinacria (three legs joined at the thigh and bent at the knee).

Similar Trinacria symbols from earlier times have been found in Sicily, which was also ruled by the Normans during part of the Middle Ages. Hence, it is widely believed that king Magnus' Trinacria was actually brought by the Scandinavians from Sicily to the Isle of Man.

However, there is also a Manx legend which attributes the origin of the Three Legs to Manannán mac Lir, a Celtic sea God which is also found in Galicia and gave its name to coastal towns like Lira (Co.Carnota) and rivers like Lerez (Co.Pontevedra). The manx legen goes that Manannán mac Lir was out walking one day when he saw Norse warships approaching the island. He changed into the shape of three legs and rolled down the mountain like a wheel to use his magical powers and make the Norse believe that Manx had a great warship fleet.

There are no historical references of any Manx flag being used before the 20th century. The National Flag of Mann was only created during the 1960s as the islanders felt the need of an own flag to represent their island, and their obvious choice was to use the historical arms of king Magnus. Eventually, the new national flag of the Isle of Man was declared official in 1968.

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