England owes arrears over St George’s Cross, claims Genoa mayor


As England fans fly the flag of St George at pubs, out of windows and from cars during the World Cup, an Italian mayor has suggested claiming back centuries’ worth of arrears from England for its use of the red cross. Genoa, once a powerful maritime city, adopted the St George’s Cross as its flag and St George as its patron saint during the Crusades. The symbol was adopted by England toward the end of the religious wars, in the 13th century, with English ships flying the flag of Genoa as a deterrent to enemies.

For the privilege, the English monarch paid an annual tribute to the doge of Genoa, or ruler of the Republic of Genoa. However, the tribute apparently fell by the wayside after the republic collapsed. Marco Bucci, the mayor of Genoa, said the arrears claim could be the “biggest stroke of marketing” for the city. He said he would write to the Queen seeking to recoup funds that could then be spent on the city’s needs. “Your Majesty, I regret to inform you that from my books [it] looks like you didn’t pay for the last 247 years,” he joked.(theguardian)…[+]