The Giglio Symbol of Florence
If you’re walking around Florence at any point just observing your surroundings, you may notice a few recurring symbols. One of the most notable symbols is known to be the Giglio symbol. It kind of resembles a lily, and is usually found printed on a shield and hoisted upon the architecture around the city. It is not a lily, but actually an iris.
The traditional flower that grows in Florence may be responsible for the birth of the Giglio symbol, which is called Iris Fiorentina. Although, its origins may trace back to the Roman Empire, and ever since the symbolism has been carried on the coat of arms of the city of Florence; it has been like that for nigh-on one-thousand years.
This origin of the symbolism traces back to the origin of the original naming of the city of Florence. In 59 BC, rumours state that the Romans either named the city after the goddess called Flora, or its founder Florinus da Cellino: Florentina.
The symbol over the years has gone through a few transformations and adaptations. Even in the 19th century, as Napoleon tried to censor the symbol and Florentines came out in their numbers against the decision; the decision that was immediately reversed, much to the delight of the local populace.
The symbol was used as a sign of strength and of the bloody battles during war in the 13th century. The colours were switched and became the traditional red flower place on top of a white shield that you can see before your eyes as you walk through the city to this day.