Savoy shield

This heraldic shield can be often seen in old Italian crests and symbols previously used by various branches of the military. In terms of blazonry (a highly elaborate lingo employed in heraldry), it can be described as  gules a cross argent. This is the arms of the House of Savoy. It is said to first appear in 1263, when it likely signified the “taking of the cross” by Pietro II, who was the maternal uncle of Eleanor of Provence, wife of Henry III of England.  Over the span of many centuries this royal family played a important role in both French and Italian history. In fact, for some time the Savoy shield was displayed on Italy’s well-known tricolor flag. By the way, roughly around the same time “Avanti Savoia” was the battle cry of Italian troops.

See also: Knights Templar cross

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