Direct from Italy, the Flag-Throwers of the Florentine are returning to Festa 2017 with a colorful show that brings history to life! Visit their website!
During frequent battles for control of territories and political supremacy in the 11th and 12th centuries, flag-throwers accompanied armies throughout central and northern Italy. Since soldiers had no uniforms, the flag was the sole element of recognition, a source of civic pride and a useful tool for communication between army units. The flag itself was of utmost importance, and the brave flag-bearers had the obligation to protect their flag with their lives, if necessary, and never let the flag fall into enemy hands.
The Flag-Throwers of the Florentine (Sbanderatori dei Borghi e Sestieri Fiorentini) revive their show at Festa Italiana with all the charm of this ancient tradition. This group, direct from Italy, will engage audiences as they demonstrate typical formations, music and exercises guided by the rhythm of the drums – all of which move in unison! During the performance, festivalgoers will be transported into medieval battle, watching banner waves and choreography meant to signal danger or triumph. The group remains faithful to the tradition by using flags with wooden rods and drapes strictly embroidered. Their name refers to both the bond with the city of Florence, and the surrounding area, while their costumes symbolize the two factions of the city that made up the army: the blue represents the noble families while the red recalls the people.
Festa Italiana attendees can watch several flag-throwers performances in the T.J. Bartolotta Sports Court. The flag-throwers will also be performing throughout the grounds, at the opening ceremonies, in the weekend parades and in Sunday’s mass and procession.