Flag Throwers

Direct from Italy, “Sbandieratori Ducato Caetani” from Sermoneta will return to perform at Festa 2019 with a colorful show that brings history to life! For more information, visit the website.

History of Flag-Throwers

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.

About “Sbandieratori Ducato Caetani”

“Sbandieratori Ducato Caetani” was born the 12th of September 1996 with the purpose to promote the ancient art of flags and to support the interest towards national and international folklore, participating to national and international folklore festivals. The history of Caetani family with his great personages represents our historical background. The eighty members of the association come from a long presence inside others group of flags-throwers during this experience, fifteen years long, they had the chance to participate in the most important world folklore festivals, acquiring a technique and spectacular high level. The association “Sbandieratori Ducato Caetani” makes activity in double form, with a social and a cultural purpose. From a social point of view, we get ahead the involving of the new generation, promoting courses of “art of flags” in public gymnasium, with the high patronage of the town of Sermoneta (ancient capital of Ducato Caetani). From a cultural point of view, we search in Caetani family’s history and in his important personages, our historical reasons related with ancient folk tradition.


The history of Caetani family, the fortress of SERMONETA (middleage town near Rome), and the ghost town of NINFA (an ancient town destroyed during XII century and converted into a special garden in the XIX century), recreates the atmosphere which the Sbandieratori Ducato Caetani bring to feast sites, recalling ancient fights and proposing the ancient tradition of moving flags. Our banner celebrates the noble household of Caetani that once ruled the southern part of LAZIO, our colors represent the contrast between two of the most strong colors of heraldic tradition: gold, as metal and vermilion, as glaze. In the events in which we participate we bring color and joy, with vaulting and hurling of the flags we recall ancient fights, where the Caetani’s Dukes were captains. The “Sbandieratori Ducato Caetani” work in the ancient dukedom of Sermoneta, involving young people, and discovering the values of traditions and folklore, we take part in the international folklore festivals, gloriously promoting one of the special traditions of ITALY. The group consists of twenty-twenty five members: standard bearers, trumpeters, drummers and flags hurlers ; it parades in the streets in procession and performs in squares and on stages indoor and outdoor. The members of the group took part in the most important events of last 15 years, participating in exhibition of important folklore festivals and in other celebrations settled in Europe.

The Show and Where to Watch

The show of the “Sbandieratori Ducato Caetani” reproduces the celebrations, as stylized folklore, of the coming back in Sermoneta of Onorato IV Caetani (Duke of Sermoneta and Captain of the Pontifician troops, 30th of September 1571) from the epic fight of Lepanto who liberate the Christian world from the risk of Turkish Muslims ( the bell of midday in all the Christian world remember still today this event).


The show celebrates the Caetani family and express with flags the mains moments of the fight. It represents also the transition from the war to the peace with the deposition of weapons and the elevation of winner flags. The art of flags is cod as military art in some codices of XVI cent, the flag is used as defense tool (in left hand) in comparison with the sword who is weapon to attack (in right hand). 


Festa Italiana attendees can watch several flag-throwers performances in the Colosseum 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.

Watch the Flag-Throwers in Action

Video Credit: FolkTV





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