History Of Switzerland
Switzerland, a small nation located at the center of Central Europe, shares a significant part of its history with its four neighbors, namely Austria, Italy, France, and Germany. Switzerland’s history can be traced back to the Stone Age (around 350,000 BC), when the land was inhabited predominantly by hunters. In fact, ‘Confoederatio Helvetica’, the Latin name of the country, has been derived from the name the Celtic tribe, the Helvetians, which were among the first few tribes to settle in this part of the world.
However, it was only around 400 AD, after the collapse of Roman Empire that the present-day ‘native’ population began to settle down in Switzerland. This period is often termed by historians as the era of Germanic Migration of Nations. The Old Swiss Confederation was established in the first half of August, 1291. Till date, August 1 is celebrated every year as national holiday to commemorate this significant milestone in the remarkable history of the country of Switzerland. In the year 1648, European Pace Treaty was signed between various countries, thereby officially accepting Switzerland as one among the many independent nations of Europe.More...
History Of The Switzerland Flag
While the history of Switzerland can be traced back to 1291, that of its national flag dates back only to 1889. Nonetheless, the modern Swiss Flag variations can be traced back to the year 1815. Interestingly, the flag’s design of a centrally placed white cross against a red background originated in the fifteenth century and its underlying concept evolved even earlier, in the fourth century.
Some historians believe that the origin of the flag of Switzerland can be attributed to Vexillum of Ancient Rome’s Theban Legion. According to popular belief, St. Maurice was executed in year 302 along with other protesting Christian legionnaires. As a symbol of the blood that was shed by the legion martyrs, St. Maurice was posthumously presented with arms of white-cross placed centrally against a red backdrop. This was when the whole idea of the flag design was born.
In the early 14th century, Swiss Confederation cantons began to realize the significance of a common sign of recognition. It was in 1339, during the Laupen Battle, that the Swiss troops went to the war wearing white-colored linen crosses for the first time. Soon, this white cross became the cantonal symbol and appeared on all cantonal banners. In 1422, during the Arbedo Battle, the Swiss Cantons represented themselves using triangular, red-colored guidons with white cross etched in the center. This guidon last appeared in year 1540, after which it evolved into a rectangular flag.More...