Flying the Flag

Leone marciano, flagpole in Campo San Polo, Venice
I have long been intrigued by the number of flagpoles in Venice and yet, apart from the three examples in the Piazza San Marco, the guidebooks are almost completely silent on the subject.

Although flagpoles are to be found in many of the city's campi, they are easily overlooked, as there is hardly ever a flag flying from them. 

The flagpoles comprise a stone base and a red, wooden pole, which is topped with some sort of decoration. 
Leone marciano, Flag-pole, Campo Santa Margherita
In the Campo San Polo this takes the form of a golden leone marciano, while in the Campo Santa Margherita the ubiquitous winged lion is brandishing a sword rather than a book. 
Flagpole in the Campo dei Carmine, Venice
In the nearby Campo dei Carmine, the flagpole is capped with an image of the Virgin Mary.


Long ago, on important feast days and special anniversaries, the standard of the Venetian Republic would have been raised not only in the piazza, but also in campi throughout the city.