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Sighnaghi (Municipality, Georgia)


Last modified: 2014-05-29 by ivan sache
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[Flag of Sighnaghi]         [Arms of Sighnaghi]

Flag and arms of Sighnaghi - Images communicated by The State Council of Heraldry at the Parliament of Georgia, 23 February 2012

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Presentation of Sighnaghi

The town of Sighnaghi (2,146 inhabitants in 2002, therefore one of the smallest towns in the country) is located in Georgia's easternmost region of Kakheti.
The territory of the modern-day town has been settled since the Paleolithic period and was known as Hereti in the Middle Ages, and as Kiziqi after the 15th century. Sighnaghi (literally, "harbor" in Turkish) as a settlement was first recorded in the early 18th century. In 1762, King Heraclius II of Georgia sponsored the construction of the town and erected a fortress to defend the area from marauding attacks by Daghestan tribesmen. As of the 1770 census, Sighnaghi was settled by 100 families, chiefly craftsmen and merchants. When Georgia was annexed by Imperial Russia in 1801, Sighnaghi was officially granted town status and became the centre of Signakh uyezd within Tiflis Governorate in 1802.

Jens Pattke, 28 May 2011

Flag of Sighnaghi

The flag and arms of Sighnaghi are prescribed by Decree No. 11, adopted on 27 May 2011 by the Municipal Council.

The flag is vertically divided blue-red with a yellow St. Nino's cross in the blue field.
The flag is a simplified banner of the two upper quarters of the municipal arms, which are "Quarterly, 1. Azure a St. Nino's cross surrounded by a grapevine branch leaved and fructed of three all or, a base serrated argent three fesses wavy argent, 2. Gules a Pegasus or, 3. Gules a wine jar or, 4. Azure a single-towered castle ensigned with a key all or. The shield surmounted by a three-towered mural crown argent fimbriated sable. Under the shield a scroll argent fimbriated sable charged with the name of the town in Georgian capital letters sable."

St. Nino (c. 300 - c. 332) is nicknamed "The Enlightener of Georgia". One of the most venerated saints of the Georgian Orthodox Church, Nino is said to have been a relative of St. George; she converted different rulers so that King Mirian III (c. 284 - c. 361) of Iberia (today's Kartli) adopted Christianity as the official religion c. 327.

Source: The State Council of Heraldry at the Parliament of Georgia (website).

The St. Nino's cross (presentation, no longer online), also known as the Grapevine cross, is the main symbol of the Georgian Orthodox Church. The legend says that Nino received it from the Blessed Virgin (or made it herself with two grapevine branches entwined with her own hair). During Persian and Turkish invasions, the holy cross was hidden in Armenia, in the Georgian mountains, and, eventually in Moscow. Upon request of Prince George Bagration, Tsar Alexander I returned the cross to Georgia in 1802. Since then, the cross has been preserved in the Sioni Cathedral in Tbilisi.

Ivan Sache, 4 June 2012