From Academic Kids

This article is about the Maure symbol. For the French department, please see Maure, Pyrénées-Atlantiques

A Maure, since 11th Century, is the symbol of an African head or anything which is black and represents Africa.

The term has Phoenician and Greek origins; see Moors.


Flags, seals, and emblems

This symbol is used for political purposes.

The Maure

The Maure is the African Unification Front's flag and emblem.

U Moru

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The Corsican emblem

The main symbol in the coat of arms in Corsica is U Moru, Corsican for "The Moor", a female Moor blindfolded and wearing a necklace made of beads. No use is attested prior to 1736, when it was used by both sides during the struggle for independence.

In 1760, General Pasquale Paoli ordered the necklace to be removed from the head and the blindfold raised. His reason, reported by his biographers, was "Les Corses veulent y voir clair. La liberté doit marcher au flambeau de la philosophie. Ne dirait-on pas que nous craignons la lumière ?" (roughly: "The Corsicans want to see things in a clear way. Freedom must walk by the torch of philosophy. Could we say that we seem to fear the light?") Later the blindfold was changed to a headband.

The current Corsican flag is the Bandera testa Mora ("Flag with head of Maure"), is male rather than female, and has a regular knot at the back of the head.

The Four Moors

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Sos Bator Moros

The seal of Sardinia is informally known as Sos Bator Moros, "the Four Moors", and comprises four Moor heads. The origin of these figures on the flag is disputed. The fact that the seal has varied across the centuries, with the Moors variously being blindfolded, bareheaded, crowned, close-eyed, open-eyed, and wearing headbands, and facing in various different directions, has only increased confusion.

Some sources state that the flag is of Catalan origin and represents 4 Moorish invaders blindfolded for execution. However, the Sardinian Autonomous Region's web site proffers the explanation that whilst the emblem dates back to 1281, and can be seen on a seal of the Royal Chancellery of Peter the Great of Aragon, it was only in the 14th century, when the Kingdom of Sardinia became part of the Confederation of the Crown of Aragon, that the Four Moors came to be associated with Sardinia. It was not until the 18th century that the arrangement of the heads was fixed, with the Moors facing left and being blindfolded. On 1952-07-02, by decree the emblem became the official symbol of the region, and in 1999-04-15 the official flag, but this time with the Moors facing the fly, wearing headbands, and with their eyes open.



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