Flag of the Isle of Man

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Flag of the Isle of Man
Flag of the Isle of Mann.svg
UseCivil and state flag
Adopted1 December 1932
DesignA triskelion made up of three armoured legs with golden spurs, in the centre of a red flag.
Manx flags on the Loch Promenade, Douglas

The flag of the Isle of Man or flag of Mann (Manx: brattagh Vannin) is a triskelion, composed of three armoured legs with golden spurs, upon a red background. It has been the official flag of Mann since 1 December 1932 and is based on the Manx coat of arms, which dates back to the 13th century.[2]

The three legs are known in Manx as ny tree cassyn ("the three legs"). The triskelion is an ancient symbol, used by the Mycenaeans and the Lycians.


It is not known for definite why the symbol was originally adopted on the Isle of Man.[3] The usage of a triskelion was very popular with Scandinavian cultures, and the symbol may have been introduced to the Isle by the Norse descendants of King Analaf Cuaran, who ruled the island between the 10th century and 1266.[4][5]

The earliest depiction of the triskelion of Mann can be found on the Manx Sword of State which dates back to the early 14th century.[6]

Following English domination of the isle in 1346, the triskelion was retained and endured as a symbol of the Isle of Man.[5]

By the mid-19th century the Manx flag began appearing on merchant ships from the Isle of Man.[7] However, such usage of the flag was not sanctioned by the Board of Trade and the Admiralty under Section 105 of the 1854 Merchant Shipping Act in favour of the Red Ensign.[7][8] This decision was reversed by the Admiralty on 4 March 1889 and Manx merchant ships were permitted to fly the Flag of the Isle of Man.[7]

The flag was officially adopted between 1928 and 1932, however sources differ.[9]

In July 1968 steps were taken to standardise the flag.[5] The feet of the triskelion were all to be facing in a clockwise direction and was to be balanced with one leg directly facing to the bottom.[7] On 27 August 1971 a civil ensign for the Isle of Man was approved by royal proclamation.[10][11] This flag featured a red field with the Union Jack in the canton. The triskelion of Mann is emblazoned off centre towards the fly. Another Manx flag in use is the flag of Tynwald, the legislature of the Isle of Man, which has flown outside the Legislative Buildings since 1971.[12]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Isle of Man; Flags of the World; (c.1996 – present)
  2. ^ Isle of Man Weekly Times, 3 December 1932
  3. ^ "The Three Legs of Man". isle-of-man.com.
  4. ^ "Three Legs of Mann | Manx National Heritage - Whichever you throw it, it will stand". Manx National Heritage. Retrieved 2020-06-15.
  5. ^ a b c "Flag of the Isle of Man | flag of a British crown possession". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2020-06-15.
  6. ^ "BBC - A History of the World - Object : Isle of Man Sword of State". www.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2020-06-15.
  7. ^ a b c d "Isle of Man". fotw.info. Retrieved 2020-06-15.
  8. ^ "United Kingdom: 19th Century Red Ensign Legislation (Part 1)". www.crwflags.com. Retrieved 2020-06-15.
  9. ^ benszmidt (2015-11-13). "Flag of the Isle of Man: Mystery of the triskele". Fun Flag Facts. Retrieved 2020-06-15.
  10. ^ Barraclough, E.M.C.; Crampton, William (1981). Flags of the World. London: Frederick Warne and Co. p. 49. ISBN 0-7232-2797-7.
  11. ^ "Isle of Man: Civil ensign". www.crwflags.com. Retrieved 2020-06-15.
  12. ^ Ltd., Maxima Systems. "Isle of Man Guide – GOVERNMENT, Manx Flags". iomguide.com.