Lady of Ro

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Lady of Ro
Κυρά της Ρω

Despina Achladioti
Δέσποινα Αχλαδιώτη
Born 1890
Meis, Vilayet of the islands, Ottoman Empire
Died May 13, 1982
Kastelorizo, Dodecanese, Greece
Resting place Ro, Dodecanese, Greece
Known for Flying the Greek Flag on the Island of Ro and living there as a hermit
Notable work Member of the Greek Resistance

Despina Achladioti (Greek: Δέσποινα Αχλαδιώτη) known as the Lady of Ro (Greek: Κυρά της Ρω) was a Greek patriot born on the island of Kastellórizo in 1890. Before the start of World War II, in which her home island was ravaged repeatedly, Achladioti sailed with her husband and mother to the nearby deserted island of Ro where they lived off of a few goats, chickens, and a vegetable garden. Her two companions died only years after the arrival, and Achladioti personally rowed her mother's remains back to Kastellórizo for burial.[1] She has been compared to Joan d'Arc and Boudica.[1]

Achladioti's most renowned deed is that every day she would fly a Greek flag over the island even though the island was not formally part of Greece (as with the rest of the Dodecanese controlled by Italy) till 1948. This made her a Greek hero, especially when Greece nearly went to war with Turkey in the 1970s, because the flag would be easily visible from Turkish soil.[citation needed] She raised the flag every day, regardless of the weather, from the time she arrived on the island until her death on May 13, 1982 at the age of 92.[2] Despite not having veteran status, she was buried on the island with full military honors.

A Greek military unit is now based on the island, with the main duty of keeping the tradition of raising the flag.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Ekathimerini on Lady of Ro". Archived from the original on November 20, 2008. Retrieved 2009-08-09.  Article: The Lady of Ro’s memory lives on Kastellorizians revere symbol of Greek defiance, scoff at concerns of a flood of Turkish migrants By Brian Williams - Reuters
  2. ^ Chroniko tou Eikostou Aiona (Chronicle of the 20th century), ed. 4E, Athens, 1990, p. 1258.