The flag of The Isle of Mann has a rather unique design when compared to most national flags. The image on the flag is a triskelion, a shape usually consisting of three prongs or branches joined at the center. In this case the triskelion is composed of three armored legs, each with a golden spur. The armor is colored white and gold while the flag itself is red.
Naturally, such a unique insignia is strongly rooted in the islands national history. The Isle of Mann is located in the Irish Sea, between Britain and Ireland. It is classified as a dependent of the British crown but is largely self-governing.
In a similar situation, the historical Lords of Mann were vassals of the British Crown. The triskelion depicted on the flag of the Isle of Mann is based on the coat of arms of the Lord’s of Mann. It has been the symbol of the island’s local rulers since the 13th century. The exact source of this particular image is unknown. The triskelion, as a symbol, has a long history however. It has been adopted by Christianity as a symbol of the trinity, representing Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In this context it serves as a representation of eternity. However, different variations of the triskelion have been used in cultures around the world, many predating Christianity. In particular, a similar pattern was used regularly in Celtic culture. As such the armored leg triskelion used by the Lords of Mann could be a reference to the island’s Celtic heritage, a symbol of Christianity, or a reference to something else entirely.
The flag of the Isle of Mann bears some resemblance to the national flag of the island of Sicily. This flag also bears a triskelion, depicting three bent legs centered around the head of the Gorgon Medusa. It is divided diagonally into sections of red and yellow. It is possible this symbol might have served as an inspiration for the Mann coat of Arms.
The official title of Lord of Mann was transferred directly to the British Crown years ago, solidifying Britain’s sovereignty while still allowing for self-governance by the local parliament.