La Sbandierata (flag waving)

Sienese flags

La Sbandierata (flag-waving) began in Wollongong 22 years ago, when permission was obtained from the city of Siena to bring to Australia some Sienese flags and costumes. Wollongong is the only place outside Siena to have these authentic flags. The Alfieri, a group of children from the Italian Language and Culture Program, perform the flag-waving during Italian Week. The flags represent the 17 Contrade (districts) of Siena and date back to the Middle Ages. Each district is symbolised by an animal, either real or mythical.