Virtuosity, acrobatics, hurling of coloured flags that defy the laws of physics, to the sonorous rhythm of beaten drums and trumpeters: this is why the Cori flag-wavers are famous around the world.
Originally they were the Alfieri, who in battle led and coordinated the army, holding the flag with the sign of the commune. Never was the flag allowed to fall into the hands of the enemies, so the bishops were athletic, able to perform with the banner all sorts of acrobatics to defend it and with ease pass it to their companions in case of danger. From here, between the 16th and 17th centuries, the flag arrived in shows and displays in the square, where flag-wavers showed their skill during parades and religious festivals.
Cori, in the province of Latina, between Rome and Naples, is one of the oldest Italian cities. The birth of the groups of Sbandieratori di Cori is linked to the event called “Carosello Storico dei Rioni” celebrated in Cori since 1937.
Taking the cue from the local festivities, the Spandieratori of Cori receive and elaborate the cultural message of the ancient “Gens Corana” to re-forward it and spread it.
Today the “art of the flag” is a living tradition and an integral part of the community. The Cori flag-wavers take up the acrobatics of the past in complex choreography.
The movements of the hands are not random: they are those codified in the ancient military manuals of the so-called “art of handling the banner”.
The scenography is entrusted to the harmony of the whole group that manages to make an admirable spectacle of the art and techniques with flags in order to create amazing effects of colour. The outfits are of sixteenth-century inspiration (the members of the Group wear costumes that reflect those of the second half of the sixteenth century: “patience” in satin and cloth, satin shirt, tights, boots and belt) and the colours being those of the three doors of Cori: yellow and light blue for Porta Romana, yellow and green for Porta Signina and red and blue for Porta Ninfina, while yellow and red represent the township.
Today in Cori there are three groups of flag-wavers, which carry the art of the Corese flag all over the world: Flag-bearers of the Cori Districts, Sbandieratori of the Prancing Lion and Historical Flag-bearers of the Contrade di Cori. The best occasions to admire them in Cori are the two historical Carousels, the Giuramento dei Priori, the Latium Festival, and the procession of the Madonna del Soccorso.