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Village of Raħal Ġdid (Paola) (Malta)

Casal Paola, Casal Paolo, Casal Paula, Paula, Pawla, Rahal Gdid, Rahal Jedid

Last modified: 2013-12-09 by rob raeside
Keywords: malta | paola | peacock | sheaf |
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[Village of Paola (Malta)] 3:5 image by Jorge Hurtado and António Martins-Tuválkin, 6 June 2007

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It is a white flag with a red stripe at the top edge which would be a chief according to heraldic terms. The red stripe is superimposed by three yellow spirals ordered horizontally and connected with one another spread out over 2/3 of total width. In the white field there are three blue peacocks standing on top of yellow garbs with red ribbons ordered in a triangular formation two above one. The flag was adopted on 20 July 1996 by the local government (see source given above).
The new flag is a mixture of the municipality's old coat of arms and that one of Grand Master Antoine de Paule, to whom probably the name of the village refers. The three stars have been replaced by spirals and they put three peacocks instead of one from the grand masters coat of arms.
Source: I spotted this flag in front of the local council building on 2 October 2008.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 16 October 2008

All the images I have found of the Paola coat-of-arms - of which the flag is supposed to be an armorial banner of - show three peacocks. According to a quote by Norbert Rizzo Naudi Ralf Hartemink's International Civic Arms website:

Paola's arms show three spirals on the top part: this is an engraving depicting the continuity of life. It is engraved on the Neolithic temples found in this locality. The three peacocks in the lower part are derived from the arms of the original founder of the town: Grand Master Antoine de Paule.
The "Neolithic temples" are probably the Hal Saflieni Hypogeum. The arms of Grand Master Antoine de Paule can be seen in this webpage.


Santiago Dotor, 2 March 2006

According to this webpage: (no longer available):

"Many people decided to move to Valletta when the capital city was built — this created an overpopulation problem. The same had happened in the area surrounding Vittoriosa when this was the capital city — in fact this resulted in the building of Cospicua and Senglea. However this time, for reasons of security to the fortifications, the Order of St. John did not want to issue any permits for settlements in front of Valletta’s bastions. "As a solution, G.M. De Paule ordered a new village to be built on the hill known as "Ta L-Gherien" (translated literally — "Of the Caves"). This hill was nearer to the harbour than Tarxien, which was already an established village. It was an ideal place for those people who lived in villages far from their place of work. The G.M. gave this order in 1626 — but his plan did not succeed. The people living in Valletta sustained that this new village was not protected since bastions did not surround it. Others were not willing to leave their present village, which usually was their place of birth, to go and live to a new village. The knights arrival to Malta resulted in the cities becoming more protected and so the only way to convince people to move was that their new place would be secured by fortifications. To encourage the people to go and live G.M. de Paule built a new church dedicated to St. Ubaldesca. (...)"
Santiago Dotor, 16 March 2006

Variant flag with one peacock

[Village of Paola (Malta)] 3:5 image by Jorge Hurtado and António Martins-Tuválkin, 6 June 2007

Blazon: Argent a peacock Azure issuant from a garb Or ribboned Gules on a chief of the last an ancient meander Or.
Željko Heimer
, 13 November 2002

This one-peacock depiction is probably wrong or, at best, a marginal variant based on the blazon above.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 6 June 2007

This lone peacock comes from the personal arms of Grand Master Antoine de Paule, from the langue of Provence: Argent a peacock displayed proper and on a chief Azure three mullets Or.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 7 June 2007

Former flag (1994-1996)

[Village of Paola (Malta)] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 16 October 2008

The previous arms (and flag) of Raħal Ġdid, as reported by Jaume Ollé and confirmed by several older Maltese local armorials on line, notably Tony Catania's, were simply Gules a spiral Or. A banner of arms of this design can be made. The above mentioned Tony Catania's Maltese Local Council Armorial (on line at, had its 1997 original (at, updated on 2002). One of the changes is Paola, from the spiral on red to the three peacocks with chief, which allows to date the change over roughly to the end of the 20th Century.

The changed arms in Raħal Ġdid seem to go in the opposite direction of all others we've seen so far, which have abandoned personal (or family) coats of arms either to totally new or at least differenced heraldic arrangements. In that regard, the new chief filled with the previous arms and the three peacocks where the magisterial arms show a single one may though be taken as an effort to connect to a Grand Master without usurping its coat of arms, which is to be saluted as mature heraldry.

Even though Raħal Ġdid (Paola) doesn't seem to be nicknamed "cittŕ de Paule", the onomatopoeic connection is evident.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 7 June 2007

Description of flag 1994-1996:
It is a red flag with a yellow spiral symbolizing the eternity of life. The spirals were made by the very first inhabitants of the archipelago on the walls of the local prehistoric temples.
George Cassar: Paola; storja u kultura; damma tá tagħlim, tagħrif u taħriġ, Marsa 2003, p.9
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 16 October 2008

Football flag

[Village of Paola football flag] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 19 January 2007

I spotted the city flag of Raħal Ġdid (Paola) in November 2000, a gold St. George [cross?] on a red field, proportions 3:5 as near as I can tell. One flag I also saw was a green flag with a small yellow canton (I think that's the local football club).
Norman Martin
, 26 November 2000