Venetian Flag of War
The book is closed and the sword is held up in its place. This indicates that the Venetian states are in a period of War.
The Republic of Venice (697-1797) was at war twenty-three times between the forth crusade 1202-1204 to the European war against Napoleon’s invasion of Italy in 1797. Eventually to become the Cisalpine Republic under the control of France and the Austrians.
For 337 years twelve Gonfaloniera, mercenaries from Perast, were appointed by the Venetian senate to guard the flag of the republic at all times on the pain of death. Eight were executed in 1571 after the Battle of Lepanto for failing to protect it.