In 2019 the highlight of the Festa will be a performance by the Sbandietori di Faenza – a troupe of flag throwers who will demonstrate this medieval skill never before seen in Victoria. Direct from Faenza in the Emiglia Romagna Region of Italy- the 14 performers including flag throwers, trumpeters and drummers dressed in medieval costumes will demonstrate the ancient art of tossing and twirling their flags – a centuries old skill which can really only be seen in the towns and villages of Italy.
The history of flag throwing dates back to Medieval times and the battlegrounds of Rome and Tuscany where each army typically had their own colors, symbols and coat of arms. Each group also had a Flag carrier, one of the most important men in the troop, whose role it was to fly the flag during battle, and to ensure that it never fell, was never captured and never touched the ground, as that would have signaled defeat. If the flag were at risk of capture, the bearer would protect it by throwing it swiftly and accurately into the trustworthy hands of another fighter in the troop.
This practice of hurling banners sky high, over the heads of the enemy to a comrade is believed to have been how the art of flag throwing began.