|Flag of Genoa|
According to a legend, the Cross of Saint George, currently used as a symbol of England, originally was the flag of Genoa. Since Genoa was becoming quite powerful, English ships soon began to fly the Genoese flag, taking advantage of the protection that Genoese ships had. 
The St. George's flag, a red cross on a white field, was adopted by England and the City of London in 1190 for their ships entering the Mediterranean to benefit from the protection of the Geonoese fleet. The English Monarch paid an annual tribute to the Doge of Genoa for this privilege.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Genoa (Liguria, Italy) at Flags of the World
- ↑ The Genoan flag is commonly referred to as exactly the same design as the flag of England. If entirely true, this would make the Genoan flag proportions 3:5, the same proportions as the English flag.
- ↑ Genoa flag at flagsonline
- ↑ England (United Kingdom) at Flags of the World
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