The iris is the coat-of-arms of Florence, descending from the white iris, which once grew naturally in the Tuscan countryside.
Displayed against a red background, the white iris became the symbol of Florence, accompanying Florentine soldiers during the First Crusade. Political powers shifted in 1251 and the Ghibellines Family had to leave the city.
To signal political change, the Guelphs Family reversed the colours to the red iris and white background of today’s emblem. Even Dante eternalized the iris in his Divine Comedy ‘Nor by division was vermilion made.’