The Malta Flag shows two vertical bands of white and red with the George Cross edged in red found in the white upper hoist side. It is most likely that the origins of the flag are from the flag of the Knights of Malta which consisted of a white cross on a red field.
The George Cross shown on the flag was awarded to the island of Malta by King George VI. Stating in a letter to the island Governor, Lt. General Sir William Dobbie, King George wrote….
“To honour her brave people I award the George Cross to the Island Fortress of Malta to bear witness to a heroism and devotion that will long be famous in history.”
April 15th 1942
This was due to sustained bombing from enemy air raids and naval blockades of Malta by German and Italian forces during World War II. Military resources and food rations in Malta were practically finished. Fuel was restricted to military action and heavily rationed, the people of Malta were on the brink of starvation, with ammunition running out, so much so that Anti-Aircraft (AA) guns could only fire a small few rounds per day.
On the 15 August 1942 a convoy of Royal and Merchant Navy ships sailed into port in Valletta’s, Grand Harbour bringing with them much needed food and fuel supplies for the island. To this day the event remains commemorated in Malta in remembrance of that glorious day of the Convoy of Santa Maria.
The George Cross was officially incorporated into the Malta Flag in 1943. This medal is awarded for acts of the great heroism and courage in circumstances of extreme danger. Today the George Cross awarded to the Maltese people along with the King’s message can be found in the National War Museum in Fort Saint Elmo, located in Malta’s capital Valletta.