This is the flag of Sicily, where my people are from.
The triskelion or trinacria was originally used by the Phoencian settlers of Sicily and is thought to have some association with Baʿal Hammon who was the primary deity of the Carthaginians who later ruled a large portion of the island:
Baʿal Hammon (“Ruler of a Crowd or Multitude”) was the chief god of Carthage. He was a deity of sky and vegetation, depicted as a bearded older man with curling ram’s horns. Baʿal Hammon’s female cult partner was Tanit. The worship of Baʿal Hammon flourished in the Phoenician colony of Carthage. His supremacy among the Carthaginian gods is believed to date to the 5th century BC, after relations between Carthage and Tyre were broken off at the time of the Punic defeat in Himera. Modern scholars identify him variously with the Northwest Semitic god El or with Dagon. In Carthage and North Africa Baʿal Hammon was especially associated with the ram and was worshiped also as Baʿal Qarnaim (“Lord of Two Horns”) in an open-air sanctuary at Jebel Bu Kornein (“the two-horned hill”) across the bay from Carthage. He was probably never identified with Baʿal Melqart, although one finds this equation in older scholarship. Ancient Greek writers identified him with the Titan Cronus. In ancient Rome, he was identified with Saturn, and the cultural exchange between Rome and Carthage as a result of the Second Punic War may have influenced the development of the Roman religious festival Saturnalia. Attributes of his Romanized form as an African Saturn indicate that Hammon was a fertility god. Ba’al-Hamon was a place mentioned in Song of Solomon 8:11. It was the location of a productive vineyard owned by Solomon, who let out the vineyard to tenants. Some have suggested that it is not to be taken as a literal place, but a figurative indication to the wealthy realm over which Solomon ruled.
Sheds some interesting light on that purple thread I’ve been following lately, huh?
Ready for shit to get really weird?
Here is an account of Carthaginian religion given by the Sicilian Diodoros:
Therefore the Carthaginians, believing that the misfortune had come to them from the gods, betook themselves to every manner of supplication of the divine powers; and, because they believed that Herakles, who was worshipped in their mother city, was exceedingly angry with them, they sent a large sum of money and many of the most expensive offerings to Tyre. Since they had come as colonists from that city, it had been their custom in the earlier period to send to the god a tenth of all that was paid into the public revenue; but later, when they had acquired great wealth and were receiving more considerable revenues, they sent very little indeed, holding the divinity of little account. But turning to repentance because of this misfortune, they bethought them of all the gods of Tyre. They even sent from their temples in supplication the golden shrines with their images, believing that they would better appease the wrath of the god if the offerings were sent for the sake of winning forgiveness. They also alleged that Kronos had turned against them inasmuch as in former times they had been accustomed to sacrifice to this god the noblest of their sons, but more recently, secretly buying and nurturing children, they had sent these to the sacrifice; and when an investigation was made, some of those who had been sacrificed were discovered to have been supposititious. When they had given thought to these things and saw their enemy encamped before their walls, they were filled with superstitious dread, for they believed that they had neglected the honours of the gods that had been established by their fathers. In their zeal to make amends for their omission, they selected two hundred of the noblest children and sacrificed them publicly; and others who were under suspicion sacrificed themselves voluntarily, in number not less than three hundred. There was in their city a bronze image of Kronos, extending its hands, palms up and sloping toward the ground, so that each of the children when placed thereon rolled down and fell into a sort of gaping pit filled with fire. (Library of History 20.14)
Remember that prowl I went on a while back? Where Spider showed me some things about the similarity between Dionysos and Kronos? And that alternate Roman version of the story of Erigone as told by Plutarch:
“Saturnus, when once he was entertained by a farmer who had a fair daughter named Entoria, seduced her and begat Janus, Hymnus, Faustus, and Felix. He then taught Icarius the use of wine and viniculture, and told him that he should share his knowledge with his neighbours also. When the neighbours did so and drank more than is customary, they fell into an unusually deep sleep. Imagining that they had been poisoned, they pelted Icarius with stones and killed him; and his grandchildren in despair ended their lives by hanging themselves. When a plague had gained a wide hold among the Romans, Apollo gave an oracle that it would cease if they should appease the wrath of Saturnus and the spirits of those who had perished unlawfully. Lutatius Catulus, one of the nobles, built for the god the precinct which lies near the Tarpeian Rock. He made the upper altar with four faces, either because of Icarius’s grandchildren or because the year has four parts; and he designated a month January. Saturnus placed them all among the stars. The others are called harbingers of the vintage, but Janus rises before them. His star is to be seen just in front of the feet of Virgo. So Critolaus in the fourth book of his Phaenomena.” (Greek and Roman Parallel Stories 9)
Baal Hammon became one of the most important demons of Christendom and is even ranked among the seven princes of hell. He has an interesting appearance, according to Wikipedia:
While his Semitic predecessor was depicted as a man or a bull, the demon Baal was in grimoire tradition said to appear in the forms of a man, cat, toad, or combinations thereof. An illustration in Collin de Plancy’s 1818 book Dictionnaire Infernal rather curiously placed the heads of the three creatures onto a set of spider legs.
… it all makes perfect sense now.
But clearly I’m on to something with this – or suffering from a really bad case of apophenia.