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San Marino's Political System

San Marino's defense

San Marino has no military service, but its citizens between the ages of 16 and 55 can be called in to defend the country if necessary. The country has a small militia that performs ceremonial and police duties. San Marino's defense is taken care of by Italy.

Government and Politics of San Marino

Flags and weapons of San Marino

The flag

The flag has two equally wide, horizontal fields in white and blue (calculated from above). It was put into use in 1797, officially assumed in 1862.

The weapon

The weapon shows a heart-shaped, gold-edged shield coated with three white towers with ostrich feathers on a blue base; the towers stand on Mount Titano's three peaks. Despite the fact that San Marino has always been a republic, the shield has a crown at the top, which in this case symbolizes the sovereignty of the people. The shield is flanked by an oak branch and a laurel branch. At the bottom is a text line with the motto Libertas ('Freedom'). The weapon has been in use since the 1300s.

San Marino's political system

San Marino is a parliamentary-democratic and unified state republic. Also see AbbreviationFinder for abbreviation of SM and its meanings of San Marino. Formally, it is independent, but in practice quite integrated into the Italian political system. The country is the world's oldest republic (from 301) and is characterized by its Latin roots. The Constitution dates from 1599. When the Italian small states merged in 1861, San Marino, as the only one, chose to remain independent. Heads of State and Heads of Government are two Captains Regents (Capitani Reggenti). They are elected by the Legislative Assembly, the General and General Council, and sit for six months; they can only be re-elected after three years. The council is elected in general elections for five years and has 60 members. It elects from among its members a government, a state congress, of 10 members.

Administratively, the country is divided into nine "castles", similar to the original parish of the Republic. Each castle is run by a two-year, and one council, five-year council captain.


The judiciary is in practice part of the Italian legal system. It includes a law commissioner, who is a judge in minor civil and criminal cases, a criminal judge in the primary appeals court, who is a judge in more serious criminal cases, a two-judge appeals court and a council of twelve that is the supreme court of appeal in civil cases. There is also a magistrate who judges in minor civil cases. Only this judge is from San Marino.

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