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.
Flags and weapons of San Marino
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 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
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.