What is the Federal Charter of 1291? Google Doodle marks Switzerland National Day with Swiss flag illustration

The Google Doodle honours Switzerland’s National Day. The three forest cantons of Uri, Schwyz, and Unterwalden allegedly signed the Federal Charter on this day in 1291 and banded together in their resistance to Habsburg control.

The most recent Google Doodle is a picture of a waving Swiss flag, a white cross on a red field, to commemorate August 1, which is a national holiday in Switzerland. Locals congregate in the streets during the annual Swiss National Day celebration, waving flags that represent various villages and cantons. The Doodles Archive, which also features prior national day artwork, claims that Swiss people celebrate the day with get-togethers with family, barbecues, and parades. The President of the Swiss Confederation addresses the people at an official celebration held at Rütli Field, the site of the signing of the Federal Charter, before fireworks and bonfires.

The initial choice for the date of Swiss National Day, according to Myswissclub, was made in 1891. But in 1994, it was designated as a federal holiday.

the Federal Charter of 1291

the Federal Charter of 1291

What is the Federal Charter of 1291?

One of the first Swiss constitutional documents is the Federal Charter, also known as the Letter of Alliance. Only since the end of the 19th century has the Federal Charter been formally recognised as the founding text of the Swiss Confederation, claims the Swiss Federal Council. The Charter, an alliance agreement signed in 1291 by the cantons of Uri, Schwyz, and Unterwalden, is one of a number of partnerships that led to the formation of the Old Swiss Confederacy.

The Charter, which was written in Latin, makes mention to an earlier agreement. The Charter was apparently created to establish legal certainty following the passing of Rudolf I of Habsburg on July 15, 1291, according to the Center for Rule of Law. The three communities are committed to working together to defend the three valleys in the first two paragraphs. The remaining sections of the Charter deal with legal issues. It stipulates the death sentence for murderers and exile for arsonists, calls for arbitration in cases of disputes, excludes foreign judges, and mandates deference to judges and judicial decisions.

The Federal Charter is unquestionably not a constitution that established a new state, claims BYU Scholars Archive. It defines the nature of the relationship in a straightforward and clear manner.

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