Statutes San Marino
The Republic of San Marino owes its long life to the respect and faith in its traditions shown by all its citizens, residents at home and abroad, who hand down from generation to generation their citizenship and, with it, a strong, emotional tie with the Country, its history and its traditions. Thus, the institutions such as the Arengo, the ancient assembly of fathers, survives even today in the institution of the "istanza d'Arengo", where simple citizens can address their petitions to the Heads of State (Regents) during the installation ceremonies, held every year, for hundreds of years, on April 1st and October 1st. In this way, the Regency (alternating every six month its two Regent Captains) also keeps its origins intact. Namely, ever since the founding father, San Marino was said to have thrown a curse on the Country, in the that the power was ever concentrated in the hands of a single person.
The principals of the traditions and of the institutions of San Marino are contained in the "Statutes"; or, more specifically, the "Leges Statutae Republicae Sancti Marini". The Statutes are a formal and solemn constitutional resolution which contains those principals which regulate the life of the Community under all aspects: institutional, occupational and in daily life. The Stat utes guarantee a form of political independence and represent a concrete testimony of the institutional evolution of the Community.
The most recent Statutes, still in force today, date back to the end of the 1500's and are composed of six books written in Latin. Besides determining the criteria for the regulation of the Country's political system, the Statutes also, in part, regulate the formalities relative to the changing of the guards at the Public Palace (home of the Government), the ceremonies for raising and lowering the State flag, the "Palio dei Balestrieri e degli Archibugieri" (Crossbow and Arquebus contests), and other national holidays which commemorate important historic events.