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Since the 1200s, Italy has witnessed a massive amount of change in flags.
But it wasn’t until the late 1700s that one formal flag to represent the entire Italian territory was decided. Different military and political groups, like the French army, were formed throughout Italy due to the wave of nationalism ignited by the French Revolution.
This movement was dedicated to removing the autocratic regimes of the past and thereby laid the foundations of the modern and unified Italian republic. Here, we discuss some interesting facts about the Italian flag that you need to know right now. From 1797-1802, a small sister republic of France called the Cisalpine Republic was under Austrian rule.
But what colors are featured in the Italian flag? There are three Italian flag colors: green, representing hope, white, representing faith, and red, representing love.
Read on to learn more about how the vertical stripes represent Italy through the green stripe, white stripe, and red stripe.
The first-ever design for the Italian flag was chosen way back in 1796. The Lombard Legion used the colors as a military war flag. In 1797, the Cispadane Republic adopted the first tricolor flag. Then a new flag design consisting of a red field carrying a green square inside a white rhombus was adopted.
The flag had a coat of arms and a crown at its center. This flag became very popular and was soon the most vital symbol of the Risorgimento. In 1861, there was a royal decree from the kingdom of Italy to create the tricolor decoration on a national flag.
The Italian states were not broadly united under one banner again until 1848. Before the Italian unification in 1861, every republic in Italy had a unique flag. Both the Venetian and the Roman reigns later adopted similar flags.
Ancient Rome became the capital of the Kingdom of Italy in 1872.
To mark this historical event, the flag consisted solely of the red, white, and green stripes, which are vertical. No additional logos or figures. This was a monumental modification in Italian flags’ history.
Even after going through so many changes over the centuries, the colors remained constant throughout. For a long time, the Italian tricolor flag that we know today consisted of green, white, and red.
Even if the Italian flag consists of three colors, there is no denying that there are so many interpretations.
The first interpretation states that the green color represents hope, while the white color represents religion, and that the red color signifies charity.
The second interpretation is based on the natural landscape of the country. Green stood for flora and fauna, white stood for the snowy Alps, and red stood for the fighters who shed their blood for the country. The snow-capped Alps’ Mountain regions are such an important part of Italy.
There are other such multiple theories concerning Italy’s flag, Tricolore. The colors carry considerable significance where green stands for freedom, white stands for faith and purity, and red stands for love.
The Italian Republic was born only when the Second World War ended (June 2, 1946). It was then that the ultimate design of Italy’s flag was stated: three vertical bands of equal size with the three colors of green, white, and red.
As there are three Italian flag colors, they all have a particular meaning. Here, green represents hope, white represents faith, and red represents love.
Like in several countries, the national flag is flown at all ceremonial occasions and on government buildings. On the other hand, Italians don't seem to be massive on flying this one flag at their homes or in their gardens. Caprese salad can be linked with the Italian flag as a Caprese salad has the same colors in it.
One of those times, you may see Italian patriots with pride waving their flag during football matches, especially when their national football team is winning. They might have the flags suspended from their windows, flying from their cars, and wrapped around supporters. Italians love their leagues and national football teams and will follow all the football matches.
The national day to celebrate the Italian flag is known as Tricolor Day. As the name suggests, in this day and age, as the name suggests, it is devoted to the flag as prescribed by the law. This day was established on December 31, 1996. The celebration is held annually on January 7. The day aims to remember the official adoption of the tricolor as the present-day national flag. Ceremonial occasions may also include election days, the death of a national hero, and many more when the flags are kept at half-mast at all government buildings.
Celebrating the national flag means remembering that the Italian flag holds the longest tricolor in history. This history broke the record and was entered into the Guinness World Record.
Do you know that a former Prime Minister of Italy even tried to change the flag’s colors and failed? It might sound made-up, but it is not. The former Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, once tried to alter the colors of the national flag. The new flag was proposed to have a deeper green, ivory in white, and red to turn into ruby hues. But he faced the general public backlash within the country and decided not to proceed with it.
The Italian tricolor, similar to other tricolor flags, is galvanized by the French flag. Since France was a pioneer, the Italian Jacobins designed their flag based on the French flag. Those from Italy or who have been to the country will understand how vibrant their food is and what represents the Italian national colors. One can get an ice cream scoop in the color of the flag. One can also see the colors on the pizza Margherita. It's got red tomatoes, white cheese, and fresh green basil.
The Italian flag is often confused with the flags of other countries.
Both Côte d'Ivoire and Italy have designed their flags inspired by the French Tricolore. It means that the flags of Italy and France are represented by the tricolors. But there are two subtle differences between the two flags. Both countries have white and green in their tricolor flags, but the Ivory Coast (the informal name of Côte d'Ivoire) has orange as the third color, while Italy has the color red. Another difference is that the Italian flag has the green stripe on the pole side, while the Ivory Coast flag has orange on the pole side.
Italian and Irish flags are mistaken as the same. Both the countries put the green stripe of their flags towards the pole side. Maybe that's why both the flags are often misunderstood as one. But the truth is that it isn't. Italy has red, but it is orange in the case of Ireland. Even the shades of green are different, or maybe it just looks different under different light. Another easily noticeable difference is the aspect ratio (width-height). The aspect ratio of the Italian flag is 2-3 while the same of the Irish flag is 1-2.
The Italian flag, or the 'Il Tricolore' is also confused with the Mexican flag. Again, the aspect ratios of both countries are different. The Italian flag's aspect ratio is 2-3, and the Mexican flag's ratio is 7-4. Also, the Italian flag simply consists of the tricolor, but the Mexican flag has an eagle perched upon a prickly pear cactus with a snake in its beak and talons on the white band of its flag.
The meanings of the colors of the Italian and Mexican flags are different. The importance of the tricolor in the Mexican flag doesn't seem to be related to any historical concept. In the Mexican flag, green is a symbol of hope, white is a symbol of purity, and the red color signifies the color of blood for those who have died fighting for Mexico's independence. The Italian tricolor has an emotionally related meaning: the colors represent Italy, with its vibrant history. Other than that, the Italian flag has more than one interpretation of its colors, unlike the Mexican flag.
Today, at sports games, national days, and events, even in a bar while watching soccer, folks can be seen waving the Italian flag. Thus, waving the Italian flag while whatever’s happening is pretty common in Italy. The flags for Ireland and Cote d’Ivoire look almost like the Italian and Mexican flags, except they use orange rather than red. Even so, the Italian flag continues to be a powerful symbol of Italy, even after centuries.
Did you know that you can see the colors of Italy's flag on Pizza Margherita? It has red tomatoes, white mozzarella cheese, and fresh green basil.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for 15 facts about the Italian flag that you need to know right now, then why not take a look at 51 curious 20th-century facts and significant events for kids, or 33 mind-blowing '50s fashion facts.
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