Proudly flying high throughout the nation is the Bandiera d’Italia. As you journey throughout this country, you will see the flag, gently waving in the breeze, at historical sites, government buildings and even outside of private homes. Spectators at sporting events will hold their flags high and you may be tempted to take home a souvenir, found in different shapes and sizes, from tiny footballs to t-shirts to bumper stickers, all displaying the il Tricolore.
The Italian flag, in all of its green, white and red glory, speaks of the country’s rich heritage and its colours have many different meanings, depending on whom you speak with. This tricolour flag was first introduced in the late 16th century after the Italian army conquered Milan and adopted its red and white flag as their own. The green was added to pay homage to the Milanese army and the uniform’s that they wore. Despite its early introduction into Italian history, the official flag wasn’t adopted nationwide until 1948 and it has been in use ever since.
For many people, the colours of the flag have a different meaning. Some state that the rich, fern green colour represents the beautiful rolling green hills of the country; the bright white stands for the snow capped Alps, in the northern region; and the red pays respect to all of those who lost their lives while fighting for their country during the Wars of Italian Independence and Unification. With their strong religious Catholic heritage, many Italians believe that the green in the flag stands for hope, the white stands for faith in God and the Catholic church and the flame, scarlet red is a representation of charity.
The order of the vertical stripes of this flag is important. Starting with green on the left, white in the middle and bright red on the far right. Italy’s flag has become a national symbol and is easily recognizable worldwide.
Although this flag contains many different meanings, one thing remains quite clear; it has become a proud symbol of Italy and its people. As you travel throughout this country, notice the flag and see what symbolism it holds for you. Oh! and don’t forget to take home a little souvenir as a reminder of the memories shared in this beautiful green, white and red country.