Proudly flying high throughout the nation is the Bandiera d’Italia - the Italian flag. As you journey throughout this country, you will see the flag of Italy, 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 which can be found in different shapes and sizes, from tiny footballs to t-shirts to bumper stickers, all displaying the "il Tricolore" - which is how the Italian flag is often referred to by the locals.
The flag of Italy - in all of its green, white and red glory speaks of the country’s deep-rooted heritage and its colours have many different meanings, depending on your source. The most common will tell you that the thee colours of the flag were first used by the short lived Cispadane Republic which supplanted Milan state after Napoleon's victorious army crossed Italy in 1797. Red and white were adapted from Milan's flag at the time, and the greed was obtained from their civic guard's uniform. The 3 bands of equal size were inspired by the french model of their flag of 1790 and the similar looking green, white and red wasn't officially adapted nationwide until 1946, and it has been in use ever since.
For many people, the colours of the Italian flag have a different meaning. Some state that in the Tricolore - 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 and the flame, scarlet red is a representation of charity.
The order of the vertical stripes on the Italy 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 the Italian flag and its colours contain many different meanings, one thing remains quite clear - it has become a proud symbol of the country and its people. As you travel throughout Italy, you can't help but notice the flag everywhere and discover what symbolism it may come to hold for you. Last but not least, don’t forget to take home a little souvenir as a reminder of many memories shared in this beautiful green, white and red country.
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