The Italian national flag (il Tricolore) was born in Reggio Emilia January 7, 1797, when the Parliament of the Republic Cispadana on the proposal of deputy Giuseppe Compagnoni, decreed "that becomes a universal standard or flag Cispadana Three Colors Green, White, and Red, and that these three colors are used also in the Rosette Cispadana, which requires him to take all ". But why these three colors? In the Italy of 1796, crossed from the victorious armies of Napoleon, the many republics of Jacobin inspiration supplanted the ancient states that had adopted the absolute most, with different colors, flags characterized by three bands of equal size, clearly inspired by the French model of 1790 .
And the military departments "Italian" made time to assist the army of Bonaparte, had banners that resuscitating the same style. In particular, the regimental flags of the Lombard Legion had, in fact, the colors green, white, and red, deeply rooted in the collective heritage of that region :: white and red, in fact, appeared in the ancient city of Milan emblem (red cross on white field), while green was, since 1782, the Milan Civic Guard uniforms. The same colors, they were also adopted in the standards of the Italian Legion, which gathered the soldiers of the land of Emilia and Romagna, and was probably the reason that drove the Republic Cispadana to confirm them in their flag. At the center of the white band, the emblem of the Republic, a quiver containing four arrows, surrounded by a laurel wreath and decorated with a trophy of arms.
the Napoleonic era
The first campaign in Italy, which Napoleon led between 1796 and 1799, the crumbling old system of states in which the peninsula was divided. In their place there are numerous Jacobin republics, a distinctly democratic: the Ligurian Republic, the Roman Republic, the Neapolitan Republic, the Republic Anconitana.
Most did not survive the Austro-Russian counter-offensive of 1799, others came together, after the second campaign of Italy, the Kingdom of Italy, which would last until 1814. However, they represent the first expression of the ideals of independence that fueled our Risorgimento. It was in those years that the flag was no longer perceived as a sign of dynastic or military, but as a symbol of the people, freedom of the conquered, and thus the nation itself.
In the three decades that followed the Congress of Vienna, the tricolor flag was stifled by the Risorgimento, but continued to be raised, as an emblem of freedom, in the revolutions of 1831, Mazzini in the riots, in the desperate enterprise of the brothers Bandiera, uprisings in the states of Church.
Everywhere in Italy, the white, red and green express a common hope, that ignites enthusiasm and inspires poets: "Let one flag, one hope," he writes, in 1847, Goffredo Mameli in his Canto degli Italiani.
And when you opened the season of '48 and the granting of the Constitution, the flag became the symbol of a national rescue now, from Milan to Venice, from Rome to Palermo. On 23 March 1848 Carlo Alberto Lombardo Veneto addressed to the peoples of the famous proclamation announcing the first war of independence and which ends with these words: "(...) to demonstrate external signs viemmeglio the feeling we want Our Italian union troops (...) lead the Savoy shield superimposed on the Italian tricolor flag."
At the dynastic emblem was added a border of blue, to prevent the cross and the field of the shield would mingle with the white and red stripes of the flag.
On March 17, 1861 was proclaimed the Kingdom of Italy and its flag continued to be, by custom, that of the first war of independence. But the lack of a special law about it - only taken to military standards - led to the creation of banners in different shape from the original, often even arbitrary.
Only in 1925 it defined by law, the models of the national flag and the flag State. The latter (used in the residences of the kings, in the parliament buildings, offices and diplomatic missions) was added to the royal crown emblem.
After the birth of the Republic, a presidential decree of June 19, 1946 provisionally established the shape of the new flag, which was confirmed by the Constituent Assembly in its session of March 24, 1947, in Article 12 of our Constitution. And even the dull language of the report we can see all the emotion of that moment. PRESIDENT [Ruini] - I put to the vote the new formula proposed by the Commission: "The flag of the Republic is the Italian tricolor: green, white and red in vertical bands of equal size." (E 'approved. The Assembly and the public galleries of the stand. Vivid, general, prolonged applause.)