Italy flag on a pole
The most typical exposition of the Italy flag.
The Italy flag colors have been established by the 1st paragraph section nº 31 "Definition of chromatic colors of the flag of the Republic" referring to the bunting polyester or nautical polyester. References to the colors of the flag can also be founded in the Section V "Flag Republic, National Anthem, National holidays and Funerals of State", in the 2nd Chapter "General provisions of the Ceremonial", in the annex "Prime Minister's Office - Department of State Ceremonial", in the Decree of the President of the Council of Ministers of April 14, 2006 "General rules of etiquette and precedence between public offices", published in the Italian Official Gazette (nº 174 July 28th, 2006).
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Only with the birth of the Italian Republic, in June 1946, it was officially established the style (colors, sizes and dimensions) of the Italian flag, later confirmed as the national flag by the Constituent Assembly in the meeting of 24 March 1947 and inserted in 'Article 12' of the Constitution. As the official and institutional colors of the Italian flag were enshrined the green, white and red in three vertical bands of equal size, to reaffirm the revolutionaries ideals of Risorgimento of liberty, equality and fraternity.
The color tones of the three colors have been established in many different laws of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers. The last was in April 2006 and it confirms the following colors: green: Pantone 17-6153 TCX textile (Fern Green); White: Textile Pantone 11-0601 TCX (Bright White); Red: Textile Pantone 18-1662 TCX (Scarlet Red). The color tones of the three colors, manufactured on fabric polyester stamima, are set out in paragraph N°1, Article n°31.
The three colors of the Italian flag symbolize the values on which it was created the unification of Italy. To understand the profound significance of this flag, however, it needs to tell a brief history of Italy and its flag. As the similarity suggests, the Italian tricolor comes from the French flag, which was born during the French Revolution: the union of white - color of the monarchy - with red and blue - colors of Paris.
Remember the story of the Italian flag helps us to trace the history of Italy.
First of all it is important to underline the fact that until the Italian campaign conducted by Napoleon Bonaparte at the end of '700, flags had not a national significance, were not a sign of pride or national identity and values on which a nation is founded and which it represents.
Initially the Italian flag was simply a ensign with military significance, which was used to recognize the armies into battle: enemies from allies. We have to remember that, until the end of the '700 and for many years to follow, the Italian nation was divided into many independent states, with their flags, ensign, ribbons, and brands.
Then explore the history of the Italian flag, the meaning of its colors and how it was taken, it help us to understand the history of the unification of Italy.
The first time the Tricolore makes its appearance in the history of the Italian nation is definitely during the Italian campaign of 1796-1797. Hypotheses that attempt to place the origin of the flag in a different historical period, although suggestive, however, are not supported by historical documents and facts as much reliable and concrete.
The Italian campaign of 1796-1797 refers to a set of military operations carried out by the Army of Italy led by Napoleon Bonaparte, during what was called the "war of the first coalition" waged by France against the European monarchies: the United of Sardinia, the Roman Empire and the Papal States.
For Army of Italy means we indicate the French revolutionary army that had to move on Italian military territory since 1792. Until the spring of 1794 the Army of Italy fought a war with the Kingdom of Sardinia Vittorio Amedeo III. This first phase of the war was fought mainly in the mountains (the Alps and Ligurian Apennines), with little conviction and little success, with a series of tactics and defensive moves against the Austro-Hungarian troops, who had led occupation in 1795 of the Ligurian valley, from Imperia to Savona.
However since 1976 the army was led by Napoleon Bonaparte, then a young French general, which during the campaigns of Italy had the opportunity to highlight his qualities as a leader, leading the French army to conquer much of northern and central Italy. The assumption of command of the army by Bonaparte in fact marked a decisive moment for the history of Italy.
Starting from April 10 1796 under the command of Bonaparte Army of Italy began the first campaign in Italy, characterized by a series of victories that led to the capitulation of the Kingdom of Sardinia in just 10 days and to the retreat of Austrian army in Lombardy and then in Trentino.
The swift victory of Napoleon in Piemonte and in Italy is also explained considering that in 1790 the Austrian army could have 350,000 soldiers and 58,000 horsemen, a powerful army but composite (it met Austrians, Hungarians, Serbs and Croats) and used to fight according to the concept of linear array (immediately blown away by the genius of Napoleon) as well as wary towards Sardinian ally.
Instead the French army was fast and quick in the movements, partly because he moved without the need of long supply columns. French troops of the Italian Army in fact (until 1796 defined as the "army of ragged" for the deplorable conditions in which they were condemned to live) is used to supply plundering the rich territory of northern Italy.
The plans of the Franch Ministry of War required that the Army of Italy conquered the Lombard lowland, then continuing to Trento, Tyrol and from here with the troops from the Reno, go on to Vienna and annihilated the Austrian army. Napoleon Bonaparte believed however indispensable conquest of Piemonte, and he managed to convince Paris to change war plans.
After a series of victorious military campaigns, Napoleon's army entered in Milan on May 16, 1796 and immediately began to move toward the Po valley, reaching up to Mantova and occupying quickly Verona, Bologna, Ferrara and Livorno (even beyond directives and orders of the Directory of Paris). It is at this stage that Napoleon acquires more and more power and that many Italian artistic works are stolen and taken to France.
In fact, in the second half of 1796 the Army of Italy, in addition to extending the French dominance in northern Italy, was occupied to reject the Austrians around the fortress of Mantua, who was captured in April 1797. On 17 October of that year Bonaparte concluded Campoformio peace that sanctioned the victory of the Army of Itlay in Italy. Bonaparte left the Army of Italy after a last triumphant proclamation from Milan November 12, 1797.
During the first campaign of Italy, on the Italian territory there were many pro-French Jacobin willing to cooperate with the French troops. Using this local collaboration, General Bonaparte tried to pursue a policy favorable to Italian independence and unification, so much so that on October 15 of 1796 promoted the establishment of the Republic Cispadana.
It is at this stage of the history of Italy that appears for the first time the Italian flag, at the first time, the flag of the Republic Cisalpina, founded in Modena in October 1976, bringing together the provinces of Modena, Reggio Emilia, Ferrara and Bologna.
Then, in December, the Republic Cisalpina was merged in the Republic Cispadana, that had its own civil guard and its own government, whose flag was a horizontal tricolor, with red, white and green bands. But int the center there was an emblem consisting of a quiver, which stands on war trophies, with four darts inside, symbolizing the four provinces, within a laurel wreath. This is the first form of what would later become the Italian flag.
But this flag appears before the official establishment of the Republic Cispadana and the official adoption of the tricolor by this Republic on the proposal of Giuseppe Compagnoni.
In fact, in the Italy of 1796 , the republics of Jacobin inspiration, that were born instead of the previous absolute states thanks advancing French troops, they adopted almost all, with different colors, flags characterized by three bands of equal size, inspired by the model French 1790.
Even the italian military units, made to assist the army of Bonaparte, exhibited banners with the same colors, dimensions and measures. In particular, the flag of the Lombard Legion presented the colors white, red and green, deeply rooted in the collective heritage of the region. White and red, in fact, were also the hallmark of the old coat of arms of Milan (red cross on white field), while the greens were the color, since 1782, of the uniforms of the civic Guard Milan. The same colors, as we have said, were adopted also in banners, flags and ribbons of the Italian Legion, which collected the soldiers coming from Emilia and Romagna.
With the advance of French troops, these three colors became the sign and symbol of renewal and were adopted by all the republics that participated in the revolutionary ideals.
It was October 18, 1796 in Bologna that the colors of the national flag was officially appointed as the white, red and green and the first flag was officially handed over to the Lombard Legion on November 6 in Milan. The flag appeared divided in three vertical bands, with the written "Lombard Legion". At this stage the flag is still a military banner. Flags of the same size, design and measurement were also awarded to five other cohorts that made up the Italian troops to support the French Army. These flags still exist today. In fact it was in 1978 that this military flag was adopted as the official flag of the Republic Cisalpina, born of the union between the republics and Cispadana Transpadana.
When the Italian Republic (1802-1805) was born officially, the founders retained the colors of the flag, but the shape changed into a green square inserted in a white diamond, in turn inserted in a red square (a composition identical to the current Presidential Italian pennant). White and red resume French revolutionaries ideals, while the green, color of the uniforms of the Guardia Civica Milan, is adopted to symbolize all those who fought for Italy. When the Republic became the Kingdom of Italy (1805-1814), the flag was changed, although the banners military continued to bring in them an imperial eagle yellow on the green square. At the same time the green began to signify the nature, human rights and the Italian countryside, while the white and the red acquire new meanings, becoming a symbol of the revolution understood as sovereignty for the people and freedom for the nation.
In 1800, this flag, with vertical red, white and green bands, for the first time, become the symbol of a nation, the symbol of Risorgimento: the revolt that inspired and united the whole of Italy. In 1821 during the motions of 1820-1821, the Tricolore is fluttered for the first time in the history of Italian Risorgimento and in 1831 Giuseppe Mazzini choose the Tricolor as a symbol of Young Italy. In 1834 it is adopted by the revolutionaries who attempted to invade Savoy.
In March 1848, during the Five Days of Milan, the King of Sardinia Carlo Alberto promises to the Provisional Government of Lombardy that his troops, sent in aid for the first war of independence, would march under the flag of the Tricolor, with the coat of arms Savoy superimposed on the white. Also in 1848, the tricolor was adopted by Bourbon and papal militias sent to the rescue of Lombardi, from Venice and the insurrectional government of Sicily. The February 12, 1849 was adopted by the Roman Republic.
In 1860 the tricolor also became flag of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. When the 17 marzo1861 is proclaimed the Kingdom of Italy, the Tricolor remains the National flag.
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