Country: Republic of Italy
Italian Flag Description:
The flag of Italy consists of three equal sized vertical stripes - the left stripe is green; the middle one is white; and the right stripe is red.
Italian Flag Meaning:
The Italian flag is based on the design of the French flag. There are different accounts explaining the meaning and history of the green, white and red colors. One account states that the colors of the Italian flag may have been based on military uniforms from Milan. Another one suggests Napoleon Bonaparte replaced the blue of the French flag with green because he liked the color.
Italian Flag History:
The current Italian flag was adopted on June 19, 1946. The Italian tricolor flag was first used to represent the French controlled Lombardy region of northern Italy in 1796 and then used by Napoleon Bonaparte's Cisalpine Republic in 1797. In 1848, the King of Sardinia reintroduced the Italian flag incorporating his coat of arms, for all the areas of the country that were under his control. When the Italian Kingdom was established in 1861, it adopted the Italian flag with the royal coat of arms as the national flag to represent a united Italy. The arms were removed from the Italian flag in 1946 when the monarchy was abolished.
Interesting Italian Flag Facts:
Umberto Bossi, the leader of the anti-European Northern League party, was handed a 16-month suspended sentence for referring to the Italian flag as toilet paper in 1997. A judge convicted the then 59-year-old politician of contempt and sentenced him to 16 months in prison but also suspended the term, meaning Bossi didn't have to go to jail.