Italy celebrates 225 years of tricolour flag

Italy's flag dates back to 7 January 1797.

Italian president Sergio Mattarella marked the 225th anniversary of the nation's tricolour on Friday, hailing the flag as "symbol of Italy and witness to the path that led to the construction of the republic, free and democratic."

"Many tragic and heroic events accompanied the achievement of a common destiny", said the outgoing head of state, whose seven-year term of office draws to an end in a few weeks. 

The president recalled how citizens displayed the flag in the windows of their homes during the difficult days of the covid-19 pandemic, underlining the "fundamental value of solidarity and social cohesion."

Mattarella also noted that the tricolour accompanied Italian athletes during the recent "season of international sporting successes that made us proud", reports news agency ANSA, adding: "Long live the Tricolour, long live the Republic."

The tricolour became Italy’s national flag in Reggio Emilia on 7 January 1797 in the Cispadane Republic, a short-lived client republic in northern Italy, founded in 1796 with the protection of the French army, led by Napoleon Bonaparte.

The Cispadane Republic, at the proposal of Deputy Giuseppe Compagnoni, decreed “that the Cispadane Standard or Flag of Three Colours, Green, White and Red shall become universal and that these three Colours also be used in the Cispadane cockade, which must be worn by everybody”.

For full details about the history of the Italian tricolour see the Quirinale website.