Flag history

Flag history

The tricolor was an inspiration taken from France, which at the time had control over the areas occupied by Napoleon's army in northern Italy.

A tricolor

The design of the flag of Italy has undergone numerous changes throughout Italy’s history. In the late 18th century, several Italian regions adopted a tricolor flag of green, white, and red. The Italian flag was officially adopted by the Cisalpine Republic in 1798. The flag was in the shape of a square, and the three colors were represented in vertical bands.

The Italian Republic

In 1802 the Italian Republic was formed and adopted new flag. It was still comprised of the same three colors but was altered in design, although it was still in the shape of square. The flag of the Italian Republic was red with a white rhombus in the center and a green square in the middle of the white.

The Italian Republic of Napoleon became the Kingdom of Italy in 1805, when Napoleon became emperor. The flag of the Kingdom of Italy was similar to that of the Italian Republic, except that the square flag became rectangular in shape and the eagle of Napoleon was added into the center of the former design. This flag remained in use during Napoleon’s rule, which lasted until 1814.


The Italian states were not widely united under one flag again until 1848. By then the tricolor flag was again adopted as the national Italian flag, with vertical stripes of red, white, and green. Savoia’s coat of arms was displayed in the center of the flag. The Venetian and Roman regions later adopted similar flags, which further symbolized the progressing unity of the Italian states.

By the time Rome was appointed as the capital city of the Kingdom of Italy in 1872, a crown had been added to the center of the tricolor flag by King Vittorio Emmanuele II. The crown and Savoia’s coat of arms remained a part of Italy’s flag until Italy officially became a republic in 1946, ending the monarchy rule. The flag now consisted only of the red, white, and green vertical stripes. This design has remained as Italy’s national flag till nowadays.

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