The emblem consists of a gear wheel with a big star in the center, all rounded by a little oak branch on the right and by a little olive branch on the left.
The story of this emblem started in 1946 when De Gasperi Government organized a contest open to all Italians to create an emblem for the new Republic with a money prize for the winner.
The author of the symbol is Paul Paschetto who was born February 12, 1885, in Torre Pellice. He was a professor at the Instituto di Belle Arti in Rome from 1914 to 1948. Paul was a versatile artist working in the media such as block printing and frescoes. He also designed a number of stamps including the first issue of the Italian air mail stamp.
All of the elements have symbolic meaning. The gear wheel represents the symbol of the work and recall the first article of the Italian Constitution that says: “Italy is a Republic founded on work”.
The olive branch symbolizes the desire for peace in the nation, both in the sense of internal harmony as well as that of international brotherhood. The oak branch, which encircles the symbol on the right, embodies the strength and dignity of the Italian people. Both species are typical for Italy and were chosen to represent the Italian arboreal heritage.
The star is one of the oldest objects of the Italian iconographic heritage and has always been associated with the personification of Italy. It was part of the iconography of the Risorgimento and also appeared as the emblem of the United Kingdom of Italy until 1890. Nowadays the star indicates membership in the Italian armed forces.