LOTUS

At the heart of symbolism

The Italian flag

(Summary)

Italian flag

The transalpine tricolour

The first three colour flag rose with the Lombard legion constitution in 1796. It became the first official national flag of the Cispadana republic organized by Bonaparte and united into the Cisalpine republic in 1797. After many events, the tricolour flag was adopted, in its present form, by the Italian republic on 19th June, 1946.

The origin and the colour significance of the Italian flag have not been fully clarified yet. This article will only prepare the ground for them. According to the most common explanation, the colours should be those of the uniform of the Milan civic militia, transformed into the National Guard in 1776.

Nevertheless, the origin of the colours of the flag must go back a long way in time. Indeed, the Indo-European societies were traditionally organized around three functions symbolized by three colours: white for priests, red for warriors and blue or green for craftsmen and producers.

The colours could also describe the symbolic voyage of Dante's “Divina Commedia”. An initiation journey within three worlds requiring three qualities or virtues to undertake it:

  • Hope (green) or the longing for bliss, Heavens, which are crowning the realization of the being who has become totally unified, combining fully humanity with spirituality.
  • Faith (white) or the complete abandon to and the full trust in God, who will be the guide all along the path.
  • Charity (red) or the Divine Love as the privileged path to access the Heavens remains the way of the Heart, source of warmth and light.

Hope is opening the route, Faith puts one's trust to undertake the voyage and Charity transports us towards the ultimate goal of our existence. Symbols of the realization of the being's unity, the three colours are also a gathering sign centred around the unity of the country and the beings composing it.

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