What Do the Colors of the Italian Flag Represent?

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The colors of the Italian flag represent different concepts, depending on the interpretation. In one explanation, the green represents the plains and hills of Italy, the white represents the snow-covered mountains of the Alps and the red represents blood spilled for independence. In another explanation, green symbolizes hope, white is faith and red is charity. These poetic meanings likely were given after the fact, as the modern Italian flag resulted from the historical merging of regional governments.

The Italian flag is a tricolor flag of three equally sized vertical pales of green, white and red. The color green is at the hoist side. White is the center band, and the outer stripe is red.

The red and white parts of the flag were borrowed from the official colors of the Milanese flag, and the green is said to have been added to represent the region’s military.

After World War II, the tricolor design used today was adopted as the national flag of Italy at the same time as the adoption of the constitution.

The aspect ratio of the Italian flag is 2:3. The colors of the flag were defined and standardized in reference to the Pantone Matching System (PMS). The green used is “Fern Green” (Number 17-6153 TC), the white is “Bright White” (Number 11-0601 TC) and the red is “Flame Scarlet” (Number 18-1662 TC).