The single individual who most deserves the credit for designing the tricolor Italian flag is Giuseppe Compagnoni, an Italian deputy from Lugo. In 1797, Compagnoni successfully urged the northern Italian states to adopt the tricolor flag, modeled on the French tricolor, as a national standard.
The exact design of the tricolor Italian flag has varied over the years. The red, white and green banner has been used as a battle flag, a naval ensign and a royal standard. When Italy became a republic in 1946, the royal coat of arms was removed from the flag, leaving only the plain tricolor that has served the nation ever since.