Tricolour Day

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Tricolour Day
Flag of Italy.svg
Official nameItalian: Giornata Nazionale della Bandiera
Observed by Italy
Liturgical Colorgreen, white and red
SignificanceCelebrates the birth of the flag of Italy
Date7 January
Next time7 January 2021 (2021-01-07)
First time7 January 1997
Related toAnniversary of the Unification of Italy, Anniversary of the Liberation, Festa della Repubblica and National Unity and Armed Forces Day

Tricolour Day (Italian: Festa del Tricolore), officially National Flag Day (Italian: Giornata Nazionale della Bandiera), is the flag day of Italy. Celebrated on 7 January, it was established by Law 671 on 31 December 1996. It is intended as a celebration, though not a public holiday.[1] The official celebration of the day is held in Reggio Emilia, the city where the Italian tricolour was first adopted by an Italian sovereign state, the Cispadane Republic, on 7 January 1797.


Flag of the Cispadane Republic

The day was established by law n. 671 of 31 December 1996 with the intention of celebrating the bicentenary of the birth in Reggio nell'Emilia of the Italian flag, which officially took place, as already mentioned, on 7 January 1797 with the official adoption of the Tricolor by the Cispadana Republic, a Napoleonic state born the previous year and dependent on the French First Republic.

Previously, the Italian national colors had already appeared on the tricolor cockades and on some military banners but on 7 January 1797, for the first time, the Tricolor was officially adopted by an Italian sovereign State. To suggest the adoption of a green, white and red flag was Giuseppe Compagnoni, who for this reason is known as the "Father of the Tricolor"[2]. In the minutes of the meeting of 7 January 1797 which was convened by the founding committee of the Cispadane Republic and which took place in a room of the town hall later renamed Sala del Tricolore, it can be read[3]:

[...] From the minutes of the XIV Session of the Cispadan Congress: Reggio Emilia, 7 January 1797, 11 am. Patriotic Hall. The participants are 100, deputies of the populations of Bologna, Ferrara, Modena and Reggio Emilia. Giuseppe Compagnoni also motioned that the standard or Cispadan Flag of three colors, Green, White and Red, should be rendered Universal and that these three colors should also be used in the Cispadan Cockade, which should be worn by everyone. It is decreed. [...][4]

— Decree of adoption of the tricolor flag by the Cispadane Republic
The eighteenth-century Sala del Tricolore, later to become the council hall of the municipality of Reggio Emilia, where the Italian flag was born

In the assembly of 21 January, which was instead convened in Modena, the adoption of the Tricolor was confirmed. The flag of the Cispadane Republic was in horizontal bands with the top red, the white in the center and the green at the bottom. In the center was also the emblem of the republic, while on the sides the letters "R" and "C" were shown, the initials of the two words that form the name of the "Repubblica Cispadana"[2]. The Cispadane and Transpadana republics merged a few months later to form the Cisalpine Republic, whose Grand Council, on 11 May 1798, adopted a tricolor flag in vertical bands with no crests, emblems or letters.

Later the green, white and red flag was adopted by two other Napoleonic states, the Italian Republic and the subsequent Kingdom of Italy. After the Napoleonic era, the Tricolor became a symbol of the Risorgimento struggle. It was in fact adopted by the Cittadella of Alessandria during the revolutions of 1820 and by the Roman Republic in 1849.

In 1860 the Italian flag was chosen as the national flag by the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, while on 17 March 1861, with the proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy, the green, white and red flag became the national flag of a united Italy, although not officially recognized by a specific law[5].

The recognition took place on 12 June 1946 thanks to a legislative decree of the President of the Council of Ministers of the Italian Republic, where the Tricolor was officially adopted as the national flag of the newly formed Italian Republic. The decision was ratified on March 24, 1947 by the Constituent Assembly of Italy which decreed, at the same time, the insertion, in article 12 of the Constitution of the Italian Republic, of the following text:

[...] The flag of the Republic is the Italian tricolour: green, white, and red, in three vertical bands of equal dimensions. [...]

— Article 12 of Constitution of Italy


Solemn change of the Guard of Honor of the Corazzieri Regiment at the Quirinale Palace in Rome on the occasion of the Tricolour Day on 7 January 2016

On December 31, 1996, with the same law that established the Tricolor Festival, a National Committee of twenty members was set up with the aim of organizing the first solemn commemoration of the birth of the Italian flag[6]. The Committee was composed of institutional personalities, including the presidents of the chambers, and members from civil society, particularly from the historical and cultural sphere[6]. At that time it was also proposed not to celebrate the date, or even to modify the flag itself, hypotheses scarcely accepted by the members of the Parliament[7].

In Reggio nell'Emilia, the Festa del Tricolore is celebrated in Piazza Prampolini, in front of the town hall, in the presence of one of the highest offices of the Italian Republic (the President of the Italian Republic or the president of one of the chambers), who attends the 'flag-raising on the notes of Il Canto degli Italiani and which renders military honors a reproduction of the flag of the Cispadane Republic[8].

In Rome, at the Quirinal Palace, the ceremonial foresees instead the change of the Guard of honour in solemn form with the deployment and the parade of the Corazzieri Regiment in gala uniform and the Fanfare of the Carabinieri Cavalry Regiment[9]. This solemn rite is carried out only on three other occasions, during the celebrations of the Anniversary of the Unification of Italy (17 March), of the Festa della Repubblica (2 June) and of the National Unity and Armed Forces Day (4 November)[9].

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Celebrazione nazionale del bicentenario della prima bandiera nazionale Legge n. 671 del 31 dicembre 1996 (GU 1 del 2 gennaio 1997)
  2. ^ a b Vecchio, 1999 & p. 42.
  3. ^ The tri-coloured standard.Getting to Know Italy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (retrieved 5 October 2008) Archived 23 February 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ [...] Dal verbale della Sessione XIV del Congresso Cispadano: Reggio Emilia, 7 gennaio 1797, ore 11. Sala Patriottica. Gli intervenuti sono 100, deputati delle popolazioni di Bologna, Ferrara, Modena e Reggio Emilia. Giuseppe Compagnoni fa pure mozione che si renda Universale lo Stendardo o Bandiera Cispadana di tre colori, Verde, Bianco e Rosso e che questi tre colori si usino anche nella Coccarda Cispadana, la quale debba portarsi da tutti. Viene decretato. [...]
  5. ^ "Storia della bandiera italiana" (in Italian). Retrieved 14 January 2016.
  6. ^ a b Article 1 of the law n. 671 of 31 December 1996 ("National celebration of the bicentenary of the first national flag")
  7. ^ "Il Tricolore compie duecentodieci anni" (in Italian). Retrieved 21 January 2016.
  8. ^ "7 gennaio, ecco la festa del Tricolore" (in Italian). Retrieved 11 February 2017.
  9. ^ a b "Al via al Quirinale le celebrazioni per il 2 giugno con il Cambio della Guardia d'onore" (in Italian). Retrieved 21 January 2016.


External links[edit]