The story behind the Italian flag

You've seen it more times than you'll remember, but do you actually know the story behind Italy's flag? Read on to impress your crew with your general knowledge on your Italian sailing holiday!
The Italian flag, or 'il Tricolore' is one of the world’s most recognisable, perhaps because it has one of the most exported cuisines in the world. While experts still debate the significance of colours – green, white and red vertical stripes – they are thought to represent three things from the country. The green is considered a symbol of Italian’s lush countryside. The middle white stripe is thought to represent the snow-capped peaks of the Alps which lie in the far north of Italy. Lastly, the red is a symbol of the blood lost in the fight for Italian Independence and Unification. Others consider the three colours of the flag to represent religious symbolism, most notably charity, faith and hope.
Interestingly, the tricolours were thought to have first been used by University of Bologna students in the late 18th-century. Several years later, they were adopted by the Cispadance Republic. Throughout the country’s turbulent history as it bounced between being a republic and kingdom, the flag design was changed, but the colours always remained the same. Like many flags around the world, there are strict protocols which should be followed. It should never touch the ground and the flag is never raised during bad weather.