The flag of Italy - often referred to in Italian as "il Tricolore" - is a vertical tricolour consisting of (from hoist side) green, white and red pales. The ratio of the flag is 2:3.
Italy has used many flags throughout its long history. The current version of the Italian flag has officially been in use since 1948. The flag is celebrated with a national day on January 7 each year, which was the date in 1797 when the colours were first displayed on a flag by the Cispadane Republic (a sovereign Italian state). Like many other tricolours, the Italian flag was inspired by the French flag. The only difference between the two is the replacement of the blue with green, which is said to represent the respect Italians have for nature.
The Italian flag is flown mainly at ceremonial occasions and on government buildings. Italians do not generally fly their flag outside private residences; however, the flag and derivative items bearing the image of the flag are used extensively to display support for Italy's various sporting teams, in particular its national football (soccer) team.
The flag of Italy flying in Rome