The Tricolor of Francesco II, when and why it was adopted by the Bourbons

by Federico D'Addato

The Tricolor it is usually associated with the current Italian flag, but this has not always been the case.

In fact, among the first to adopt this type of banner were the Bourbon, with their symbol in the center of course.

In fact, from the family of French origin it is also due to the birth of tricolor from beyond the Alps.

While the blue and the Red are the colors of Paris, the White it represented the Bourbon family, although it changed its meaning after the fall of the French monarchy.

The Tricolor of Francesco II, when and why it was adopted by the Bourbons
The French tricolor has an ancient history, closely linked to the Italian one and to the Bourbon family

The birth of the "Italian" flag

As has often happened in our history, many inventions considered "Italian”Are actually inspired by contexts Europeans, towards which we Italians have always had a particular way of adapting and integrating the cultural revolutions of the continent.

During the meetings of the "secret societiesIn fact, in the wake of the Revolution French e American as a Italian independence spirit, the idea of tricolor flag, capable of representing the most divided people in Europe.

The Tricolor of Francesco II, when and why it was adopted by the Bourbons
In the museum of the Risorgimento in Lucca there is this tricolor used by the revolutionaries

In fact, the green color, integrated into our current flag, was seen used during the occupation Napoleonic.

During the "war for liberation"Conducted by the general Bonaparte, the Italian auxiliary troops, who accompanied the French ones during the campaign, carried the tricolor of green, white and red as their banner.

The Tricolor of Francesco II, when and why it was adopted by the Bourbons
Styles and eras towards which the tricolor has adapted throughout its history

How did the tricolor arrive in Naples?

Remaining in the eighteenth century, a period of great fervent e revolutions, Naples she was not alien to the sensitivity of the world which was slowly changing.

In fact towards the end of that century, precisely in 1799 and in the years of Republic Neapolitan, the banner was very similar to that of the French Republic, bearer of a symbolism containing new ideals: freedom, equality, brotherhood, end of the absolute monarchies.

However, the present flag had a particularity compared to the "cousin”French, the Neapolitan people in fact, determined to renounce Ferdinand IV, removed the "Bourbon white" to choose yellow to call up i colors of the city of Naples.

The Tricolor of Francesco II, when and why it was adopted by the Bourbons
The colors present in the Bourbon coat of arms are blue, which recalls France, red and yellow, which symbolize Naples and white, typical of the Bourbon family

A curiosity particular to know that the yellow and the Red, in Italy pre-unification, were the colors of the Campania capital.

After the brief experience of the Neapolitan Republic the tricolor was abandoned and the banner became the symbol of the house of Bourbon House: white flag with the coat of arms of the family.

The tricolor was set aside, yes, but it did not come forgotten and thanks to the riots carbonari of the following century, the 800, Ferdinand II was forced into 1848 to add red and green to their flag for Kingdom of Naples, while the Sicily revolutionary chose another banner.

The tricolor: the symbol of Italy

Despite the following year, in 1849, everything returned as before, it took twenty years for the History decided to change and, after riots, riots and riots, that the time for united Italy had really arrived.

It was Francis II, during the years '60 of the XIX century, during the conquests garibaldine in the Noon, he found himself against not only the rioters, but members belonging to the nobility and even their own government officials, like Raffaele Conforti.

The Bourbon king by now, fully aware of the defeat and of end of his monarchy, he gave his legacy with two totally desperate measures: a proposal of alliance with Vittorio Emanuele II of Savoy in 1860, the granting of a constitution and the adoption of the tricolor.

The Tricolor of Francesco II, when and why it was adopted by the Bourbons
The tricolor used by Francis II of Bourbon

These choices made too late by now did not have the desired effect for Francis II and the "his"Tricolor, which was born and intersected with the history of his family, had the first mutation having at the center the coat of arms of the Savoy, instead of the Bourbon one and, barring subsequent future changes, led it to be, even today, the symbol of Italy.


History of the Tricolor

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