According to Italian military order and protocol, the presidential standard constitutes the distinctive emblem of the presence of the President of the Republic and follows him wherever he goes. It is hoisted on the automobiles, ships or airplanes carrying the President; outside the Prefectures, when the President of the Republic is visiting a city; inside the halls in which he makes an official appearance.
The new presidential standard is inspired to the flag of the Italian Republic of 1802-1805, and aims to increasingly bind the insignia of the Head of State to the tricolour flag, both as a historical reference to Italy’s Risorgimento and as the symbol of national unity. Its square shape and blue rimming symbolise the Armed Forces, of which the President of the Republic is Commander-in-Chief. The original example of the standard displayed here is kept at the office of the Commander of the Regiment of Cuirassiers.
After the proclamation of the Republic, the national flag was provisionally adopted as the emblem of the President of the Republic.
It was not until 1965 that, at the request of the Ministry of Defence, a project was launched to develop a specific emblem for the Head of State. For reasons of convenience, the authorities discouraged opting for the most natural solution: the tricolour bearing the emblem of the Republic at the centre, which could easily be confused with the insignia of the President of the United Mexican States, which was also Mexico’s national flag.
The resemblance between the Italian flag with the emblem of the State and the Mexican flag.
Among the different options, the then President, Giuseppe Saragat, chose the one with a blue flag charged with the emblem of the Republic in gold. Both these colours belong to the most consolidated Italian military tradition, respectively symbolising command and valour.
Image of the 1965 model of the standard
This model would last until 1990, when President Francesco Cossiga adopted a new standard, consisting of the national flag rimmed in blue. He also introduced a set of rules which multiplied its use and display during official ceremonies and on public buildings.
Image of the 1990 model of the standard
The 1990 model lasted only two years. At the beginning of his term in office, President Oscar Luigi Scalfaro decided to restore the 1965 standard, albeit downsizing the emblem of the Republic. This model was only used until the 4th of November 2000.
Image of the 1992 model of the standard