On Saturday, the right-wing Fratelli d’Italia party deposited its symbol in view of the upcoming elections. The symbol contains the tricolor flame, an image that has accompanied all the far-right parties in Italian republican history and that in recent days has ended up again at the center of various controversies, in particular due to the attempts with which the leader on various occasions of the Giorgia Meloni party tried to distance herself from fascism.
In a controversial video addressed to the foreign press, on Wednesday Meloni said that “the Italian right has consigned fascism to history for decades, unambiguously condemning the deprivation of democracy and the infamous anti-Jewish laws”: statements that seemed weak, especially considering the contiguity of some exponents of the Brothers of Italy with the Italian extreme right and neo-fascism.
The vice president of Emilia-Romagna Elly Schlein had observed that “if you leave the flame in the symbol, two minutes of video are not enough to get rid of ambiguities”, while the former speaker of the Chamber Laura Boldrini had defined the flame as a “representation of the regime that rises from the dictator’s tomb ». Among others, on Friday the life senator Liliana Segre had commented on Meloni’s statements on fascism a Jewish Pagesthe monthly of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities, saying that Meloni should have “removed the flame from his party logo.”
Meloni initially did not respond to the controversy. Now, speaking with the Corriere della Sera, has made it known that:
The flame in the symbol of FdI has nothing to do with fascism, but it is the recognition of the path made by a democratic right in our republican history. We are proud of it.
Meloni also said she was “tired” of an electoral campaign that she described as “very low-level”, and accused the Democratic Party of implementing the “usual demonization” of the Brothers of Italy, which polls say being the most popular Italian party at the moment.
Here it is, our beautiful symbol deposited for the next elections. A symbol of which we are proud. On September 25 you choose @Brothers of Italy#VotaFDI #Melons pic.twitter.com/gXzjFA0r1M
– Giorgia Meloni 🇮🇹 ن (@GiorgiaMeloni) August 13, 2022
The tricolor flame was first and foremost the symbol of the Italian Social Movement (MSI), the party founded in 1946 by former fascists and members of the Italian Social Republic, and which for almost fifty years was the main far-right party in Italy. It is not clear who chose it and for what reason, but the design of the flame was inserted in the symbol of the party from the beginning. The youth movement of the MSI, the Young Italy, instead used a tricolor torch as a symbol.
The flame, which according to some versions was designed by Giorgio Almirante himself, former leader of the fascist regime and collaborationist of the Nazis before becoming the historic leader of the MSI, in itself has no direct connection with the Fascist period, where the most used symbol was the fasces. How has explained Tomorrow, there is some link with the symbolism of the Arditi, the army unit that played an important role in the founding myth of fascism, and which were nicknamed “black flames” (but other departments were also called this way, such as the Alpini, the “flames greens”). Another popular theory says that the trapezoid that encloses the writing MSI (without the dot after the final I, by the way) represents the tomb of Benito Mussolini, and the flame a lit lamp.
What is certain is that the flame has been used by almost all the neo-fascist and post-fascist parties of Italy, even after the dissolution of the Italian Social Movement in 1995, and that therefore it has become a symbol by which many right-wing voters feel represented. . For example, it remained in the symbol of the National Alliance, the party that in the following years tried to move away from the more extremist policies of the MSI to become a more modern, Atlanticist and pro-European right-wing party; it was also adopted as a symbol by Youth Action, the youth movement of the party of which Meloni was president, which also retained a lot of black, the color associated with fascism.
– Read also: Where does the flame of the Brothers of Italy symbol come from
Giorgia Meloni says that the flame of the Brothers of Italy symbol has nothing to do with fascism – Il Post