The Flag

 

In the last 18th century and the earlier 21st century, the Flags were given only to the Infantry and Cavalry units (the line Corps), in recognition of their blood contribution on battlefield. 

The Flag was emblem of glories and traditions for a unit, remembering all the multiple battles. It represented the importance of the two Corps and their units.

For the other Corps the Flag was eventually given with a different meaning: a simple formal recognition for the services.

This limiting conception lasted for a long time in the traditions of the Italian Army. In fact, only in 1935, the flags were also given to the Artillery and Engineer regiments.

On 13th August 1840, as exceptional concession, King Carlo Alberto gave the Flag to the "Royal Military Academy" as a sign of recognition and for its merits.

For that reason, the "Theoretical and Practical Schools of Artillery and Fortification" never received their own Flag, also because they have never been independent bodies but they have always been part of a battalion before, of a regiment later and finally of the Artillery Royal Corps.

In the same day the Schools were funded (16th April 1739) two Flags were given to the Artillery Battalion and the Engineer Battalion, according to the article n.4 of the unit's regulation: "For a major decoration of this Corps, we want they have  two flags, like the other regiments of our Infantry, in sign of the honour they deserved; the Officers will have to receive the scarf when they will be commanded, like it is used in the other regiments".

The two Flags were called "of Battalion" (or "of ordnance") and "of Regiment" (or "Colonel"). They can be considered the initial flags of the "Theoretical and Practical Royal Schools of Artillery and Fortification" even if they were not the exclusive ones.

After the changes wanted by Vittorio Amedeo III, the Royal Corps of Artillery was created and the Flags, used by the Savoy Artillery against the troops of the French revolution, were modified; the "Colonel 1776" was created and maintained by the Schools until 1816.

Later, with the Restoration, the Royal Corps of Artillery was reorganized and it received a new Flag, the "Colonel mod.1816". This type of Flag was used until when the Schools were definitely dissolved and the "Application School for Officers of the Engineer Royal Corps" (1819) was funded along with the "Theoretical Application School for Officers of the Artillery Royal Corps" (1822).

Since then, until 1977, the Application Schools of the Artillery and Engineer Corps no longer had a Flag, but they used the War Flag of a unit in Turin or in nearby areas.

The Application School of Artillery has never had its proper Flag, while that of Cavalry received the National Flag, by royal decree of 3rd December 1934, on 23rd February 1935 in Pinerolo; the assigned Standard was that of the dissolved 26th "Lancieri di Vercelli" Regiment, awarded with a Silver Medal to the Military Valour for the war events of October-November 1918.

After the events on 8th September 1943, the Flag disappeared and it was no longer found.

When the war ended, the Military Schools were reunified in the Military Academy of Modena and the Application Schools of Turin.

In October 1947 the new national Flag was given to the unified Military Academy while the other Institute received it after being changed into Application School: in 1977 (by presidential decree of 14th March) during a solemn ceremony organized in the honour court of the Arsenal Palace, in presence of the previous Commanders of the Institute and other civil and military Authorities.

In the same occasion the Flag was decorated with the Silver Medal to the Military Valour, with the following motivation:

"Cradle of high teachings where many young generations of Officers were educated to the sense of duty and sacrifice; in the critical night of the armistice it faced superior forces in a fight. In spite of the losses and the intervention of enemy armoured vehicles, they managed to resist with tenacity. After some hours fighting, they were ordered to stop the battle determining their traditions of valour and loyalty to the military honour". (Parma, 8th – 9th September 1943)

The ceremony to give the Flag to the Application School determined the unification of the preexistent Schools and made homogeneous the spiritual and professional preparation of all the Officers of the Army because it was the symbol of that cohesion and of the valour and traditions of the past.

The patroness of the Flag was the widow of General Giuseppe Perotti (Golden Medal to the Military Valour) that was cadet and then teacher in the Application School of Engineer, that fought in the two World Wars, hero of the Resistance together with other seven patriots, on 5th April 1944 at Martinetto in Turin.