The flag of Marche is one of the official symbols of the region of Marche, Italy. Like many Italian regional flags, it was adopted on 4 November 1995 for Armed Forces Day of Italy. In absence of a law on the subject, the regional emblem that had been adopted on 15 March 1980 was simply inserted on a white background.
The emblem of Marche bears a stylized woodpecker, overlapping a black shape to form a capital letter M, against a green-bordered shield with a white field. The flag was designed by Maurizio Catani and Gianni Veroli.
The woodpecker was the tribal totem of the Picentes, an Italic tribe who lived in most of the territory of present-day Marche.
The bird's connection to the region is attested to in Greek and Roman literature:
Ὤρμηνται δ'εκ τῇς Σαβίνης οί Πικεντίνοι,
δρρυοκουλάπτου τὴν ὀδὸν ηγησαμὲνου τοῖς
ἀρχηγὲταις, ἁφ'οὗ και τοὔνομα πικον γαρ τὸν ὅρνιν
τοῦτον ὀνομὰζουσι, και νομὶζουσιν Ἄρηως ἱερρόν.
Οικοὒσι δ'απὸ τῶν ὀρῶν ἁρξάμενοι μὲχρι τῶν πεδίων
και τῆς θαλὰττης...
The Picentes have come here from Sabina, under the guidance of a
woodpecker that showed the founders the way. Hence, they derive
their name: for they call this bird picus and they consider it
sacred to Ares. They are situated starting from the
mountains to the plains and the sea.
— Strabo, Geografia, 5. 4. 2.
Picena Royal, in qua est Asculum, dicta, quod cum
Sabini Ausculum proficiscerentur in vexillo eorum picus
The Piceno region, where one finds Asculum, is thus called
because when the Sabines took their journey towards
Ascolum, a woodpecker perched on their banner
— Sextus Pompeius Festus, De verborum significatu, 235 L.
Huius habitatores cum a Sabinis illuc properarent, in
eorum vexilio picus consedit, atque hac de causa Picenus
When the inhabitants of this region came here from the
Sabine territory, a woodpecker perched on their insignia and
from this was born the name of Piceno
— Paul the Deacon, History of the Lombards, II, 19
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