The Italian olympic team are to honour tenor Luciano Pavarottti by entering this years Olympic opening ceremony not carrying the Italian flag but instead marching under an old pair of the legendary singers Y-fronts.
"It's a true honour," came the official family response today. "As proud Italians we understand how rare it is for this ritual to take place and we know that wherever Luci is, he'll be thrilled that someone is walking around with a pair of his underpants on a stick."
"The Gathering Under The Undies" as it is commonly called is an old Italian tradition dating back to the fifteenth century but is a rarity at a world event.
"We just don't wander around holding anyone's pants in the air," said an Italian olympic official.
The garment which was forwarded to a flagmaker late last week is said to be in reasonable condition following a very careful cleaning procedure although their original condition was rated as poor.
"We a bit surprised when the undies first arrived" said a cleaning supervisor "but everything made sense when the family explained how just before he died Luci had accidentally sat in a pot of brown onion soup."
The flag will be unveiled a week before the games.