The flag is an important attribute of any country. It reflects the history of the state, its basic principles and values. The national symbol of Colombia has changed many times, and the meaning of the colors that were chosen for the current version have become surrounded by legends.
This is what the modern flag of Colombia looks like:
History of the flag
The first traces of man on the territory of modern Colombia were found before Christ. At the time of its discovery by the Spaniards in 1499, the land was inhabited by Indians of different tribes.
Colonization led to the formation of the state of New Granada, which declared its independence from Spain in 1810. Ten years later a canvas was unveiled and adopted as the flag of the Great Colombia.
In addition to the lands that make up today’s Colombia, the territories of Venezuela, Ecuador and Panama were united under the flag of that country.
The flag had three disproportionate horizontal stripes. The first (yellow) stripe occupied three sixths of the whole cloth, the second (blue) – two sixths, the third red – one sixth. There was a coat of arms in the upper left corner.
In 1831 the Republic of New Granada was formed, and its national symbols were also slightly changed. The colors of the stripes and their horizontal arrangement remained unchanged, but now each of them occupied an equal width, and the modified coat-of-arms was depicted in the center of the flag. In 1858 the Republic of New Granada, and with it Colombia, became the Granada Confederacy.
The flag of the Granada Confederation retained the same colors as previously used, but its authors arranged the stripes vertically in the following order: red, blue, yellow.
In November 1861 the flag was created, which remains the national symbol of Colombia today, making it one of the oldest active flags in the world. This tricolor was used by the United States of Colombia, which existed from 1863 to 1886. In 1886, a new constitution was adopted that made the union of states a centralized republic of Colombia, but the flag remained unchanged.
The national flag of Colombia has a rectangular shape and three horizontal stripes: yellow, blue, and red. The upper yellow stripe occupies two quarters of the flag, the blue and red one quarter each.
The hues of these colors have no official values, but there are recommended values: according to the Pantone system for yellow – 116, for blue – 287, for red – 186.
The colors of the Colombian flag are ascribed many meanings, the most common being:
- Yellow – the golden sun and fertile lands of Colombia.
- Blue – the waters of the oceans that wash the nation’s shores.
- Red – the blood spilled on the battlefield for the independence of the homeland.
According to alternative versions, Francisco de Miranda dedicated the flag to his beloved.
There is evidence of the fact that Francisco de Miranda visited the Russian Empire and knew Catherine II personally. The empress even patronized him, which led to rumors of their love affair, and the colors of the Columbian flag are prescribed as follows: yellow reminded Miranda of her beloved’s soft blond hair, blue of her bottomless eyes, and red of her bright lips. According to other accounts, Miranda’s lover was Queen Christina of Sweden.
Before 2000, the Colombian Penal Code contained an article for public desecration of state symbols. The punishment was up to two years in prison, and the offense was considered treason.
Today, fines are imposed on all legal entities that fail to display their country’s flag.
General information about Colombia
|Spanish (English and Creole in the province of San Andrés y Providencia)
|1 141 748 km2
|Colombian peso (COP code 170)