Flag of Peru


White symbolizes peace, dignity and progress, red symbolizes war and courage.

The Republic of Peru is a South American state on the border with Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Bolivia, and Chile. It is the third largest country in South America (by size) with an area of 1,285,200 km2 and a population of over 32 million people.

This is what the modern flag of Peru looks like:

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Flag of the Republic of Peru

History of the flag

The first Europeans who began the conquest of Peru were the Spaniards. It began in 1525. At that time, the symbol of the Spanish monarchy was used, which for many centuries looked like the Cross of Burgundy.

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Burgundy Cross

This version of the symbolism represented the Spanish crown both in Spain and in the colonial territories acquired in the Middle Ages, including America. After 1785 the Spanish flag was changed and had to be used in all trading ports located in colonial countries as well.

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Flag of Spain 1785-1873

Prior to this version, a different kind of symbol of Spain was used for several decades.

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In 1820, rebels from Argentina, led by General San Martín, leader of the struggle for independence of the colonies from Spain, landed in Peru. He later led the first Peruvian government. Parallel to this movement, the British General Miller also fought to free Peru from the Spanish. Both leaders proposed their own flag designs for the fledgling country:

  1. Miller’s version is a dark blue cloth with the sun god Inti (patron saint of the Incas);
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A variant of the flag of Miller’s Peru 1820
  1. The St. Martin variant is a cloth with four parts divided diagonally. The left and right sides are painted red and the top and bottom are white.
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Flag of Peru 1821-1822 – variant of San Martin

There are several versions to explain why San Martin chose these colors. On the one hand they are the colors of the symbol of the Spanish monarchy of the Middle Ages, on the other hand they are used on the symbols of Chile and Argentina, where the liberators who came to Peru were from. There is also a legend related to the flamingo birds, which San Martin was inspired to see.

The flag of Peru has been modified several times in its history. After San Martín in 1822, other designs were developed by the new leadership, which used the Inca symbol, the Inti sun, but the colors used were retained.

  1. The first option with horizontal stripes;
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Flag of Peru 1822
  1. The second option with vertical stripes.
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Flag of Peru (1822-1825)

The final version of the flag was approved in February 1825, which lasted until 1850.

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Flag of Peru (1825-1950)

In 1850 the coat of arms was removed from the flag and only three stripes were left.

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Flag of Peru


The Peruvian symbolism consists of three vertical even stripes: the stripes are red on the edges and white in the center. The government version of the flag has the Peruvian coat of arms in the center, but the official version looks simplified – without the coat of arms. The proportions of the sides are 2 to 3.

The coat of arms represents the country’s animal (llama) and plant life (cinquefoil), as well as mineral wealth (a cornucopia full of gold coins). The laurel wreath above the shield is the symbol of the republic, and the palm and laurel branches on the left and right represent peace and the will of the Peruvians to defend the country.

Flag colors

Only two colors are used on the Peruvian flag: red and white. For the government version, several other colors are used on the symbol, which are necessary to represent the coat of arms. Among them: green, brown, yellow, etc.

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Peru’s coat of arms

Meaning of colors and flag symbol

White symbolizes peace, dignity and progress, red symbolizes war and courage.

Other Flags

The Republic of Peru, like many nations around the world, has its own emblems for the various government agencies. For example,

  • The military flag is similar to the government version, only without the palm and laurel branches;
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Peru’s military flag
  • the emblem of the naval forces;
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The emblem of the Peruvian Navy
  • Sea Jack;
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Sea Jack Peru
  • Air Force.
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Peruvian Air Force emblem

Similar flags of other countries

The Peruvian symbolism bears a certain resemblance to the Austrian flag, the only difference being that the stripes on the Austrian flag are not vertical but horizontal.

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Austrian flag

Interesting facts about the flag

In a short period of history (1836-1839) Peru was divided into Southern and Northern parts, which together with Bolivia formed the Peru-Bolivian Confederation. The symbol of the confederation was a red cloth with the coats of arms of Bolivia and Peru.

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Flag of the Confederation of Peru-Bolivia

The symbolism of Southern Peru had its own look.

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Flag of South Peru

General information about Peru

Official language Spanish; in Amerindian-dominated regions, Quechua, Aymara, and other local languages are official
Capital Lima
Territory 1 285 216 км²
Population 32 162 184 people
Currency Peruvian New Salt (PEN, code 604)
Phone Code +51

Map of Peru

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