Every country has some representation by its national flag which is the symbol of pride and respect. With its captivating coasts, abundant gold resources, and rich history, Colombia boasts all of South America’s allure. The national flag of Colombia symbolizes Colombian independence from Spain, gained on July 20, 1810. It is a horizontal tricolor of yellow, blue, and red.
The yellow stripe takes up half of the flag and the blue and red take up a quarter of the space each. If you don’t know much about Colombia, you may wonder about how the Colombian flag looks like? There is a whole history behind this country’s flag. USA Translate is providing this blog to highlight the leading facts about the Colombian flag. So, let’s start!
First of all, let’s get a brief introduction to this country that owns the glorious flag. Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia, is the 29th most populous country in the world. It is a sovereign state in the northwest of South America, with territories in Central America.
It has an area of 1,138,910 sq. km. Its capital and largest city is Bogotá, D.C. Spanish is the official language of Colombia. Peso (COP) is the currency of Colombia. People living in Colombia are Colombians. It has five bordering countries that include Brazil, Ecuador, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela.
Moreover, it is located at the northern tip of South America. It is a country of lush rainforests, towering mountains, and coffee plantations.
Facts About The Colombian Flag
The given facts will describe everything from the flag’s history and origin to its unique design. You must be curious about the glorious history of the Colombian flag. So, let’s explore it without any delay!
History and Origin
The National Flag of Colombia was officially adopted on November 26, 1861. Local opposition to Spanish rule in what is now Colombia began on July 20, 1810, at Bogotá. People belonging to Cartagena, the Cauca valley, and Antioquia started rebelling. It was the time when each area demanded independence under a separate flag.
The victory of “The Liberator,” Simón Bolívar, at the Battle of Boyacá on August 7, 1819, assured the independence of Colombia, and in December of that year, Colombia adopted as its national flag the horizontal tricolor of yellow, blue, and red under which Bolívar fought. There were many variations of the modern Colombian flag in the past that we see now. However, some variants of this flag are also in use in Ecuador and Venezuela.
The original flag of Colombia was derived from the flag of Gran Colombia. In 1834, the stripes were changed from horizontal to vertical, and a white eight-pointed star was added in the center. Subsequently, coats of arms appeared on the flag for specific official purposes. The present national flag was established when the government reverted to the horizontal yellow-blue-red on December 10, 1861.
In doing so, however, it made the yellow stripe twice the width of either of the other stripes. To describe the distinctive symbol of the flag, a provision was made. Essentially, the same symbol was in use for half a century but there is a lot of variation in the artistic rendition. Checkout our latest post here about Top 20 Colombian Slang Terms!
Symbol and Design
Briefly, the Colombian flag symbolizes the independence of Colombia from Spanish rule. In the design of the flag, it is available with the color proportion of 2:1:1 which means it is a tricolor flag. It has horizontal stripes (from top to bottom) of yellow, blue, and red. It together with that of Ecuador, also derived from the flag of Gran Colombia is different from most other tricolor flags, either vertical or horizontal, in having stripes that are not equal in size.
This much has been known but no official colors have been established by the law yet. But the Colombian Olympic Committee approved three colors i.e. yellow, red, and blue for the London 2012 Summer Olympics. According to the current interpretation, these colors signify:
- Yellow – Represents the riches of the country, the wealth of the Colombian soil, the gold, sovereignty, harmony, justice, and agriculture, as well as the Sun, and the source of light.
- Blue – Represents the sky above, the seas on Colombia’s shores, and the rivers that run through.
- Red – Represents the blood spilled for Colombia’s independence and also the effort of the Colombian people, their determination, and perseverance. It represents that although Colombia’s people once struggled, they have since thrived.
Additionally, apart from this signification, the colors of the Colombian flag have other representations as well such as blue for loyalty and vigilance, red for the victory of battles for Colombian independence, and yellow for sovereignty and justice.
The National Coat of Arms
The national coat of arms of Colombia contains a shield with numerous symbols. Perched on top of the shield is an Andean condor holding an olive crown and the condor symbolizing freedom. The national motto, Libertad y Orden (Spanish for Liberty and Order), is on a scroll in between the bird and the shield in black font over a golden background.
The condor is depicted as displayed (with his wings extended) and looking to the right. The national flag of Colombia is hanging on each side of the shield. And the shield has three portions including:
- The lowermost portion is a depiction of ships, pointing to the maritime history of Colombia, mainly to the Isthmus of Panama, which was part of Colombia until 1903. Nowadays, it represents the two oceans that border the country (Atlantic and Pacific). The sails mean Colombian commerce with the rest of the world and the rising economy.
- In the middle section, over a field of silver (argent), the Phrygian cap is present; this being a traditional symbol of liberty and freedom.
- Lastly, the topmost section contains a pomegranate over a blue (azure) field, as a symbol of the Viceroyalty of New Granada (early colonial name of Colombia back in the 18th century), in the middle flanked by two cornucopias or horns of plenty.
The one at the right with golden and silver coins and the one at the left with tropical fruits. Moreover, this portion represents the agricultural and mineral wealth of Colombian soil.
The indigenous societies such as the Musicas, Quimbaya, and Tayrona inhabited and thrived in the area now known as Colombia during the pre-Colombian period. Based on archeological finds, those indigenous people had advanced societies with government agriculture and trade and were some of the most developed groups in South America.
The Colombian community has directly contributed to the diversity and positive growth of Jersey City in various fields, including education, entrepreneurship, government, literature, drama, sculpture, music, food, and culture, as well as all aspects of life throughout the United States and abroad; and continues to influence our beliefs, embedded values, and a quest for independence.
Moreover, about two hundred years ago, a new flag was flying in the air of Colombia and it proudly became a symbol of freedom for Colombians. At present, the City of Jersey City and other members of the Colombian community remember this day and they proudly display the flags of the United States and the Republic of Colombia together, high above City Hall in recognition of the socially adopted culture and ethnic diversity of our community of Jersey City.
Furthermore, this momentous occasion reflects the camaraderie built between the United States and Colombia and our enduring love for freedom, liberty, and democracy from which the world gets inspiration.