Flags of South America
A flag is a visual representation of the cultural history of a country – what that country feels are the most important aspects of its history or its people. Symbols and colors on a flag can represent geographical information, the spirit of a nation, historical facts or have other significance. Here are the flags of the twelve independent countries in South America. Descriptions of each country’s flag are below (click here).
Argentina – The flag of Argentina was adopted in 1812 and first raised during the Argentine War of Independence in the city Rosario. It is divided into three bands, with the top and bottom celestial blue and the ‘Sun of May’ (Sol de Mayo in Spanish) in the middle band (added in 1818). Uruguay has a Sun of May emblem in its flag as well.
Bolivia – The flag of Bolivia was adopted in 1851 and has three equal horizontal bands that are tricolor: red (representing vigor), green (representing fertility) and yellow (representing mineral resources). The yellow middle band has a Bolivian coat of arms in the middle that has an Andean Condor on top.
Brazil – The flag of Brazil was adopted in 1889 and has a green background with a yellow rhombus (or parallelogram) inside and a blue globe inside the rhombus. The blue globe has a smattering of 21 white stars (27 stars in 1992 updated version) and a curved band with the national motto inscribed in it; “Ordem e Progresso” (Order and Progress in English).
Chile – The flag of Chile was adopted in 1817 and has a top band that is 2/3 solid white (representing snow of the Andes mountains) and 1/3 blue (representing the sky) with a white 5-pointed star in the center and a lower band that is a solid red (representing blood of patriots who fought for independence) color.
Colombia – The flag of Colombia was adopted in 1861 and three horizontal stripes colored yellow, blue and red (no symbols are on the flag). The top half of the flag is solid yellow (representing gold found in the country). The second half of the flag is equal stripes of blue (representing the ocean) and red (representing blood shed by military heros) each 1/4 of flag total.
Ecuador – The flag of Ecuador was adopted in 1860 and modified in 2009. It is similar to the flag of Colombia in that the top horizontal stripe that takes up half of the flag is yellow (representing the sun and gold) and the two horizontal stripes below are 1/4 blue (representing ocean and clear skies) and 1/4 red (blood spilled in the fight for independence). A coat of arms of Ecuador is placed smack dab in the middle of the flag.
Guyana – The flag of Guayana was adopted in 1966 (achieved independence from Britain). The shape is reprentative of an arrowhead and has three interwoven sections, the first two in the shape of a pointed ‘arrow’. From left to right is first a red (representing zeal of its people) with black (representing endurance) border arrow, inset into a yellow (representing mineral wealth) with white border pointed arrow. The rest of the background and right side is solid green (representing agricultural wealth).
Paraguay – The flag of Paraguay was adopted in 1842 and unique to all flags of South America in that each side has a different symbol in the middle of the three equal horizontal bands of red, white and blue (bottom stripe). One side has a coat of arms emblem in the middle and the other side has the circular seal of the treasury in the middle with a half-moon shape border at the top of the emblem displaying the slogan: “Paz y Justicia (Peace and Justice in English).
Peru – The flag of Peru was adopted in 1825. It is a very simple design with three vertical stripes of equal parts. The first stripe is red (representing blood from fighters who fought for freedom), the second middle stripe white (represents flamingos in flight or peace) and the third stripe red again.
Suriname – The flag of Suriname was adopted in 1975 and has five bands of varying widths. The top and the bottom bands are equal widths of and a solid green (representing hope) color. Half the width of the green, two white (peace and justice) stripes come next with a middle red (representing progress and love) band twice the width of the green and containing a white star in the middle (representing unity of all races).
Uruguay – The flag of Uruguay was adopted in 1828 and had 17 horizontal stripes alternating white and blue. The flag was updated in 1830 to contain 9 alternating stripes. In the upper right corner of the flag is a a white background square section with a Sun of May (Sol de Mayo in Spanish) in the middle. Both Uruguay and Argentina have a Sun of May in their flags.
Venezuela – The flag of Venezuela was adopted in 1811 and altered to its current version in 2006. It has three vertical stripes of equal width: yellow, blue and red. The colors are all primary colors and represents “… a place where primary colors are not distorted”. Source: Wikipedia Eight white stars in a half-moon shape are in the center of the middle blue stripe and the top yellow horizontal stripe has a small coat of arms in the upper left-hand corner.