Flag of Colombia

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Flag of Colombia.svg
Name Tricolor Nacional (National tricolor)
Use National flag and ensign
Proportion 2:3
Adopted November 26, 1861
Design A horizontal tricolor of yellow (double-width), blue and red.

The flag of Colombia was adopted on November 26, 1861.[1] It is a horizontal tricolour of yellow, blue and red. The yellow stripe takes up the top half of the flag and the blue and red take up a quarter of the space each. It is a triband flag with horizontal bands colored yellow, blue and red. Vertically the yellow occupies 50% and the other 50% is shared by the blue and red colors.

FIAV 111010.svg National flag and state ensign. Flag ratio: 2:3
FIAV 000100.svg Civil ensign. Flag ratio: 2:3
FIAV 000001.svg Naval ensign. Flag ratio: 2:3

Symbolism and design[edit]

Construction sheet of Colombia national flag.

The horizontal stripes (from top to bottom) of yellow, blue and red tricolour have a ratio of 2:1:1. It—together with that of Ecuador, also derived from the flag of Gran Colombia—is different from most other tricolour flags, either vertical or horizontal, in having stripes which are not equal in size. (Venezuela, whose flag is also derived from the same source, opted for a more conventional tricolour with equal stripes).

The official colors have not yet been established by law. However, it is recommended to use the following:

Scheme Yellow Blue Red
Pantone 116 287 186
RGB (hex) 252-209-22 (#FCD116) 0-56-147 (#003893) 206-17-38 (#CE1126)
CMYK C0-M17.1-Y91.3-K0 C100-M61.9-Y0-K42.4 C0-M91.7-Y81.6-K19.2

According to the current interpretation, the colors signify:

  •   Yellow: represents all the gold found in the Colombian land.
  •   Blue: represents the seas on Colombia's shores, the rivers that run through, and the sky above.
  •   Red: represents the blood spilled for Colombia's independence.

Although, the flag has other representatives such as blue for loyalty and vigilance, red for victory of battles for Colombian independence, and finally yellow for sovereignty and justice.


Francisco de Miranda was the person who originally created the common yellow, blue and red flag of Gran Colombia that Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela, with slight variations, share today. Miranda gave at least two sources of inspiration for his flag. In a letter written to Count Simon Romanovich Woronzoff (Vorontsov) in 1792, Miranda stated that the colors were based on a theory of primary colours given to him by the German writer and philosopher Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Miranda described at a late-night conversation which he had with Goethe at a party in Weimar during the winter of 1785. Fascinated with Miranda's account of his exploits in the United States Revolutionary War and his travels throughout the Americas and Europe, Goethe told him that, "Your destiny is to create in your land a place where primary colours are not distorted.” He proceeded to clarify what he meant;

After Miranda later designed his flag based on this conversation, he happily recalled seeing a fresco by Lazzaro Tavarone in the Palazzo Belimbau in Genoa that depicted Christopher Columbus unfurling a similar-coloured flag in Veragua during his fourth voyage.[2]

In his military diary, Miranda gave another possible source of inspiration: the yellow, blue and red standard of the Burger Guard (Bürgerwache) of Hamburg, which he also saw during his travels in Germany.[3][4]

In the 1801 plan for an army to liberate Spanish America, which he submitted unsuccessfully to the British cabinet, Miranda requested the materials for "ten flags, whose colours shall be red, yellow and blue, in three zones."[5] However, the first flag was not raised until March 12, 1806, in Jacmel, Haiti, during his ill-fated expedition to Venezuela.

Similar flags[edit]

Past flags[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://www.colombiainfo.org/en-us/colombia/flagandarms.aspx
  2. ^ Serpa Erazo, Jorge, [summary of Ricardo Silva Romero's] "La Bandera del Mundo." Pañol de la Historia. Part 1, Section 1 (July 30, 2004). ISSN 1900-3447. Retrieved on 2008-12-02
  3. ^ Dousdebés, Pedro Julio, "Las insignias de Colombia," Boletín de historia y antigüedades, August 1937, 462, cited in Nelson González Ortega, "Formación de la iconografía nacional en Colombia: una lectura semiótico-social," Revista de Estudios Colombianos, No. 16 (1996), 20.
  4. ^ Miranda, Francisco; Josefina Rodríguez de Alonso; José Luis Salcedo-Bastardo (1983), Colombeia: Segunda sección: El viajero ilustrado, 1787-1788, 4, Caracas: Ediciones de la Presidencia de la República, p. 415, ISBN 84-499-6610-8, April 19:[…] around 5:30 in the evening I had the pleasure of seeing the Burger Guard pass by with flag waving and drums beating, which it does every day at a similar time […] The [officers of the] infantry wore red with a yellow emblem, and the artillery blue with red emblem. 
  5. ^ Miranda, Francisco; Josefina Rodríguez de Alonso; José Luis Salcedo-Bastardo (1978), Colombeia: Primera parte: Miranda, súbdito español, 1750-1780, 1, Caracas: Ediciones de la Presidencia de la República, p. 80, ISBN 978-84-499-5163-3 

External links[edit]