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image by eljko Heimer, 20 May 2001
Official Name: Republic of Colombia
(República de Colombia)
Capital: Bogota (Santafé de Bogotá)
Location: South America
Government Type: Republic
Flag adopted: 26 November 1861
Coat of Arms adopted: 6 August 1955
ISO Code: CO
According to [pay00] -
National flag (CSW/-S- (2:3)) - Regarding the yellow stripe, the
Album approximation gives it as Pantone 135c. Some other sources
also agree that the shade of Colombian yellow is different from
the shade used by Ecuador and Venezuela (notably Shipmate Chart
and [zna99]). However, converting
the given Pantone to RGB gave by my software one colour that I'd
call buff, much similar to the colour used in Album as the
background, and certainly not very yellow. I chose this light
yellow shade to represent the Colombian yellow. Hopefully this is
not much mistaken, and anyway, it serves only to show the
difference from the other two Nueavagranadan yellows.
eljko Heimer, 16 May 2001
I must say that some colours given in album 2000 seem quite
strange. Pantone 135 is NOT yellow but it is buff and nothing
else, you are right. Yellow shades in [zna99]
are the same for all three states, blue is different.
Ralf Stelter, 17 May 2001
I agree, in next corr. it will be changed to Pantone 116C.
Armand du Payrat, 17 May 2001
On page 207 of [zna99] is so as
Ralf Stelter say , but when taking a look at page 128,
here blue is different, indeed, but yellows are distinctly
different. However, Colombian is here darker then the other two.
Also in Shipmate chart, now when I look at it in daylight, the
Colombian yellow seems darker then the other two, but the
difference is not so obvious.
eljko Heimer, 17 May 2001
In National flags and distinctive markings - Change Nr 1 [pay01] - Yellow shade changed on
all flags (116c / C0-M15-Y95-K0 instead of 135c / C0-M20-Y60-K0)
Ivan Sache, 8 October 2001
The presidency of Colombia has issued a campaign to promote
national unity against violence and for peace. The campaing
exhorts colombians to hoist their flag permanently outside their
homes, workplaces, cars, etc. All the info (not much, indeed) is
at this site <www.presidencia.gov.co>.
Guillermo Tell Aveledo Coll, 24 April 2002
I found the CMYK codes for the Colombian flag. I don't know if
whether they're official, but I found them on the Colombian
President's office website, so they could be. Here they are
Yellow: C:0, M:10, Y:100, K:0
Blue: C:100, M:70, Y:0, K:0
Red: C:0, M:100, Y:90, K:0
Carlos A Leiva, 30 July 2002
Album [pay01] has slightly
different values, given there as approximate:
Yellow: C:0 - M:15 - Y:95 - K:0
Blue: C:100 - M:70 - Y:0 - K:30
Red: C:0 - M:90 - Y:80 - K:0
Ivan Sache, 5 August 2002
Though indeed Colombia's flag has a "darker" shade
of yellow than Ecuador and Venezuela it is slightly lighter than
the one depicted in your page. If you ignore the
"shadow" effects, the shade of yellow in the flags of
the new rendition of the Coat of Arms
(rather than a new coat of arms per se) is the proper shade.
Jaime Vengoechea, 6 January 2003
"Miranda gave at least two sources of inspiration for his flag. In a letter
written to Count Semyon Vorontsov in 1792, Miranda stated that the colors were
based on a theory of primary colors given to him by the German writer and
philosopher Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Miranda described a late-night
conversation 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
colors are not distorted." He proceeded to clarify what he meant by this:
First he explained to me the way the iris transforms light into the three primary colors […] then he proved to me why yellow is the most warm, noble and closest to [white] light; why blue is that mix of excitement and serenity, a distance that evokes shadows; and why red is the exaltation of yellow and blue, the synthesis, the vanishing of light into shadow. It is not that the world is made of yellows, blues and reds; it is that in this manner, as if in an infinite combination of these three colors, we human beings see it. […] A country [Goethe concluded] starts out from a name and a flag, and it then becomes them, just as a man fulfils his destiny."
Daniel Aarhus, 23 July 2013
Very interesting writing. I've heard and read the story behind Miranda's
creation of the first tricolor flag of Venezuela (which would, in turn, be
adopted by Colombia and Ecuador as their national colors). However I hadn't
heard the full story, so I believe it should be added to the Venezuelan,
Colombian and Ecuadorian pages
respectively, as they all share the same flag.
Esteban Rivera, 04 August 2013
Since the Colombian tricolor was first raised (as mentioned by Jorge Candeias,
on his October 1, 1999 post "(on) 12 March 1806, our national tricolour was
flown for the first time. Miranda was inspired by the predominant colours of the
rainbow [?] and it was flown on land in the port of La Vela (in today's
Department of Guajira
in August of the same
year" (see: Historical Flags (pre-1856),
of the Presidency of the Republic of Colombia, it is clear that this was in fact the first time the tricolor flew
over Colombia as a national flag. This flag (with specific
measurements and minor detail changes, such as the width of the
stripes) was the basis for the flag adopted during the
pro tempore executive and legislative body during a time or war,
established on February 15, 1819, prior to the "Campaña Libertadora"
(official full name: "Campaña Libertadora de Nueva Granada", "Liberating Campaing of New Grenada), which was the final military
offensive to liberate Colombia (then known as New Grenada) from
Spanish rule, which in turn began on May 23, 1819 with the outline of
the military plan and ended after the two major engagements of the
Batlle of Boyacá and the Battle of Vargas Swamp which allowed Simón
Bolívar to enter the capital Bogotá, on August 10, 1819, formally
ending the campaign). The Congress of Angostura adopted the symbols
(Coat of Arms and flag) of Venezuela as the ones for Colombia, because
they sought to form a unified country and because the Venezuelan
symbols were more in use. This was followed by the
Congress of Cúcuta a de iure
Congress, established on August 30, 1821 in
Cúcuta. This Congress
ended on October 3, promulgating the
Constitution of Cúcuta which
formally established the
Republic of Colombia which then
and Colombia (it also
included Panamá, which at the moment was part of Colombia). In this
Constitution, the adopted official symbols (Coat of Arms and flag)
ratified what the Congress of Angostura proclaimed, and added some
details to the final desing, as seen
here, and you mention
Flag Dates: by country list that
Colombia first adopted its tricolor flag on November 26, 1861, which
is totally wrong.
It is possible that the location of La Vela, mentioned in my previous message, is actually La Vela del Coro, in Falcón, Venezuela and not in La Guajira, Colombia. In fact, in La Vela del Coro there's a promenade which shows the historical evolution of the Venezuelan flag.
Also, It's important to add the following: the inspiration for the tricolor was adopted based on General Miranda's militia flag. Now, the issue is actually where did he the inspiration from? An important mention of this is that he was inspired by the Hamburger Bürgerwache (see also Hamburg Citizens' Sentinels page) but also by Cristopher Columbus' personal coat of arms.
Esteban Rivera, 28 October 2015
The protocol manual for the
London 2012 Olympics
(Flags and Anthems Manual
London 2012 [loc12]) provides recommendations
for national flag designs. Each
was sent an image of the flag, including the
PMS shades, for their approval by LOCOG. Once this was obtained, LOCOG produced
a 60 x 90 cm version of the flag for further approval. So, while these specs may
not be the official, government, version of each flag, they are certainly what
believed the flag to be.
For Colombia: PMS 116 yellow, 287 blue, 186 red. TThe vertical flag is simply the horizontal version turned 90 degrees anti-clockwise
Ian Sumner, 10 October 2012
Editorial Note: We present the most popular interpretations of the colours of the flag, but it is also our duty to make the difference between "official explanations", if any and general belief. There is, as a rule, no inherent meaning of colours except in rare cases where the exact meaning is mentioned in the legislation.
1. The yellow symbolizes sovereignty and justice; the blue nobility, loyalty and vigilance; and the red valor, honor, generosity and victory achieved at the high cost of bloodshed.
2. Yellow: universal liberty; blue: the equality of all races and social classes before God and the law; Red: fraternity
Source: Alfred Znamierowski's World Encyclopedia of Flags, 1999.
Phil Nelson , 28 Febuary 2000
As a very popular Colombian kids song says....
YELLOW is our gold
BLUE is our vast seas (oceans)
and RED is the blood that gave us our freedom... (from Spain)
S.C, 6 December 2000
The decrees 861 of 1934, issued by the national government
feeling President of the Republic the Senior General Pedro Nel
Ospina and the doctor Enrique Olaya Herrera respectively, contain
dispositions over the flag and the national shield. To the
continuation, transcribed is the pertinent part of the flag.
Decree No. 861 of 1934 (May 17)
Article 1-The Flag--flag and standard of the Republic of colombia, contains yellow, blue, and red, distributed en three horizontal bands, of which the yellow, placed in the upper part, will have the same width to the middle of the flag, and the other two in equal bands to the forth part of the total, having the blue in the center.
Article 2-The merchant flag of colombia will be in accordance with the established decree number 309 of 1980, three meters long by two wide; it will bring in the center a shield in an oval shape, in blue background, circled by a zone of red velvet of 5 centimeters wide, and a white star in the center, with 8 rays in 10 centimeters in diameter. The axes of the oval, inside the blue background, are of 40 centimeters the bigger, and the 30 the smaller.
Paragraph-This will be the flag that one puts in use in the boats of the colombian navy and in the accredited legations and Consulates outside of the country.
Article 3-The flag of war in use in the Army, will be 1.30 meters long, by 1.10 meters wide, for the standing army; the standard, for the mounted arms, will be a meter long by one meter wide. These flags will have in the center the shield of Arms of the Republic, marked in a circumference of red velvet of 5 centimeters wide and 40 centimeters in diameter in the exteriorpart, within which it will be written, in gold letters, the name of the body (corps) of troops for which it represents.
Decree No. 62 of 1934 (January 11)
208-The flag of war in use in the Army will be, after the law, 1.35 meterslong by 1.10 wide for the mounted arms (cavalry). These flags will have in the center a shield of Arms of the Republic, inside an oval of red wool-cloth, in which it will be written, in embroidered letters of gold, the name of the body (corps) of the troops or military divisions for which it represents.
209-The flag with shield will only be used for the armed corps of the Nation.
210-The national flags that are raised in the barracks, public buildings, merchant ships, fortresses, etc. will be able to have more or less the same dimensions and won't have the shield.
Vincent , 25 October 1997
The Decree No. 1967 of August 15, 1991, which is the latest
legislation on the use of the Flag, Coat of Arms and National
Anthem is online at the Colombian
Ministry of Communications website.
E.R, 18 June 2007
Searching through the local Yellow Pages, in the last page of the 2013
Edition, a reference appears regarding the national symbols. Then, they mention
the official measurements for the Colombian flag: 1.80 m long by 1.4 m wide.
Esteban Rivera, 01 April 2013