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Guarani people (Paraguay, Argentina, Bolivia and Brasil)

Last modified: 2014-06-28 by francisco gregoric
Keywords: guarani | nanduti | spider web lace |
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About Guarani flags

_El pueblo guaraní: unidad y fragmentos_, by Bartomeu Melià, it says: «En sus escuelas ondean Ias banderas de los países que se establecieron en su territorio; naturalmente no hay bandera guaraní», meaning that «in their », i.e., Guarany's« schools fly the flags of the countries established in their », i.e., Guarany's« territory; naturally there is no Guarany flag».
António Martins-Tuválkin, 22 Apr 2008

Unless this is a convoluted and misleading way to say that the Guarany people has no independent state of its own, Bartomeu Melià seems to be quite wrong — or at least outdated.

There is a Guarany flag. Even more than one, it seems. Most references to actual Guarany flags are from Argentina, not from Paraguay.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 22 Apr 2008

There are variants of Guarani flags raised by Guarani people in Argentina.
Francisco Gregoric, 08 May 2008


Red, brown and green flag

Guarani flag
image by Francisco Gregoric, 08 May 2008

At <http://argentina.indymedia.org>, a demonstration in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on 2004.04.30, is covered.

It was called by «El Tabacal de Hipólito Irigoyen, Río Blanco Banda Sur de Orán, Barrio Progreso de Pichanal and Iyigua Pentirami de Urundel» organizations, from the Orán department, in order to demand to the (Argentine) national government an immediate solution to territorial conflicts involving Salta province natives. Guarany participants are said to sport «una bandera guaraní de colores verde, marrón y rojo» («a Guarany flag colored green, brown and red»).

At <http://argentina.indymedia.org/>, another demonstration, this time in at the entrance of Seaboard Corporation' s La Loma, in July 2005. A prominently Guarany flag is mentioned, but not described; it is however safe to assume it is the same flag, as used by the same groups in a short interval.

These accounts of use of a green-brown-red flag by Guaranys in northern Argentina dovetail with the red-green-coffee horizontal tricolor of the proposed Chaco Boliviano department, in (neighbouring) SW Bolivia, as put forward by the local Assembly of the Guarani Nation.

The apparent contradiction green-brown-red vs. red-green-brown may be due to inaccurate reporting or an actual vexillological variation.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 22 Apr 2008

Indeed this tricolor flag does exist. At <http://argentina.indymedia.org/>, a photo of the flag appears. However the order there is red-brown-green. Therefore there is a contradiction in the order of the colors: the flag in the photo may be upside down, or the description made before could be wrong. As reported before, the colors are the same ones of the proposed Chaco Boliviano department flag but with different order.
Francisco Gregoric, 08 May 2008


Red and green flag

Guarani flag
image by Francisco Gregoric, 08 May 2008

At the <www.coaj.org.ar>, the necrology of Gloria "Chocha" Pérez, Cuña Campinta, of Fraile Pintado, Ledesma department, Jujuy province, Argentina. The photo is captioned as showing «Gloria portando la bandera Guarani junto a su pueblo» («Gloria carrying the Guarany flag among her/its people»).

It shows what seems to be a red over dark green flag, but too limp to show any more details.

At the <www.libertadorhoy.com.ar>, an officially sponsored gathering of native peoples in Jujuy province, Argentina, held in April 2008, is reported.

This included ceremonial hoisting of the Argentine national flag, of the «Bandera Whipala» — in this case probably the Qulla Suyu western Inca 7×7 white-diagonal chequered flag, and of a Guarany flag (presented as «la Bandera Guaraní», *the* Guarany flag) — see photo.

The latter seems to be a red over light blue bicolor, although the photo is too unclear to be sure. It may be the mentioned red-green, oddly litten and/or bleached. Both events reported were held at the same village — Fraile Pintado, Ledesma department, Jujuy province, Argentina.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 22 and 23 Apr 2008


Itikaguasu Guarani People Assembly flag

Not a Guarani flag per se, but the flag of a Bolivian Guarani community, APG (Asamblea del Pueblo Guarani') Itikaguasu, can be seen at <www.aininoticias.org> (Big photo here)

The photo appears to show a grayish-green, celeste (i.e. light blue), and pink tricolor. I'm not sure how accurate the colors in the photo are, nor where on the spectrum the Bolivian Guarani culture separates orange from pink.

The exact Spanish wording is:

    "Nuestra bandera tiene una franja verde, otra es celeste y la última es de color anaranjado, El verde es el campo, la naturaleza, el celeste el río Pilcomayo de itikaguasu, el anaranjado representa la tierra, En el centro tiene como un sello, es el sol guaraní, en medio hay una chacra, con sembradíos del maíz."

    ("Our flag has a green stripe, another one is sky blue and the last one is orange. The green stands for the field, the nature; sy blue stands for the Pilcomayo river of itikaguasu, the orange represents the Earth. At the center it has as a seal. It is the guaraní sun, in the middle there is a small farm, with ready for sowing of the maize.")

Ned Smith, 23 Apr 2008

Judging from the wee lad also shown on the photo, I'd say that it is a faithful image of a sun bleached flag — unless *all* shades are purposely pastel.

Note also that the middle stripe is clearly thinner than the other two: Conjectural specs: (3+2+3):12.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 29 Apr 2003


Flag-like logo of Guarani language

Flag-like logo of Guarani language
image by Gvido Petersons, from a Guarani website

Clearly a derivative of the Paraguayan national flag, charged over all with a native artistic motive.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 06 Nov 1999

The symbol in the middle of the Guarani flag appears to be a piece of nanduti or “spider web” lace. (To see examples of nanduti lace patterns, go to www.onParaguay.com.) I question whether this is a “real” flag. I spent several weeks in Paraguay on two separate occasions, and never saw the flag pictured here, though the Paraguayan flag was prominently displayed in many places. I realize that this doesn’t prove anything, but it does make me wonder if the flag pictured here is just a nice design to decorate a web page, rather than a flag the Guarani people consider their own.
Terry Jaisy, 27 Apr 2001

Has anyone actually seen this flag other than on the website referred to above? Is there any literature or news reports of its use? Is there a definition or construction sheet someplace?
Terence Martin, 29 Apr 2003

Apparently not. At worse this is the usual Paraguay national flag pattern (tricolor without the emblem) charged with a traditional Guarani ornament, used just once as a flag analogue. It might be something more solid than that, though. I don’t know.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 29 Apr 2003

I saw no evidence that this flag exists in any form. It appears this design is used on just this website, and has never been created in cloth.
Terence Martin, 21 Apr 2008

It is not really a (officially recognized) flag. It is an invention of mine which uses a symbol of the Guarani culture based on a drawing realized by a member of a Guarani community, first published by the Hispano-Paraguayan scholar Bartomeu Melià.

I wanted it to symbolize and to recognize the Guarani roots of the Paraguayan nation, which actually are not at all represented through the official symbolism of the Paraguayan State.
Wolf Lustig (editor of the website where the flag design appears), 21 Apr 2008

Wolf Lustig needed a Guarany language icon to go with the flags used to symbolized other language version of his website, and he pasted a Guarany "national ornament" on the flag of that country where Guarany language enjoys better status (Paraguay).
António Martins-Tuválkin, 22 Apr. 2008

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