This page is part of © FOTW Flags Of The World website

Guanacaste Province (Costa Rica)

Provincia de Guanacaste

Last modified: 2021-08-25 by rob raeside
Keywords: costa rica | guanacaste | tree |
Links: FOTW homepage | search | disclaimer and copyright | write us | mirrors

image by Ivan Sache, 23 July 2013

See also:

Political Parties:



Guanacaste Province (280,488 inhabitants; 101,470 ha) is the westernmost province of Costa Rica. The province was renamed Moracia from 1854 to 1860. The capital of the province is the town of Liberia, known as Guanacaste until 1854.
Ivan Sache, 23 July 2013

The Flag

I visited Costa Rica in November 2000. I made only one observation of a flag I did not know. This was the flag of Guanacaste province. It is shaped like the Palestinian flag. It has blue insted of black, but I cannot now remember whether the top or bottom stripe was blue.
Jan Oskar Engene, 24 January 2001

I receive this flag from three sources so I believe that above is the correct flag. Guanacaste is a region diferenciate from the rest of Costa Rica. It was part of Nicaragua during spanish domain and joined Costa Rica after the independence.
Jaume Ollé, 27 January 2001

Guanacaste flag has the blue stripe upwards and the green one downwards. So it is blue, white and green with a red triangle on the stem. Thus it is exactly like the Palestinian flag when you replace black by blue.
Bernard Monot, French Embassy in San Jose, 28 October 2002

Some details about Guanacaste flag were published in Flag report 15. The flag takes the colors of Costa Rica (red, blue and white) and adds the green for the province's Pampas. It was created by mid seventies in a contest held by the provincial government. Guanacaste is a territory incorporated to Costa Rica on 25 July 1824 and until then it belonged to Nicaragua, and therefore it has a differentiated personality. In a letter of Lic. Marco Tulio Gardela he describes this flag with three horizontal stripes: blue, white and green, with the red triangle at the hoist, but the Mayor of Liberia Mr Hugo Zuñiga sent to the Argentine vexillologist Lic. Mr. Bacchi a photocopy of a drawing with the stripes inverted, though it could be just that it was photocopied upside down.
Gardela indicates that the red triangle stand for the heart of the Guanacastecans, their fondness and happiness, their courage and manliness shown in many occasions; blue is for the province's transparent sky; white is a sapphire mantle in the province's fertility and peace. green is the provincial emblem for the Guanacaste tree, the pasture, the crops, the work of the peasant and the cattleman.  
Jaume Ollé, 28 October 2002

The flag was designed by Eddie Alvarado Herrera, a Professor of English born in Tilarán on 15 October 1936. The flag was inaugurated during the parade held in July 1974 on the main street of San José to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the annexation of Nicoya Party to Costa Rica.
Sources: Cascante's blog, and photo of the flag
Ivan Sache, 23 July 2013


image by Jaume Ollé, 28 October 2002

image by Jaume Ollé, 28 October 2002

Some variants are in use. At time of the edition of Flag Report, a vriant flag in use featured a blue, white, green flag (5:2:5) with triangle only in the narrow white stripe, similar to the argentinian provincial flag called "bandera del pico". Later I checked with several people that enforcment of legislation about flag is not very rigid in Costa Rica, and frequently variations are issued (this one must be the work of some unrespectful manufacturer)
Jaume Ollé, 28 October 2002

Coat of Arms

erroneous image
image by Jaume Ollé, 28 October 2002

The provincial arms contain the Guanacaste tree, that is the national tree. The legend of the ribbon says "de la patria por nuestra voluntad" (of the fatherland by our will) and refers to the voluntary union of the district to Costa Rica in 1824, after having belonged to the intendency of Nicaragua.
Jaume Ollé, 28 October 2002

The coat of arms of Guanacaste, of unknown designer, was adopted in 1929. The shield is charged with a guanacaste* tree, the province's namesake. The reddish background of the shield represents the reflection of the sun on the pampas at twilight. The blue border of the shield represents the sky. The coffee brown colour of the shield base represents the fertile soil of Guanacaste. The lower scroll is charged with the motto "De la Patria por Nuestra Voluntad" [Part of the Homeland of Our Own Free Will], used by the Nicoya Party** when proclaiming annexation to Costa Rica. Yellow represents maize cobs and rice panicles.
Source: Cascante's blog,
*guanacaste, "Enterolobium cyclocarpum" (Jacq.) Griseb., was proclaimed the national tree of Costa Rica by Decree No. 7 of 31 August 1959.
**Nicoya Partido, made of the villages of Nicoya, Santa Cruz, Bagaces, Guanacaste and Canas, proclaimed on 25 July 1825 its annexation to Costa Rica; this was confirmed in 1826 by the Federal Congress of Central America.