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Honduras - Historical Flags

Last modified: 2021-08-25 by rob raeside
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Michel Lupant made a review on the flag of Honduras in Vexilla Belgica 1985. [Seems that Jaume only knows Michel's original article and not the very long corrections to that article].
Acording to this article, Honduras used the federal flag from 1823 to 1825. On 3 October1825, it established its own arms, but it is not quoted if this arms were used on the federal flag instead of the federal arms, below the federal arms as in Costa Rica, or were not used at all (at least until after 1839). In 1839 the federation was disolved but Honduras continue to use the federal flag (with the Honduras arms, I assume). On 2 April 1851 a new federation was established and the federal flag was B-W-B with new arms in center. But as this federation was disolved in few months, it can be suposed that the previous flags stay in use.
On 16 February 1866, decree 7 created the first national flag - The commercial flag which was of 3 or 4 "aunes" long and 9 pouces wide. Accoding to image from the book of Prof. Braganza the ratio was 3:8. [Jaume did read Michel's article, but he did not read the long follow-up article which corrected all the errors. If Jaume's measures were correct the flag would have been 2,5 or 3,3 m long and 21 cm high! The names of the measures are different and the text is different in all! Each stripe of the flag is 3 to 4 varas long and 9 pulgadas wide. So the flag is 27 pulgadas wide! ]
The 5 blue five-pointed stars were pictured as following:
a) By Braganza - semicircle from above to below  (Reference: Prof. J. Alfonso Braganza: La Bandera, representacion simbolica de la Nación Hondureña, su historia. Min. de Educación Publica, Departamento de recursos de Aprendizaje, sección de producción de materiales educativos, Tegucigalpa 1982)
b) By Admiralty Flags  - as in the present flags (Drawings of the flag in use at the present time by various nations, Admiralty, London, August 1889, p. 64) .
There was also a war flag and ensign: the national flag with the arms in the center in "Admiralty flags". The arms are not the one adopted in 1825 but differents (Was also adopted in 1866?).
In June 1895, there was a new attempt of federation and the flag of 1851 was readopted with slighty changed arms, but in November 1898 it was disolved, and the old flags were in use again. In fact I believe that they didn't disapear at all.
The war flag and ensign were perhaps changed around this years .In 1905 Flaggenbuch published the war flag and ensign bearing the arms in the center and the stars in semicircle below the arms. This image is same as in National Geographic Magazime flag issue 1917 (probably NGM was based in Flaggenbuch). The commerce ensign is as previousely, with 5 stars in both sources.
On 1906, it was promulgated a military ordinance and the military flag was described. There are some mistakes in the description. The flag is descirbed as square (but acccording Braganza was used in proportion 5:6) 1.40 m. with three stripes, in the white stripe embrodoined the national arms in a size of 50 cm. high and 40 cm. long (that is impossible because the white stripe is less than 50 cm.). In the upper blue stripe embrodoined in gold REPUBLICA DE HONDURAS and below BATALLON DE .... the size is 71 mm. high (Both in semicricle). In the lower stripe was the city name were the battallion has its hedquarters, also in semicircle (inverse that the previous) and gold embrodoined (same size)
In this ordinance alsowas established the state flag (bandera nacional) with proportion 45:25, but is not quoted in the law if is only blue, white and blue or must bear the stars or the arms.
On 27 September 1933, a resolution numbered 194 established what must be the national flag on the education buildings. The proprotion must be 3 aunes x 20 pouces (inches? - this seems to be c. 3:8) bearing in the central white band, in semicircle, 5 blue five pointed stars, and then above (upper stripe) the college name and below (lower stripe) the city, both in secicircle (inverese one from other). A drawing attached to this resolution show the stars as in the present flags even if the text contradict the drawing. [Here Jaume is completely wrong. Again the measures originally given are "varas" and "pulgadas" and not aunes and pouces. 1 vara was (only in Central America!) 83,6 cm, 1 pulgada (or thumb) was 2,33 cm. So it is not 3:8 but very different! The illustration should be the first one mentioned by Jaume. Both illustrations are interchanged!]
The national arms were adopted by Decree dated 10 January 1935 The national flag was finally established by decree 18 Junaury 1949, that revised the legislation dated 1866. Proportion is 1:2. The five stars must be: 4 forming a rectangle and the last one (5th) in the center of this rectangle. The war flag and ensign bear the arms in the center and below 5 stars in semicircle inverse. The five stars represent the 5 countries: central one to Honduras, upper hoist, Guatemala, upper fly Nicaragua; lower hoist, El Salvador; lower fly Costa Rica. The color is described as "azul turquesa" that mean light blue, but this was a mistake and the correct name was "azul turqui"  that mean dark blue, that is the color used already before 1949.[ What colour is azul turquesa and what shade is azul turqui? There was no mistake! The colour is named in the decree: " superior y la inferior de color azul turquesa (turqui)...". So turqui is not a correction but an alternate name; it is in brackets behind the name since the original decree. Ask a printer in Spain what colour azul turquesa or turquis is and he will show you a special colour: Cyan. The colour shade of the Honduran flag was always, at least by law, light blue. Misunderstanding of colour names and shades produced such legal errors. The discussion of red - purple - violet is only one field of misunderstandings. The blues are another one! In 1949 the flag was changed due to the misproportions of the flag. The new proportions were fixed at 1:2. And again the colour is named "azul turquesa (turqui)"].
Jaume Ollé
[notes in brackets by Ralf Stelter, 2 June 2004], 18 November 2003

1866 Flags

by Jaume Ollé'

by Jaume Ollé'

Adopted: 16 February 1866 Abolished: de-facto between 1910 and 1939; the date reported by W. Crampton, 18 January 1949, can be the just official date.
Jaume Ollé'

1895 Flags

National Flag
by Jaume Ollé'

Naval Ensign
by Jaume Ollé'

The 1895 flag of Honduras is the one shown in Ruhls flagchart! The laws and descriptions of the flags were never changed after 1866! Although there were some publications with interchanged flags and text, so that  some might have found new flags.
Ralf Stelter, 7 November 2000

In 1895 Honduras was part of the Republica Mayor de Centroamerica that adopted its own flag . It was short lived and the old flag was back in use. However, since the stars in the flag of the Republica Mayor were gold, flags were frequently manufactured with gold stars. This flag with gold stars (in use after c. 1896) is shown in Flaggenbuch 1905
Jaume Ollé, 11 November 2000

The Honduran flag with golden stars was a misprint, it was the publisher's fault. This was told to me by Dr. Otfried Neubecker who helped me to build up my Archiv für Flaggenkunde.
Ralf Stelter, 01 March 2014

1933 Flag

by Željko Heimer, 10 October 2004

Construction Sheet
by Željko Heimer, 10 October 2004

The Decree of 1933 defined the flag by illustration not by written construction details. I only have the wording and my hand-drawn specification based on the original.  None the less the relevant wording is as follows:
Acuardo o. 194 dated 27 September 1933 - "...on the white stripe, in a circular form, there appears five blue stars in the manner of the accompanying illustration"  (headed Appendix I).  
According to my spec the illustration showed that the stars were contained within imaginary circles equal to 12% of flag width, and arranged around a circle equalling one-third of flag width.  It should be noted however, that the 1939 Flaggenbuch (presumably based on the same illustration) shows the stars of roughly the same size but arranged around a rather smaller circle.
Christopher Southworth, 8 October 2004

Above is the drawing of the flag of Honduras as prescribed by the 1933 regulations (abandoned formally in 1949, but in any case this design was de facto used quite long afterward and in flagbooks even longer).
Željko Heimer, 10 October 2004