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Bolivian subnational flags

Last modified: 2024-01-06 by rob raeside
Keywords: doubt |
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About Bolivian departments

Department Capital city Area
(1997 estim.)
Beni (El Beni) Trinidad (de Mojos) 213 564 336 633
Chuquisaca Sucre (ex-La Plata) 51 524 549 835
Cochabamba Cochabamba 55 631 1 408 071
La Paz La Paz (de Ayacucho) 133 985 2 268 824
Oruro Oruro 53 588 383 498
Pando Cobija 63 827 53 124
Potosi Potosi 118 218 746 618
Santa Cruz Santa Cruz (de la Sierra) 370 621 1 951 950
Tarija Tarija 37 623 368 506
Ivan Sache, 16 January 2004

New departments?

The new Constituent Assembly shall meet soon in Bolivia. Accordingly, some regions in the country are asking for an administrative reform, and especially for more autonomy and the creation of new departments. There are currently currently nine departments in Bolivia (not counting the “ghost” department of Litoral de Atacama claimed to Chile. These are only proposals and debates, and Bolivia, as of today, still has nine departments.

The Administrative Planification Law (Ley de Planificación Administrativa, UPA) gives the requirements for the creation of a new department: 500,000 inhabitants with common history and uses, a network of education and health, a departmental plan of development and that the creation does not cause any division or distortion.

Ivan Sache, 03 January 2002

About Bolivian departmental flags


According to El Nuevo Día of 24 July 2006 [b9o06], in 1864 the Prefects had a national meeting, during which they decided that all the departments of the country should adopt a department’s flag.
Ivan Sache, 25 July 2006



The exact ratio of these flags must be 2:3.
Jaume Ollé, 03 February 1999

Why? Is this prescribed in any law? The national flag, anyway, is not 2:3, but 15:22.
António Martins, 30 November 2006

Reported variants

The Czech journal Vexilologie 94 [vex] published a paper concerning flags of the Bolivian departments: the article is authored by W. G. Jilek (South Delta, Canada) and is based on Banderas de los departamentos de Bolivia, La Paz, 1990 [b9o90].
Jan Zrzavy, 01 September 1999

These are small scans of documents from Bolivia, both dated 1993, with the difference in two flags (Cochabamba and Pando) Banderas [ban] publish the Jilek version [b9o90] in 1992, but later, Carlos Noronha, in a atlas from Bolivia (date unknown), [m2nXX] found the other version.
Jaume Ollé, 05 September 1999

The main differences between these two sources are Cochabamba (plain blue vs. blue over white bicolor) and Pando (white over green bicolor vs. green over white bicolor). These differences are now settled.
António Martins, 22 June 2006

Coat of arms added to Bolivian departmental flags

The plain flags are frequently depicted with arms, but I see some photos and seems that the arms depiction is very seldom (I believe that is because it’s expensive).
Jaume Ollé, 03 February 1999

When I was in La Paz in 2001, I saw the flags of the departments hoisted at Plaza Murillo, in front of the Presidential Palace. No flag of those had a coat of arms, but that doesn’t mean, that there are no flags with coat of arms.
J. Patrick Fischer, 19 November 2005

I note that all single-color flags are reported to have variants with the coat of arms on it plus Santa Cruz and Litoral, which are tribands.
António Martins, 22 November 2005