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Caracas - Capital District (Venezuela)

Distrito Capital

Last modified: 2024-02-24 by rob raeside
Keywords: caracas | venezuela | lion | santiago cross | regimant | amaranth |
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original image by Guillermo Aveledo, 4 October 1999, revised by Esteban Rivera, 7 July 2023

image by Raul Jesus Orta Pardo, 2 August 2000, revised by Esteban Rivera, 7 July 2023

Libertador Municipality (Municipio Libertador), City of Caracas

Hustorical Flags:

See also:


"Caracas" is the word used by the aboriginal tribes which lived on the north coastal regions of the earlier Venezuela, named for an autochthonous plant called "Amaranth" in other places of the World. Besides, this plant was one of their principal sources of nutrition. When the Spanish conquerors arrived in these lands, they found the tribes eating it. After inquiries by words and mimics about the name of the plant, one of the aboriginal understood the questions of these rare men and standing up, said "CARACARA, CARACAS", and fluttering a bundle of that herbs at the same time.

Sometimes, the Spanish conqueror's custom was to name the cities and towns, which they founded during the earlier times of their dominion over Latin America. However, they composed these names with autochthonous voices in combination with Spanish holy sponsors, places or authorities at that times.
According to that tradition, on July 25th, 1567, the Captain Diego de Losada y Osorio founded the City of "SANTIAGO DE LEON DE CARACAS" (Saint James of the Lion of Caracas), in the same place where it exists today , the "Plaza Boli'var" (Bolivar Square), then called "Plaza Mayor" (Major Square). Later, the Spanish King Felipe II (Philippe II) granted to the City their first Coat of Arms by means of negotiations realized by Don Simo'n de Bolivar, called "El Viejo" (The older), sixth ancestor of "El Libertador" SIMON BOLIVAR, our greatest national hero. These arms only show a brown lion rampant subjecting a golden scallop with a red St. James Cross inside, all on an argent (silver) ground. Few years after, it was enriching with a five points coronet in the crest and war trophies crossed in saltire at the back in attention to the notable services of their subjects to the Spanish Crown. By royal schedule signed on March 15th, 1766, the king Carlos III (Charles III) granted to the Caracas CoA's a pennant with a motto, which express the devotion of the Caraquenian people for the Holy Mother of God: "AVE MARIA SANTISIMA SIN PECADO CONCEBIDA EN EL PRIMER INSTANTE DE SU SER NATURAL" (God Bless You Holiest Mary conceived without guilt in the first instant of her natural being). Therefore, the meaning of the Caraquenian CoA its really very simple because it is "Canting Arms": the golden scallop is representation of the Apostle Santiago (also called Saint James in English), one of the holy sponsors of Spain and particularly, for the Spanish Cavalry; the Lion reminds the Spanish kingdom and the Province of Leo'n (Lion) where the Conqueror Losada y Osorio was born and besides, it is an homage for Don Pedro Ponce de Leo'n, Spanish Governor of the province of Venezuela at that times, who provides the sources for the successful conquest of the region where was established the actual Caracas. The argent (silver) ground represents the Integrity. The golden five points coronet (called "Coronel" in Spanish) is symbol of Nobility and Loyalty. The Arms crosses in saltire represents the courage of the Caraquenian People, whose example of behavior, ever has been an obligatory reference for the another peoples of Venezuela and Latin America. So, the full ancient form of the name of the Capital City of my Country and my birth place too, is "LA MUY NOBLE Y MUY LEAL SENORIA DE LA CIUDAD MARIANA DE SANTIAGO DE LEON DE CARACAS" (The Most Noble and Most Loyalty  Seigniory of the Marian City of Saint James of the Lion of Caracas). In this case,"Marian" has the meaning of "Devote of the holiest Virgin Mary".
Raul Jesus Orta Pardo, 2 August 2000

The CAPITAL DISTRICT: According to the "Bolivarian Constitution of Venezuela" (Article 16) recently approved, it is implicatly abolished the "Federal District" by the creation of the CAPITAL DISTRICT formed by the same Municipalities which were in the FD. However, the real dimension of the City exceed its original limits of the last 60 years and now also contain the Municipalities of Baruta, Chacao, El Hatillo and Sucre which belong to the Miranda State. The "Bolivarian Constitution of Venezuela" establishes, besides, that the regulations about the matter will be specifying in a Special Law.
Raul Jesus Orta Pardo, 2 August 2000

The special law on the regime of the Capital District, hindsighted on the 18th article of this
Constitution, wil be approved by tne National Constituent Assembly and it will preserve the territorial integrity of the MIranda State. Meanwhile the law is to be approved, the Organic Law of the Federal District and the Organic Law of Municipal Regime."
The National Constituent Assembly issued a Special Law on the regime of the METROPOLITAN DISTRICT OF CARACAS, on March 8th, 2000. This would make the Constituent Assembly deaf to its own voice, since:

1. The Constitution dictated that the Assembly would approve a law for a CAPITAL DISTRICT of CRACAS, not a METROPOLITAN DISTRICT of CARACAS, which it did.

2. According to the very 'Bolivarian' Constitution they wrote, the members of the National Constituent Assembly should've known we can only have a "Metropolitan District": "when two or more municipalities belonging TO THE SAME FEDERAL ENTITY have economic, social and phsical relations which would give to their union the carachteristics of a metropolitan area (...)".

What happens is that the Municipios Chacao, El Hatillo, Baruta and Sucre belong to Miranda State, and the Municipio Libertador (colloquially Caracas) belongs to the Capital District (which lurks back again, without many explanations, in article 1 of the special law ). Miranda State and the Federal district are two separate, distinct, unique entities; this makes the name (and even the entire law) of the Metropolitan District utterly wrong!! But that doesn't seem as good enough to make it null and void ... Although it may seem like a rumbustious "legalese" complaint, I am sure it will hold many problems for the future, especially when stating the actual responsabilities of each municipal government and that of the Metropolitan mayor, and these frictions will grow when the time comes for the National Treasure to be distributed and no one caves in: when resources are scarce, someone will pay attention to the small print, make a lot of noise and simply refuse to acknowledge the legitimacy of the resource distribution scheme.

This raises a few vexillological questions to the fore:

1) Should the METROPOLITAN-CAPITAL (?) DISTRICT of Caracas use the crimson flag with the Caracas coat of arms?
I would say... NO!! This flag belongs, in any case, to the Federal District, and, more specifically, to the Municipio Libertador ("old" Caracas). It never flew on top of the building of the Governorship of the Federal District (north of Bolivar Sqare), which only bore the Venezuelan national flag. So, the Municipio Libertador should keep using the crimson flag as its own, as it covers the territory of the original Caracas (plus a few more sq. miles), as it was in 1567. The Alcaldia of the Municipio Libertador has its own flag (magenta-blue) and I assume each Municipio has a flag of its own. In any case, they should, and the "rebranding" of the city could start that way.

2) Then, is it feasible and historically accurate to give the 'MC?' District of Caracas a flag of its own?
I would think so. A most definite YES for that. As a contemporary Caraquenian, I believe it should reflect both tradition and modernity, and the fact that it encompasses not one but five cities.
Guillermo Aveledo, 11 August 2000

Regarding the (now formal) flag of Caracas, submitted by Guillermo Aveledo on October 4, 1999 and one by Raul Jesus Orta Pardo on August 2, 2000, based on the description, the elements of the coat of arms (especially the Order of Santiago reference) I believe the true flag is the earliest version, which is the one submitted by Guillermo Aveledo.
Esteban Rivera, 9 July 2023

Description of the Flag

A burgundy field. With the Caracas coat of arms as badge.  Burgundy has been the city's colour as long as anyone can remember, but no particular meaning is attached to it. Probably it was a variation of the colour of the Santiago Cross, emblem of the city. Incidentally, Venezuela's national football team wears burgundy on their uniform.
Based on the designs shown on the 1981 edition of "Los Simbolos Sagrados de la Nacion Venezolana", by Francisco A. Vargas. This is a study  on the development of the Venezuelan flag, coat of arms and anthem, plus a study on the states' coats of arms
Guillermo Aveledo, 4 October 1999

This flag is for Caracas City but not for the Distrito Federal, that is not exactly the same. Flag of DF is also red but with DF arms in center (instead the Caracas ones). In "Vlajka statu a uzemi Sveta" the arms are correct but the background color (white) is wrong because in fact it is red. DF adopted flag in c. 1980 and the adoption was made official (according to information from their representatives in 1989).
Caracas city a has similar flag, but it seems that a variant is frequently in use (including in official acts): red with white oval with arms. The white oval was taken from white rectangular cloth manufactured by Bendayan & Cia of Caracas (they make a white flag with all the states arms, but not for use mainly as flags but for showing the arms) and attached to a plain rectangular red flag.
Jaume Ollé, 3 November 1999

That is the Flag of the Municipality of Caracas, and it is the one flying from the Alcaldía and the Cabildo buildings. So I assume it is official. Yet there is no such thing as an official ruling on this matter by the Concejo Municipal. The DF Government which governs a portion of territory now identical to that of the Municipality of Caracas (actually, Municipio Libertador), has no flag flying from its offices nor inside its buildings. They use the Venezuelan State Flag, being a branch of the Central Executive and an office appointed by the President himself. The background for the Municipality flag is NOT red, but burgundy, vino tinto, grana, and has not any white oval. However, the flag hoisted on the Municipality buildings is quite old and deteriorated and I could be wrong.
Guillermo Aveledo, 4 November 1999

With regards to the Caraquenian Municipality Flag, it is the same as shown above but it is charged with the coat of arms in full colors at the center. The burgundy red of their ground reminds us of the courage of the Caraquenians and their blood leaked for the cause of the Independence of Venezuela.
Raul Jesus Orta Pardo, 2 August 2000

Recently I was in the administrative building of the Libertador Municipality and I could see that the version of the flag and the coat of arms in this page are not the previous but the actual and effective symbols of Caracas and I had a conversation with a municipal official who confirmed it.
Raul Jesus Orta Pardo, 25 August 2000

The Flag of Caracas consists of a burgundy red field with the version of the coat of arms of the City effective since the decade of the 1980s. The red field, from the predominant color in the royal pennants of colonial Caracas, symbolizes the blood spilled by Caraquenian people in favor of independence and the highest ideals of the Venezuelan nation. The original design of the Caracas fag appeared in the 1980s and consisted of a burgundy red cloth with the version of the then adopted and still effective coat of arms located in the canton. Later in 1994, approximately, and presumably as a result of the change of municipal authorities, it was decided to place the Caracas coat of arms with slightly increased size on the center of the field, a configuration that has been maintained at the present time.
Raul Jesus Orta Pardo, 21 May 2002

Reported (Previous) Flag

image from, located by Dov Gutterman, 19 May 2002

The flag that was the first one of Libertador Municipality whose capital is Caracas and was used during the final part of the 1980s. Its color is not mulberry but red dark, similar to the current one where the coat of arms of Caracas appears in the center. The source of information in the site is a poster made by a flag manufacturing company located in Caracas whose information lamentably does not have to be considered totally valid.
Raul Orta, 19 May 2002

Possible new flag (ca. 2022)

Wikipedia in Spanish says that the Capital District, as well as the "Municipio Bolivariano Libertador de Caracas" have changed their flag and emblem since April 13, 2022.
I could not manage to see it on the official website but a photo (published in June 2022) shows two flags beside the national one, one I can't identify, the other one for the Gobierno.

Jean-Marc Merklin, 7 July 2023

The flags you mention, from left to right are:
- Venezuela
- Gobierno del Distrito Capital (English: Government of the Capital District) (Executive power) (since 2009, sources: and
- Instituto de Altos Estudios del Pensamiento del Comandante Supremo Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías (English: Institute of Advanced Studies of the Thought of the Supreme Commander Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías) (a think tank)

As you mentioned, Caracas has adopted new symbolism on the date you mentioned in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the ill-fated coup d'etat against Hugo Chávez: the Concejo Municipal (English: Municipal Council) approved by a local ordinance.

The coat of arms was designed by Ómar Cruz and the flag was designed by Víctor Hernán Rodríguez Durán (another source mentions Víctor Hernández: and Carolina Jiménez Jiménez.

On March 8, 2000, the year after a new constitution was introduced in Venezuela, it was decreed in Gaceta Official N° 36,906 that the Metropolitan District of Caracas, also known as Gran Caracas would be created and that some of the powers of municipalities would be delegated to the Alcaldía Mayor, physically located in the large Libertador municipality, in the center of the city. The Metropolitan District of Caracas was suppressed on December 20, 2017 by the Constituent National Assembly of Venezuela. This is the Mayor's Office flag - see Mayor's Office.

The new coat of arms features images of the liberator Simón Bolívar, an African American woman and the Cacique Guaicaipuro over the Waraira Repano (Avila Hill), as well as the Sword of the Founding Father, a spear and a red star in representation of the Bolivarian Revolution, together with several natural elements seen in the city such as pyre leaves and a macaw, featuring the slogan "Seguid el ejemplo que Caracas dio" (English: Follow the example that Caracas set), and below a broken chain surrounded by the dates 1810-1811 (the first attempt by a South American colony to seek independence from Spain) and 1989-2002 (the
period of civil and political unrest in the country which saw two coup d'etat attempts by Hugo Chávez, the impeachment of the President, elections in which Chávez won the Presidency through the MVR party and the promulgation of the new Constitution), whereas the flag features the white star which represents light, rebellion and glow, together with the red color which stands for passion and patriot blood, besides green, white and blue seen on the Caracas landscape.
Esteban Rivera, 9 July 2023

Coat of Arms

Here are Caracas, Venezuela, coats of arms (the real thing.....not just an image), and choose: Historia de Caracas .
Dov Gutterman, 4 November 1998

Current Caracas Coat of Arms

image by Raul Jesus Orta Pardo, 2 August 2000

The Seal or coat of arms consists on a brown lion rampant, on a silver field, holding in its arms a golden lode [it looks more like a shell, and that is how its depicted in the City Hall's Stationery], adorned with war trophies. On March 15th, 1776, King Charles III of Spain, through a Royal Cedula, conceded Caracas the right to wear a border which reads: "Ave Maria Purisima, Sin Pecado Concebida en el Primer Instante de su Ser Natural" (more or less: "Holiest Mary, Conceived Free of Sin on the First Instant of Her Natural Being"). Mary is the matron of Caracas based on the designs showed on the 1981 edition of "Los Simbolos Sagrados de la Nacion Venezolana", by Francisco A. Vargas. This is a study  on the development of the Venezuelan flag, coat of arms and anthem, plus a study on the states' coat of arms.
Guillermo Aveledo, 4 October 1999

This image shows the further and official version of the Caracas coat of arms, which appears in the ends of the 1980s, including the novelty of the ancient foundational name of Caracas and its foundation year "Santiago de Leon de Caracas - 1567" over the crest wrote inside a pennant.
Raul Jesus Orta Pardo, 2 August 2000

The Caracas' coat of arms have been versioned sometimes maintaining its main heraldic elements. There are nonofficial but relatively popular versions of the Caracas coat of arms between 1950 and 1970, approximately, that also reproduces Mr. Ottfried Neubecker work "A Guide to Heraldry" jointly with the Arms of the main cities of the world. The terrace of Vert (green) and the replacing of the scallop by a little oval escutcheon has been net artistic licenses that are not blazoned or described officially like part of the coat of arms of Caracas. In the optics of the heraldic treatment of the image, it has had happy and unfortunate versions and in our modest opinion the present one this just in the middle of the ends. Be worth to say that according to the respective Canon, the lambrequins always must have enamels of the heraldic field and when are many, is chosen by most important. Also, these ornaments are located from the Chief or upper part of the Coat of Arms and in some cases, appear too at the flanks of the Chief because lambrequins are reminding of the mantles or little mantles with which the helmets were covered in first term for refresh them of the high temperatures and in second case to adorn them with distinguishing character. Naturally, it become shreds when their carriers had fought and those shreds are exactly those that heraldic treatment turns to lambrequins. A magnificent example of how it must be represented appears in the Coat of  Arms of Bahrain. If we compared it with the one of Caracas, we will appreciate that the lambrequins are multi-chromatics and are located under the war trophies at the base flanks of the field... With regards to the gray and white, as we know in Heraldry represent the same enamel indifferently: the Argent or Silver. And the field on the Caracas Arms is Argent.
The Coat of Arms of the City of Caracas was adopted by the Libertador Municipality to identify itself and later the Metropolitan Mayor Office assumed the lion, the scallop and the St. James Cross for the same aim. Symbollogically speaking, this raised a conflict then that Caracas identifies the Coat  of Arms of the Capital of the Republic?
In our modest opinion, it is necessary to determine the specific scope that identifies the Caracas coat of arms then although is certain that Baruta, Chacao, El Hatillo and Sucre (Petare) belongs to Miranda State, also are Caracas; or better still, part of the so called "Great Caracas". If we rely on the Symbollogical Protocol, the Symbols of the Municipalities before mentioned theoretically are subordinated to the Caracas ones by antiquity and so that the expansion of the metropolis absorbed them in the way. But, as we mentioned in some occasion, the Symbollogy in Venezuela is taking it first steps although the Symbollogical reality in the states, municipalities and other places of my country has come accentuating since the decade of 1990.
Raul Jesus Orta Pardo, 30 May 2002

The arms were granted on September 4th, 1591 ( by the Spanish Crown to Simón de Bolívar “el Mozo” (English: Simón de Bolívar, the handsome), sixth ancestor of El Libertador Simón Bolívar, the greatest national hero. The early arms only show a brown lion rampant subjecting a golden scallop with a red St. James Cross inside, all on a silver ground. The arms were crowned by a five pointed crown. The arms are canting, the official name of the city was Santiago de León de Caracas (Saint James of León of Caracas). The lion is canting for the León part, the scallop is the symbol of St. James and the cross is the cross of the (Spanish) Order of Santiago. The additions around the shield were added on March 13, 1766. The shield is surrounded by war trophies crossed in saltire at the back, and a motto "Ave Maria Santisima Sin Pecado Concebida en el Primer Instante de su Ser Natural" (Blessed most holy Mary conceived without guilt in the first instant of her natural being). The second motto above the arms with the official name of the city and its foundation year : "Santiago de León de Caracas - 1567".

For additional information go to Caracas (official website): (currently unaccessible, available only through here:

Esteban Rivera, 9 July 2023

Flag of the Alcaldía (Mayor's Office)

image by Guillermo Aveledo, 1 March 2000

Here is the flag of the Alcaldía (Mayor's Office) of the City of Caracas, or of what its know as such. Caracas has four mayors: the Mayor of Municipio Libertador (a.k.a mayor of Caracas; being the mayor of the Federal District); the mayor of Municipio Chacao (both the mayor and the municipio have a flag), the Mayor of Municipio Baruta, and the Mayor of Municipio Petare. To add more to this confusing stew, there will be a new official, the Alcalde Mayor (or Higher Mayor?), who might have a flag. In any case, the flag of Caracas shown above stands for what is the old city (Caracas, in strictu senso; used by the City Hall), and this one stands of the flag of the Municipio Libertador's Mayor's Office. Caracas, or even, Greater Caracas, is not a regularised political entitity, although it is a city all with those municipios (plus some extra municipios on suburban areas). The Alcalde Mayor will rule above these municipios' mayors and over all those municipios. This flag, then, is the flag of the Mayor of the Municipio Libertador (a.k.a Mayor of Caracas). It is a 2:3 flag, two bands of blue and magenta, with an outline (white) of the coat of arms of Caracas, using the caption which crowns the coat of arms (not to be seen on the City of Caracas flag, which uses the same coat of arms): "Santiago de Leon de Caracas 1567", the Spanish name and date of foundation of the city.
Guillermo Aveledo, 1 March 2000

Libertador Municipality

images located by Esteban Rivera, 9 July 2023


images located by Esteban Rivera, 9 July 2023


Metropolitan Police

Flag and coat of arms of the Metropolitan Police at A blue flag with the arms centered.
Dov Gutterman, 15 April 2004

University of Caracas Hospital

image located by Paul Bassinson, 17 May 2023

The yellow flag states "universidad" and the blue flag carries the hospital logo.

Paul Bassinson, 17 May 2023

Instituto de altos estudios del pensamiento del comandante supremo Hugo Rafael Chavez Frias

  images located by Esteban Rivera, 9 July 2023


For additional information go to Instituto de Altos Estudios del Pensamiento del Comandante Supremo
Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías (official websites):  and
Esteban Rivera, 9 July 2023


Capital District Government

  images located by Esteban Rivera, 9 July 2023


For additional information go to Gobierno Distrital de Caracas (official website)
Esteban Rivera, 9 July 2023

Caracas Council logo

  images located by Esteban Rivera, 9 July 2023


For additional information go to Concejo Municipal de Caracas (official website):
Esteban Rivera, 9 July 2023

Mayorship of Caracas (former logo)

 image located by Esteban Rivera,, 9 July 2023


Current logo

 image located by Esteban Rivera, 9 July 2023


Even though this new logo was in use since February 20, 2010 ( when Jorge Rodríguez was in office (November 30, 2008 - November 3, 2017) official publications up to even 2015 still displayed the old logo.
Esteban Rivera, 9 July 2023