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Guayaquil Canton (Guayas, Ecuador)

Cantón Santiago de Guayaquil

Last modified: 2021-08-26 by klaus-michael schneider
Keywords: guayas | guayaquil | santiago de guayaquil |
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[Flag of Guayas] image by Carlos Thompson, 15 June 2003
Guayaquil and Guayas Province use the same flag.

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Image of the flag at Guayaquil and Guayas Province use the same flag and different coat of arms. Canton established 09 October 1820.
Falko Schmidt and Jens Pattke, 8 September 2003

Guayaquil (a.k.a Santiago de Guayaquil) is the biggest town (nearly 3,000,000 inhabitants), the economic capital city and the main port of Ecuador. Like the river Guayas and the province of Guayas, it is named after the local chief Guayas, said to have ruled the area some 500 years before the Spanish conquest. The colonial town was founded in 1538 by Francisco de Orellana, who later discovered the Amazon, and was famous for its shipyards, then the most important in South America.   The symbols of Guayaquil are shown on the municipal website. The flag of Guayaquil is horizontally divided blue-white-blue-white-blue with three white stars on the central blue stripe. The design is traditionally credited to Dr. Don José Joaquín de Olmedo, who took part to the struggle for the independence of the town from the Spanish rule in October 1820. The three stars represent the three settlements of Guayaquil, Portoviejo and Machala, where the insurrection took place. The shield of Guayaquil was prescribed by Dr. José Joaquín de Olmedo, president of the government of Guayaquil, in November 1820; Olmedo prescribed the official papers to be decorated with a five-pointed star (recalling the flag), two laurel branches tied below the star by a red ribbon and the motto "Por Guayaquil Independiente". The shield was officialized in 1916.
The independence struggle of October 1820, which led to the end of the Spanish rule and the adoption of the flag of Guayaquil, is related in the article "A 186 años de la Independencia de Guayaquil", published in "Diario La Opinión", Machala (Ecuador), 9 October 2006 (defunct):
On 8 February 1816, the English sailor Guillermo Brown,  to the service of the independentista cause under   Argentine sponsorship, moored in the Gulf and Guayaquil and attempted to rouse the locals against the Spanish rule. In 1819, a Chilean fleet commanded by Lord Cochrane, assisted by another English sailor, Juan Illingworth, on board of the famous corvette "Rosa de los Andes", blocked for a while the port of Guayaquil, lifting the Spanish maritime domination. The independence war increased in 1820 and a few towns were liberated, forcing tht Spaniards to withdraw to the Vice-Kingdom of Lima (Peru), which had been the headquarters of the colonial army since 1809. The struggle for independence became a continental issue and involved several foreigners, for instance Brits, Irish, North americans, French and even Spaniards.
Encouraged by the early attempts described above, the population of Guyaquil decided to definitively get rid of the Spanish rule in October 1820. Captain León de Febres Cordero y Oberto, a Venezuelian officer who had been expelled from the army because of his libertarian views, came to Guayaquil and joined the cause of the independence with two other Venezuelan officers, Captains Luis de Urdaneta y Faría and Miguel de Letamendi, former members of the Spanish battalion "Numancia".
Febres Cordero led the military action that culminated with the proclamation of the independence of Guayaquil on 9 October 1820. On the evening of 1 October 1820, a group of patriots met in a small, isolated lounge of the house of Don José de Villamil and Doña. Ana Garaicoa, who gave a party for Isabelita Morlás, the beautiful daughter of Don Pedro Morlás, the Treasurer of the Spanish government. The conspirators took the oath of getting rid of the Spanish rule on a small table they called "The Forge of Vulcano". On the evening of the 8 October, the conspirators reviewed their plan and on the dawn of 9 0ctober, they sworn again to achieve it, with the motto "Guayaquil por la Patria". Captain Damián Nájera arrested Manuel Tórrez Valdivia, the commander of the Spanish artillery corps and the corps ammunition was transferred to the rebels. This allowed Febres Cordero and his 50 men to take the control of the artillery corps. In the same time, Captain Urdaneta, Lorenzo de Garaicoa and others seized the fortress of Daule, commanded by the valiant Spanish Captain Joaquin de Magallar. Besieged in his own redoubt, Magallar attempted to repel the rebels and was shot by Urdenata. Still in the same time, other patriots took the control of the seven Spanish gunboats moored in the river Guayas and captured 350 sailors. On the morning of the 10 October, the Spanish garrison surrenderred to the rebels and Governor Don Pascual de Vivero was arrested. The other civil officers resigned without resistance. The frist independent government of Guayaquil was presided  by the poet Dr. Don José Joaquín de Olmedo. A few days later, the schooner Alcance, commanded by Captain José de Villamil, left Guayaquil to join the insurrection commanded by General José de San Marín and Lord Cochrane in the south of the continent. The schooner flew the flag with three horizontal blue stripes and two white one and three stars in the middle. The design of this flag is credited to Dr. Don José Joaquín de Olmedo.
Ivan Sache, 9 October 2006

On July 31 I saw this image from the local newspaper El Ciudadano  showing three flags, from left to right: UFE 1, Ecuador, UFE 2. Since the news was reported by the newspaper in Quito, Pichincha Province, I thought that one of the two UFE's might be of the city of Quito, or the Pichincha Province, but clearly it is not the case. The news was a conference by the Ecuadorian Procurador (Ombudsman) regarding the process of money laundering in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Then again, checked the Amsterdam flag, and again, it does not match any of the two UFE's in the picture mentioned above.
However, looking at the government entity mentioned in the article, Procuraduría General del Estado (States General Ombudsman), its symbols do not match either of the two UFE's.
The last entity mentioned in the article is the CONCLA (Consejo Nacional contra el Lavado de Activos, National Council Against Money Laundering), so one of the two unidentified flags could be of this government organization, but I am not quite sure.
Esteban Rivera, 15 August 2010

The flag on the left side of the picture looks like a faded flag of Guayaquil Canton.
Zachary Harden, 15 August 2010

To the right, the closest thing I can come up with is maybe the flag of the Universidad Católica de Santiago de Guayaquil. The logo of the school is located at and a close-up is at
Zachary Harden, 15 August 2010

Coat of Arms

image from municipal website
actual coat of arms

image from municipal website
colonial coat of arms

Captain Diego de Urbina designed the coat of arms in order to recall the arms of his birth town and to perpetuate his fame, after having rebuilt the town of Guayaquil in 1541. The colours of the provincial coat of arms differ from Urbina's coat of arms. The three blue waves in the bottom of the shield might have inspired the flag of Guayaquil.
Ivan Sache, 9 October 2006