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Colombia - Political Flags - Part 6

Last modified: 2024-02-24 by rob raeside
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Quintin Lame Armed Movement (Movimiento Armado Quintín Lame)

image by Jaume Ollé and Esteban Rivera, 4 October 2020

image by Jaume Ollé

In 1984 a new guerrilla group emerged in Colombia: the Movimiento Armado Quintín Lame (Quintin Lame Armed Movement), named after a NASA tribe leader (Manuel Quintín Lame Chantre), it was a guerrilla group, thus an illegal armed organization. It entered peace talks with Colombia's government and laid down its weapons in May 1991.
E.R., 23 March 2005

Today on Caracol TV news they showed a report of previous peace processes with armed groups in the country, in the wake of today's signing of the so called "peace agreement" between the government and the oldest guerrilla, FARC. In the image, one can see a true picture of the Quintin Lame Armed Movement. I know for fact that both the flags above were indeed based on previously seen images but unfortunately at the time neither Jaume nor I had the chance to get the chance to have a reliable picture of one of these, and both illustrations are reconstructions. Now, I can finally provide a trustworthy image.

The most common and accepted version is a horizontal flag with three equally divided vertical stripes, the left being red, the middle white and the right green. On the bottom there is a mountain range (symbolizing the terrain in which the group was located) and a sun with nine rays emerges from the top of the middle mountain range. The mountain range has a snowy top on the right (this means the three main mountain ranges that exist in the country: the Cordillera Occidental (Western mountain Range), Central (Central), and Oriental (Eastern), the Eastern one having snow on the top. Above the mountain range there is a gun on the left (AK-47) (a symbol of armed struggle) and an indigenous baton on the right with two streamers (red and green) (the same colors as the CRIC (a symbol of ancestral authority by the indigenous people). That is the flag seen here: (source: The flag is seen on the front cover of the book "Guerra propia, guerra ajena" (Own war, alien war) by Daniel Ricardo Peñaranda published in 2015 by IEPRI (Instituto de Estudios Políticos y Relaciones Internacionales, Political Studies and Foreign Relations Institute) of the Universidad Nacional de Colombia (National Universoty of Colombia) (sources: and and sponsored CNMH (Centro Nacional de Memoria Histórica, Historical Memory National Center) which is an official organization part of the Administrative Department DPS (Departamento para la Prosperidad Social, Social Prosperity Department). The PDF version of the book is available at .The same author had published another study in 2010 for additional information: ("El
Movimiento Armado Quintín Lame (MAQL): Una guerra dentro de otra guerra", "Quintin Lame Armed Movement (MAQL): A war inside another war"), and from this study, on chapter 8 titled "Entre la “guerra propia” y la “guerra ajena”" (Between the "own war" and the "alien war") is where he took the title for the 2015 book.

Other flag variants include:
- Same as the above and it adds the inscription "MOVIMIENTO ARMADO" above the mountain range in black capital letters (most likely Times New Roman Font type) and inside the mountain range "QUINTIN LAME" in white capitals (see image). Source: screenshot from TV news Caracol aired today. Notice that the flag has the same inscription in the obverse as well as the reverse.
- (source: This version lacks the details of the original, so it is a sloppy drawing of the flag. It is also an erroneous depiction because it features the the baton on the left and the gun on the right.
- (source: Same image as the above one.
- (source: This is an early logo
version. It has three vertical stripes, on the left one is a gun (unidentified, possibly a H&K G-3, available in the country at the time), in the middle the name and the motto: on top "EN UNIDAD CON EL PUEBLO" (Together with the people), below "HASTA LA VICTORIA" (Until victory (is achieved)), and below that "COMANDO QUINTÍN LAME" (Quintin Lame Command). The group was at the beginning identified as "Comando Quintín Lame" (source:
- Another flag is this one (see image) as found in the book "Guerra propia, guerra ajena" ( on page 398. However it is too blurry for positive identification.

The group emerged after a local strong opposition to the Farc's presence in the traditionally occupied indigenous territories, and that is why it is said they fought a war (against the Farc) inside a (bigger) war (the guerrillas vs. the government). They took their name Quintín Lame from indigenous leader Manuel Quintín Lame Chantre, who advocated for an independent and autonomous indigenous nation.

The demobilized combatants of this group seemed to be represented by this flag (, source:, a horizontal flag with the same color composition as the armed movement, and inside the white stripe, a circular (ineligible) inscription in black that seems to portray the last name "Lame".

Another organization successor to the struggle for land, derived from the same inspiration from Manuel Quintín Lame, is the "Movimiento de los Sin Tierra: Nietos de Manuel Quintín Lame" (Landless Movement: Grandchildren of Manuel Quintin Lame), which features this flag:
- (source:
- (source:
- (source:

In the flag, the portrait of Quintín Lame is a cropped image of this picture:, in the middle of a horizontal flag, with three horizontal stripes: the top being green, the middle and narrower being red, and the bottom being black and measures exactly the same as the top one, and below the name of the movement in white capitals.

This group is known to be established on August 6, 2006 (sources:, and
Esteban Rivera, 26 September 2016

The top image above is also found on the front cover of the book "Guerra propia, guerra ajena" (Own war, alien war) by Daniel Ricardo Peñaranda published in 2015 ( The flag features three equal sized vertical stripes, green, white and red, displaying an AK-47 on the left (a symbol of armed struggle) in black outline and on the right a baton (hand piece) (a symbol of traditional indigenous authority) in black as well, on the top, followed by a six-peaks mountain range (the last two on the right featuring snow on the top, called Paramo) which are the Nevado del Ruíz, Nevado del Tolima, Nevado de Santa Isabel, Nevado El Cisne, Nevado del Quindío and Paramillo de Santa Rosa, all of them part of the "Parque Nacional Natural Los Nevados" (English: The Nevados National Natural Park) with an emerging nine-ray sun in the middle (featured only from the half up).

image located by Esteban Rivera, 4 October 2020
Source: screenshot of Caracol TV news broadcast on September 26, 2016

This version features the same horizontal flag with the same color composition, displaying an AK-47 on the left in black outline and on the right a baton in black as well, on the top, followed by the inscription "MOVIMIENTO ARMADO" in black capital letters in semicircular form and below a mountain range in black and inside the inscription "QUINTIN LAME" in white capital letters.
Esteban Rivera, 4 October 2020

Radical Change (Cambio Radical)

  images located by Esteban Rivera, 4 February 2022

Cambio Radical (English: Radical Change) is a political movement that emerged during the last year of the tenure of then president Ernesto Samper (1994-1998), in which a faction of the Liberal Party was not happy with the new social democratic route the party was moving towards. The first gathering towards creating a new party was in 1996 and its formal establishment and political status recognition came a year after in 1997. As such, a more right-wing faction of the party split away and formed Radical Change".

The flag is the logo ( over a white background. The logo is the letters "C" and "R" in capitals, in red and white outline, symbolizing both of its tendencies (that is: Liberal and Conservative, which are its founding members).
Esteban Rivera, 4 February 2022

Revolutionary People's Army/a> (ERP-Ejército Revolucionario del Pueblo)

image by Eugene Ipavec, 25 October 2005

The flag of the ERP (Ejército Revolucionario del Pueblo, or Revolutionary People's Army), a breakaway faction of the ELN. The ERP was formed in 1996. The lettering style is the same as the ELN, only the color scheme is different.
E.R., 25 October 2005

In recent news, the ERP has fully demobilized on April 30, 2007 as stated by the Minister of Defense of Colombia. This day, the last 18 combatants from this ELN breakaway independent faction demobilized after starting military actions in August 10, 1996. The total number of demobilized illegal armed fighters, including the last 18, is 54 during the whole month of April, in a series of multiple demobilizations. The faction operated in the municipalities of San Jacinto, Maríalabaja, El Carmen de Bolívar, San Juan Nepomuceno, located in the Department of Bolivar and the municipalities of Ovejas, Chalán, Colosó and Las Palmitas, located in the Department of Sucre. Among the combatants are 16 women and two newly born children. This demobilization process took place in part due to the pressure of the Army, but also from the FARC, another guerrilla force who is battling other guerrillas (i.e. the ELN ) in order to gain superiority.
Sources: La FM adiostation, El Tiempo newspaper, Military Forces General Command, Semana magazine.
E.R., 9 June 2007

Revolutionary Armed Force of Colombia-People's Army (FARC-EP Fuerzas Arnadas Revolucionarias de Colombia - Ejercito Popular)

image by Pascal Gross and Guillermo Aveledo, 3 June 2000

image contributed by E.R., 24 July 2005

I found the official site of the FARC guerrilla group on the web, and you can see their flag. It's the same as the colombian flag, but it has a Colombian map along with two assault rifles crossed . There's also a little squared thing, but I can't see much. The link to it is Their official name is: Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia-Ejército del Pueblo (FARC-EP) or Revolutionary Armed Force of Colombia-People's Army. The guerrilla group known as FARC-EP was created in 1964.
Ramiro Rivera Sanchez,19 January 1999

I believe that the" little squared thing" is an open book.
Jorge Candeias,20 January 1999

Revolutionary Armed Forces, People's Army (FARC-EP Fuerzas Arnadas Revolucionarias de Colombia - Ejercito Popular) - This well-known guerrilla group is the main guerrilla movement in Colombia, above from the National Liberation Army (ELN). The flag of the FARC-EP is a regular Colombian tricolor with the group's logo on its centre. The logo consists of a Colombian continental map, in white, fimbriated in black. Within the map we see the letters 'FARC-EP' in a bold type, an open book and a pair of crossed, semi-automatic, rifles.
Guillermo Aveledo, 3 June 2000

The correct name of the movement is: Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia - Ejercito del Pueblo. A short presentation of the FARC, based on Courrier International #711, 17 June 2004 (French translation of a paper by Eduardo Pizarro Leongomez, originally published in El Tiempo, Bogota):   On 9 April 1948, the Liberal leader Jorge Eliecer Galtan was murdered, which triggered violent riots in Bogota, known as Bogotazo. The next ten years are known as the Violencia period, a civil war between the Liberals and the Conservatives that caused more than 200,000 dead. In 1958, the two parties signed the pact of National Front, by which they abandoned violence and shared the power. The President of the Republic was alternatively chosen in each party. The system lasted until 1974. On 27 May 1964, the Colombian army attacked Marquetalia, which was the headquarters of Communist revolutionaries and farmers' self-defense militia, ruled by Manuel Marulanda, aka Tirofijo (Bang on target). Following the assault, the militia were organized into guerillas. Initially called Frente Sur (Front South), the guerillas were renamed FARC two years later. The FARC were reorganized and renamed FARC-EP in 1982. On 28 March 1984, the FARC-EP signed an agreement  in La Uribe with the Colombian government. A cease-of-fire was implemented on 28 May. The agreement included the creation of a legal political party by the FARC-EP, called UP (Patriotic Union). More than 3,500 members of the UP were murdered in the next two years, including two candidates to the Presidential election. In December 1990, the bombing of the Casa Verde, the FARC-EP headquarters, by the Colombian army ended the peace process. A new round of negotiations started on 7 January 1999 between the FARC-EP and Andres Pastrana's government in the demilitarized area of Caguan (42,000 sq. km). The area was placed under the control of the FARC-EP until the breakdown of the negotiations in February 2002. The FARC have today some 15,000-17,000 members.
FARC-EP homepage at
Ivan Sache, 27 December 2004

"Mothertongue Name: Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC).
Aliases: Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia - Ejercito del Pueblo (FARC-EP).
Base of Operation: Colombia.
Founding Philosophy: The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) grew out of the Colombian Communist Party of the 1960s. Unsurprisingly, the FARC was founded as a Communist organization. The FARC leaned towards the Marxist strain of Communism and received a limited amount of funding from the Soviet Union during the Cold War. The FARC's stated goal is to overthrow the current democratic government of Colombia and replace it with a Communist government.
While the FARC is undoubtedly the largest and oldest of the Communist insurgent groups of Colombia, it is not necessarily the most dogmatic in its devotion to the Marxist ideology. In fact, the FARC's growing hand in cocaine trafficking, and even production, coupled with its on-again, off-again peace talks with the Colombian government, indicate that the ideological backbone of the FARC is at best, ill-defined. However, a significant portion of the FARC's leadership, including FARC chief Manuel Marulanda, have been part of the organization since its founding and are presumably still dedicated to its Marxist ideology. The FARC continues to wage a war of words devoted to Marxist principles, despite the fact that many of its battles are fought with the less idealistic motive of controlling the illicit drug inustry.
Current Goals: Today, the FARC's primary goal is territorial control within Colombia. The FARC has several sources for the money it needs to pursue this goal. The majority of its funding comes from the cocaine trade, but the FARC also pursues kidnapping, extortion, and hijacking. In addition to these operations, the FARC also attacks Colombian political and military installations. Its activities frequently disrupt economic activity in Colombia, particularly when conflicts with Colombia's rightist paramilitary groups break out. Ordinary Colombian citizens are often caught in the middle of this violent and bloody struggle.
The FARC's larger goals are a matter for speculation. For four decades the FARC has struggled to overthrow the Colombian government. This does not seem likely unless the FARC dramatically shifts its approach and increases its strength. The more likely outcome is that the FARC will continue to destabilize Colombian democracy but never actually overthrow the government. Furthermore, the FARC's recent participation in peace talks demonstrates a certain willingness to negotiate with its ideological enemies. The FARC's ideological commitment is in doubt, but its immediate goals are not. The FARC aims to maintain its significant financial and territorial power. From all indications, the FARC will continue its violent criminal action for the foreseeable future."
More information at
E.R., 8 June 2005


1) image by Eugene Ipavec, Pascal Gross and Guillermo Aveledo, 14 February 2006

A photo of a variant with shield of the FARC flag, appeared on the front page of today's (29 June 2001) Miami Herald, with the headline "Rebels Free Colombian Troops" and the caption describing the release of "242 government soldiers and police released Thursday by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia [FARC] outside La Macarena, in the heart of a 26,000 square-mile area of jungle and savanna under FARC control. The troops were freed by the rebels in a unilateral hand-over after more than three years in captivity".
Al Kirsch and Jaume Ollé, 29 June 2001

The variant is based on photos at FARC news website and SEMANA magazine.
E.R., 14 February 2006

2) image by Eugene Ipavec, 17 March 2006

On March 8, 2006, the biggest demobilization yet (outside peace process with the Colombian government) of a guerrilla group, took place on the Department of Tolima. There a FARC guerrilla structure laid down its weapons on a ceremony headed by the Alto Comisionado Para La Paz (High Commissioner For Peace). During this ceremony a new FARC flag variant came to light.
Source: El Mundo newspaper, from the city of Medellín.
E.R., 17 March 2006

3) image by Eugene Ipavec, 27 May 2006

Another variant of the flag of the Farc Colombian guerrilla. The flag is the same tricolor flag of Colombia, plus the Farc emblem on the middle (outlined only, not in color).
Source: Farc 2006 calendar at
E.R., 27 May 2006

image located by Esteban Rivera, 31 January 2013

There's currently some direct conversations being held in Havana between the Colombian government and the Farc. During these talks, a variant flag can be observed:
Source: NTN24, and allied broadcast channel of RCN news channel)
Esteban Rivera, 31 January 2013