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República de Colombia, Republic of Colombia

Last modified: 2024-04-20 by daniel rentera
Keywords: colombia | america |
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[Flag of  Colombia] (2:3) image by Željko Heimer, 20 May 2001

Official Name: Republic of Colombia (República de Colombia)
Capital: Bogota (Santafé de Bogotá)
Flag adopted: 26 November 1861
Coat of Arms adopted: 6 August 1955

See also:

Other sites:

The National Flag

According to [pay00] - National flag (CSW/-S- (2:3)) - Regarding the yellow stripe, the Album approximation gives it as Pantone 135c. Some other sources also agree that the shade of Colombian yellow is different from the shade used by Ecuador and Venezuela (notably Shipmate Chart and [zna99]). However, converting the given Pantone to RGB gave by my software one colour that I'd call buff, much similar to the colour used in Album as the background, and certainly not very yellow. I chose this light yellow shade to represent the Colombian yellow. Hopefully this is not much mistaken, and anyway, it serves only to show the difference from the other two Nuevagranadan yellows.
Željko Heimer, 16 May 2001

I must say that some colours given in album 2000 seem quite strange. Pantone 135 is NOT yellow but it is buff and nothing else, you are right. Yellow shades in [zna99] are the same for all three states, blue is different.
Ralf Stelter, 17 May 2001

On page 207 of [zna99] is so as Ralf Stelter say, but when taking a look at page 128, here blue is different, indeed, but yellows are distinctly different. However, Colombian is here darker then the other two. Also in Shipmate chart, now when I look at it in daylight, the Colombian yellow seems darker then the other two, but the difference is not so obvious.
Željko Heimer, 17 May 2001

In National flags and distinctive markings - Change Nr 1 [pay01] - Yellow shade changed on all flags (116c / C0-M15-Y95-K0 instead of 135c / C0-M20-Y60-K0)
Ivan Sache, 8 October 2001

The presidency of Colombia has issued a campaign to promote national unity against violence and for peace. The campaign exhorts Colombians to hoist their flag permanently outside their homes, workplaces, cars, etc. All the info (not much, indeed) is at this site
Guillermo Tell Aveledo Coll, 24 April 2002

I found the CMYK codes for the Colombian flag. I don't know if whether they're official, but I found them on the Colombian President's office website, so they could be. Here they are
Yellow: C:0, M:10, Y:100, K:0
Blue: C:100, M:70, Y:0, K:0
Red: C:0, M:100, Y:90, K:0
Carlos A Leiva, 30 July 2002

Album [pay01] has slightly different values, given there as approximate:
Yellow: C:0 - M:15 - Y:95 - K:0
Blue: C:100 - M:70 - Y:0 - K:30
Red: C:0 - M:90 - Y:80 - K:0
Ivan Sache, 5 August 2002

Though indeed Colombia's flag has a "darker" shade of yellow than Ecuador and Venezuela it is slightly lighter than the one depicted in your page. If you ignore the "shadow" effects, the shade of yellow in the flags of the new rendition of the Coat of Arms (rather than a new coat of arms per se) is the proper shade.
Jaime Vengoechea, 6 January 2003

"Miranda gave at least two sources of inspiration for his flag. In a letter written to Count Semyon Vorontsov in 1792, Miranda stated that the colors were based on a theory of primary colors given to him by the German writer and philosopher Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Miranda described a late-night conversation he had with Goethe at a party in Weimar during the winter of 1785. Fascinated with Miranda's account of his exploits in the United States Revolutionary War and his travels throughout the Americas and Europe, Goethe told him that, "Your destiny is to create in your land a place where primary colors are not distorted." He proceeded to clarify what he meant by this:
First he explained to me the way the iris transforms light into the three primary colors […] then he proved to me why yellow is the most warm, noble and closest to [white] light; why blue is that mix of excitement and serenity, a distance that evokes shadows; and why red is the exaltation of yellow and blue, the synthesis, the vanishing of light into shadow. It is not that the world is made of yellows, blues and reds; it is that in this manner, as if in an infinite combination of these three colors, we human beings see it. […] A country [Goethe concluded] starts out from a name and a flag, and it then becomes them, just as a man fulfils his destiny."
Daniel Aarhus, 23 July 2013

Very interesting writing. I've heard and read the story behind Miranda's creation of the first tricolor flag of Venezuela (which would, in turn, be adopted by Colombia and Ecuador as their national colors). However I hadn't heard the full story, so I believe it should be added to the Venezuelan, Colombian and Ecuadorian pages respectively, as they all share the same flag.
Esteban Rivera, 04 August 2013

First use of Colombian flag

Since the Colombian tricolor was first raised (as mentioned by Jorge Candeias, on his October 1, 1999 post "(on) 12 March 1806, our national tricolour was flown for the first time. Miranda was inspired by the predominant colours of the rainbow [?] and it was flown on land in the port of La Vela (in today's Department of Guajira in August of the same year" (see: Historical Flags (pre-1856), official website of the Presidency of the Republic of Colombia, it is clear that this was in fact the first time the tricolor flew over Colombia as a national flag. This flag (with specific measurements and minor detail changes, such as the width of the stripes) was the basis for the flag adopted during the Congress of Angostura (a pro tempore executive and legislative body during a time or war, established on February 15, 1819, prior to the "Campaña Libertadora" (official full name: "Campaña Libertadora de Nueva Granada", "Liberating Campaing of New Grenada), which was the final military offensive to liberate Colombia (then known as New Grenada) from Spanish rule, which in turn began on May 23, 1819 with the outline of the military plan and ended after the two major engagements of the Batlle of Boyacá and the Battle of Vargas Swamp which allowed Simón Bolívar to enter the capital Bogotá, on August 10, 1819, formally ending the campaign). The Congress of Angostura adopted the symbols (Coat of Arms and flag) of Venezuela as the ones for Colombia, because they sought to form a unified country and because the Venezuelan symbols were more in use. This was followed by the Congress of Cúcuta a de iure Congress, established on August 30, 1821 in Cúcuta. This Congress ended on October 3, promulgating the Constitution of Cúcuta which formally established the Republic of Colombia which then incorporated Venezuela and Colombia (it also included Panamá, which at the moment was part of Colombia). In this Constitution, the adopted official symbols (Coat of Arms and flag) ratified what the Congress of Angostura proclaimed, and added some details to the final design, as seen here, and you mention in the Flag Dates: by country list that Colombia first adopted its tricolor flag on November 26, 1861, which is totally wrong.
It is possible that the location of La Vela, mentioned in my previous message, is actually La Vela del Coro, in Falcón, Venezuela and not in La Guajira, Colombia. In fact, in La Vela del Coro there's a promenade which shows the historical evolution of the Venezuelan flag.
Also, It's important to add the following: the inspiration for the tricolor was adopted based on General Miranda's militia flag. Now, the issue is actually where did he the inspiration from? An important mention of this is that he was inspired by the Hamburger Bürgerwache (see also Hamburg Citizens' Sentinels page) but also by Christopher Columbus' personal coat of arms.
Esteban Rivera, 28 October 2015

National Flag at the London 2012 Olympics

The protocol manual for the London 2012 Olympics (Flags and Anthems Manual London 2012 [loc12]) provides recommendations for national flag designs. Each NOC was sent an image of the flag, including the PMS shades, for their approval by LOCOG. Once this was obtained, LOCOG produced a 60 x 90 cm version of the flag for further approval. So, while these specs may not be the official, government, version of each flag, they are certainly what the NOC believed the flag to be.
For Colombia: PMS 116 yellow, 287 blue, 186 red. TThe vertical flag is simply the horizontal version turned 90 degrees anti-clockwise
Ian Sumner, 10 October 2012

Meaning of the Colors

Editorial Note: We present the most popular interpretations of the colours of the flag, but it is also our duty to make the difference between "official explanations", if any and general belief. There is, as a rule, no inherent meaning of colours except in rare cases where the exact meaning is mentioned in the legislation.

Two interpretations:
1. The yellow symbolizes sovereignty and justice; the blue nobility, loyalty and vigilance; and the red valor, honor, generosity and victory achieved at the high cost of bloodshed.
2. Yellow: universal liberty; blue: the equality of all races and social classes before God and the law; Red: fraternity
Source: Alfred Znamierowski's World Encyclopedia of Flags, 1999.
Phil Nelson, 28 February 2000

As a very popular Colombian kids song says....
YELLOW is our gold
BLUE is our vast seas (oceans)
and RED is the blood that gave us our freedom... (from Spain)
S.C, 6 December 2000


The decrees 861 of 1934, issued by the national government feeling President of the Republic the Senior General Pedro Nel Ospina and the doctor Enrique Olaya Herrera respectively, contain dispositions over the flag and the national shield. To the continuation, transcribed is the pertinent part of the flag.

Decree No. 861 of 1934 (May 17)

Article 1-The Flag--flag and standard of the Republic of Colombia, contains yellow, blue, and red, distributed en three horizontal bands, of which the yellow, placed in the upper part, will have the same width to the middle of the flag, and the other two in equal bands to the forth part of the total, having the blue in the center.

Article 2-The merchant flag of Colombia will be in accordance with the established decree number 309 of 1980, three meters long by two wide; it will bring in the center a shield in an oval shape, in blue background, circled by a zone of red velvet of 5 centimeters wide, and a white star in the center, with 8 rays in 10 centimeters in diameter. The axes of the oval, inside the blue background, are of 40 centimeters the bigger, and the 30 the smaller.
Paragraph-This will be the flag that one puts in use in the boats of the Colombian navy and in the accredited legations and Consulates outside of the country.

Article 3-The flag of war in use in the Army, will be 1.30 meters long, by 1.10 meters wide, for the standing army; the standard, for the mounted arms, will be a meter long by one meter wide. These flags will have in the center the shield of Arms of the Republic, marked in a circumference of red velvet of 5 centimeters wide and 40 centimeters in diameter in the exterior part, within which it will be written, in gold letters, the name of the body (corps) of troops for which it represents.

Decree No. 62 of 1934 (January 11)

208-The flag of war in use in the Army will be, after the law, 1.35 meters long by 1.10 wide for the mounted arms (cavalry). These flags will have in the center a shield of Arms of the Republic, inside an oval of red wool-cloth, in which it will be written, in embroidered letters of gold, the name of the body (corps) of the troops or military divisions for which it represents.

209-The flag with shield will only be used for the armed corps of the Nation.

210-The national flags that are raised in the barracks, public buildings, merchant ships, fortresses, etc. will be able to have more or less the same dimensions and won't have the shield.
Vincent , 25 October 1997

The Decree No. 1967 of August 15, 1991, which is the latest legislation on the use of the Flag, Coat of Arms and National Anthem is online at the Colombian Ministry of Communications website.
E.R, 18 June 2007

Searching through the local Yellow Pages, in the last page of the 2013 Edition, a reference appears regarding the national symbols. Then, they mention the official measurements for the Colombian flag: 1.80 m long by 1.4 m wide.
Esteban Rivera, 01 April 2013

In a memo by the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores (English: Ministry of Foreign Relations) labeled "Circular 36 del 23 de Marzo de 2021" (English: Circular 36 of March 23, 2021), subject "Normativa sobre el uso de la Bandera Nacional" (English: Regulations on the use of the National Flag) issued to the accredited Diplomatic Missions in the country (Ambassadors and Heads of Consular Missions) mentions the internal memo "Oficio No. I-GCD-19-004813 del 5 de marzo de 2019" (English: Administrative Act No. I-GCD-19-004813 of March 5, 2019) to remind the current regulations regarding the correct use of the "Bandera Nacional" (English: National Flag) especially those mentioned in "Decreto No. 1687 del 23 de Mayo de 1986" (English: Decree No. 1687 of May 23, 1986) and "Decreto No. 1967 del 15 de Agosto de 1991" (English: Decree No. 1967 of August 15, 1991), as follows:

- Decree No. 1687 of May 23, 1986
Article 1: As of the validity of this Decree, in all public offices in the country and abroad, the National Flag described in article 2 of the Law No. 12 of February 29, 1984 will be used, the text of which is as follows: "The national colors of the Republic of Colombia, yellow, blue and red, will continue to be distributed in the National Ensign, in three horizontal bands, of which the yellow, placed in the upper part, will have a width equal to half the flag, and the two others, in bands equal to a quarter of the total, with blue in the center."

Article 2: The Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Government, and National Defense will provide what is necessary for the proper compliance with this Decree.

- Decree No. 1967 of August 15, 1991
Article 7: The National Flag must be used by the Colombian diplomatic missions in the facilities they occupy within foreign territory, according to the agreements established with the respective country.

Article 8: The National Flag with incorporated CoA may only be used by the President of the Republic and the Armed Corps of the Nation, being called War Flag for this case.

Article 12: The Coat of Arms of the Republic of Colombia may only be used on the flags of the President of the Republic, on the Flags of War, on letterheads, envelopes, etc., through which they are given in strictly official matters.

PARAGRAPH: It is authorized to sculpt it in monuments, churches, chapels, pantheons or military cemeteries, barracks, ships, educational centers and other places, provided that they meet conditions of severity, seriousness and respect.

From the regulations described, it can be deduced that in national entities (with the exception of the Presidency of the Republic and the Armed Corps of the Nation) as well as in the diplomatic and consular missions of Colombia abroad, only the national flag of Colombia can be used: three horizontal stripes, without any ornament or shield in the center as shown below

The Administrative Act also mentions that according to "Artículo 9 de la Ley 198 del 17 de Julio de 1995" (English: Article 9 of the Law No. 198 of July 17, 1995), the Ministry of Foreign Relations is the overseer of compliance and dissemination of regulations that regulate the proper use of the national flag

It is worth mentioning that Artículo 7 de la Ley 12 del 29 de Febrero de 1984 (English: Article 7 of the Law No. 12 of February 29, 1984) specifically mentions the following: "In these terms, the Law No. 3 of May 9, 1834 is replaced and all provisions that are contrary to it are repealed. In essence, this means that Law No. 12 of February 29, 1984 supersedes Law No. 3 of May 9, 1834, the latter which is considered the official adoption date (de iure) of the current CoA and the flag (as a tricolor, although in this case in vertical stripes, something that would be amended later on in 1861).

Furthermore, it is also worth mentioning that "Artículo 12 del Decreto No. 1967 del 15 de Agosto de 1991" defines the official denomination of what we call "Presidential flag", as "Bandera Nacional del Presidente de la República" (English: National Flag of the President of the Republic).

It is also important to mention that the 1955 version of the CoA is in fact a more thorough interpretation of the "Decreto No 3558 del 9 de Noviembre de 1949" (English: Decree No. 3538 of November 9, 1949) as published in the "Diario Oficial N.º 28820 del 6 de agosto de 1955" English: Official Gazette No. 28820 of August 6, 1955 by Enrique Ortega Ricaurte as Chief of the "Archivo Nacional de Colombia" (English: Colombia's National Archives) (currently "Archivo General de la Nación") (English: "Nation's General Archives") (official website: ), as follows: (original text in Spanish):

Field of the shield: The National Shield is Swiss in shape and must be the same designated by the Law of May 9, 1834. It will have five parts wide by six long. In no case will it have a trim or edge (subsection "G" of article 336 of the Garrison Service regulations, approved by Decree No. 3558 of November 9, 1949 of the Executive Power). It must be arranged in a strip, that is, "divided into three equal parts, separated by two horizontal parallels."

Flags: The four flags that adorn the shield, which are not an integral part of it, will have the same inclination as those that appear in the one approved by the legislators of 1834. Their colors and arrangement are those set by the Decree of November 26, 1861 of General Tomás Cipriano de Mosquera, Provisional President of the United States of Colombia; "These flags are collected towards the vertex of the shield" (Article V of Decree 861 of May 17, 1924 of the President of the Republic of Colombia).

Condor: The Condor, which symbolizes freedom, is represented from the front with outstretched wings and looking to the right, "because it is more noble." From its beak will hang a green laurel wreath; and on a fluttering ribbon, seized from the shield and intertwined in the crown, will be written, in gold, with black letters: LIBERTY AND ORDER.
Source: Wikipedia

A very interesting source both in legislation as well as illustrations of the historical variations of the CoA is seen in this official document, "Gaceta del Congreso No. 858 del 25 de Noviembre de 2008" (English: Congressional Gazette No. 858 of November 25, 2008) in which a Bill ("Proyecto de Ley No. 326 Senado" (English: Senate Bill No. 326 of 2008), "Proyecto de Ley No. 176 Cámara" (English: House Bill 176 of 2008)) which sought to modify Article 3 of the Law 12 of 1984.

In the end, the Bill seems to have not been approved. However it had been used de facto since 2002, when then President Álvaro Uribe Vélez commissioned the publicity firm Duque Imagen Limitada of Publicist Carlos Duque to have a "Elaboración de un Manual de uso de la bandera y el escudo de Colombia" (English: Elaboration of a Manual of use of the flag and coat of arms of Colombia, more properly a "Corporate identity manual" to be used by all government organizations) which derived in the CoA as a logo symbol, as seen here:
Sources:, and

Here's an incomplete list of regulations (Decrees and Laws) pertaining the symbols of Colombia (national flags and CoA's) in chronological order:

"Ley 198 del 17 de Julio de 1995" (English: Law 198 of July 17, 1995)
"Decreto No. 1967 del 15 de Agosto de 1991" (English: Decree No. 1967 of August 15, 1991)
"Decreto No. 1687 del 23 de Mayo de 1986" (English: Decree No. 1687 of May 23, 1986)
"Ley 12 del 29 de Febrero de 1984" (English: Law 12 of February 29, 1984)
"Decreto No 3558 del 9 de Noviembre de 1949" (English: Decree No. 3538 of November 9, 1949) (Military Forces Regulation, also known as Garrison Service regulations)
"Decreto No. 861 del 17 de Mayo de 1934) (English: Decree No. 861 of May 17, 1934)
"Decreto No. 62 del 11 de Enero de 1934" (English: Decree No. 62 of January 11, 1934)
"Decreto No. 309 del 28 de Abril de 1890" (English: Decree No. 309 of April 28, 1890)
"Decreto No. 838 del 5 de Noviembre de 1889" (English: Decree No. 838 of November 5, 1889)
"Ley 124 del 13 de Julio de 1887" (English: Law 124 of July 13, 1887) (as United States of Colombia)
"Decreto del 26 de Noviembre de 1861" (English: Decree of November 26, 1861)
"Decreto del 26 de Julio de 1861" (English: Decree of July 26, 1861)
"Ley del 30 de Junio de 1858" (English: Law of June 30 (other sources mention June 23, 1858) (as Grenadine Confederation)
"Ley 3 del 9 de mayo de 1834" (English: Law 3 of May 9, 1834)
"Ley del 17 de Diciembre de 1831" (English: Law of December 17, 1831)
"Ley del 6 de octubre de 1821" (English: Law of October 6, 1821)
"Ley 1 del 18 de Julio de 1821, Ley Fundamental de la Unión de los Pueblos" (English: Law 1 of July 18 (other sources mention July 12), 1821, Founding Law of the People's Union)
"Decreto del 10 de enero de 1820" (English: Decree of January 10, 1820)
"Ley 1 del 17 de Diciembre 1819, Ley Fundamental de la República de Colombia" (English: Law 1 of December 17, 1819, Founding Law of the Republic of Colombia)
"Ley del 14 de Noviembre de 1815" (English: Law of November 14, 1815)
"Ley 14 de Julio de 1814" (English: Law 14 of July 1814) (as United Provinces of New Grenada)
"Ley del 26 de Abril de 1814" (English: Law of April 26, 1814) (as United Provinces of New Grenada)
Esteban Rivera, 14 August 2023

Correct uses of the National Flag in official capacity

[Correct uses of the National Flag] image located by Esteban Rivera, 14 August 2023

1. President of the Republic
2. Armed Forces of the Nation
3. Other National Entities and Diplomatic Missions of Colombia abroad

A Colombian peace flag

[Flag of Colombia] image located by William Garrison, 1 December 2016

This is simply a makeshift flag that does not have proper official measures (notice the white stripes are added to an already existing
Colombian flag). You can see the same image here: (source). Picture caption reads: "A man holds a Colombian national flag with white stripes during a demo to demand the immediate endorsement of the new peace agreement between the Colombian government and the FARC guerrilla outside the Colombian Congress in Bogota, Nov. 30."

This was in support of the Peace Process and in spite of the electoral result in the recent Peace Referendum held on October 2, in which the majority disfavored the government's initiative and the signed agreement, the government then slightly amended this agreement on November 24, and then presented it to Congress for approval. On November 29, the Senate approved the deal 75-0 and the House of Representatives approved it the next day by a vote of 130-0, without the presence of the main opposition party, Centro Democrático in both of them. The government then proclaimed that yesterday was "D-Day" for the beginning of the implementation of all the respective measures in the agreement, while Farc said it hadn't.

As for the flag reported, there were other "Colombian peace flags" (if you will) that appeared, mainly on the days leading up to the recent Referendum, as seen here, mainly voting for approval of the Referendum,
("sí", yes):
- (source:
- (source:
- (source:
- (source:
- (source:
- (source:
- (source:

Also, there were flags voting against the agreement ("no"):
- (source:
- (source:

Esteban Rivera, 2 December 2016