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Riobamba (Chimborazo, Ecuador)

Last modified: 2021-08-26 by klaus-michael schneider
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by Ivan Sache, 31 May 2004


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The flag is diagonally divided red-blue as seen at The flag was adopted by the city in 1958 and by the canton in 2003. According the legislation the flag is 1:2 and when used as standard, it is charged with the Coat of Arms.
I guess that this flag was the source to the wrong flag of Chimborazo as appears at W. Smith's.
Dov Gutterman, 31 May 2004

Translated from municipal website:
Decree of 24 November 1958  
Description and meaning of the flag of the City of Riobamba.
Article 1.
The colours of the flag of San Pedro de Riobamba shall be blue and red; red shall be in the upper part and blue in the lower part, forming triangles according to the diagonal of the parallelogram with the red colour  in base.
Article 2. The dimensions of the flag shall be the longitudinal size twice the vertical size.
Article 3. The coat of arms of the town shall be placed in the center of the flag.   [...]"  
There is a drawing of the flag without the coat of arms, just above the text!  
The municipal website does not mention an important information: the Decree was amended by the Municipal Council on 25 June 2003.
The wording of Article 1 was slightly changed (but the flag is still called "Flag of the City of Riobamba") and, most important, Article 3 was completely changed to: "Article 3. When the flag is used as a standard, the coat of arms of the city shall be placed in the middle of the flag."  
Source: Qué Pleno (Riobamba unofficial website)
As stated above, the flag is therefore without the coat of arms while the standard is with the coat of arms. The difference between "flag" ("bandera") and "standard" ("estandarte") is not given. The word "estandarte" does not appear in the original (1958) Decree.

There is a detailed account on the coat of arms of Riobamba on the municipal website, credited to Gerardo Neptalí Capelo Parra as the "responsible" (as the editor of the page or author of the text?).
Very few towns founded by the Spaniards in America were granted coat of arms. Father Juan de Velasco writes: "In 1623, by very honorific Royal Letter, King Philip IV, acknowledging that the town was one of the most famous in the kingdom, granted to the town the title of 'Very Noble and Very Loyal City of San Pedro de Riobamba' and a coat of arms made of a head crossed by two swords surmonted by the Holy Sacrament's monstrance."
The design recalls an historical event dated 29 June 1591 (but some historians say 1620 or some time between 1571 and 1575). During the mass dedicated to the patron saint of the town, St. Peter, a foreigner known as "the Lutheran", rushed to the priest during the Elevation; the perpetrator was prevented to murder the priest by the faithful sitting on the first banks, who took their sword and killed him. The tradition says that not a single blood drop stained the church while blood gushed forth when the body was displayed on the town's main square.
The shield is of antique Spanish shape, as used in the colonial period. It is charged in the middle with a chalice or surmounted with an elevated host. The two keys of St. Peter are crossed per saltire behind the chalice. Two bare swords crossing the keys' ring flank the chalice and joint in the base of the shield on the upper part of the head of the murdered Lutheran. The host, the chalice and the head form a pale. The field of the shield is gules.
The mantling is made of alternating flying leaves and feathers used in the coats of arms of the noble knights of the colonial period. The crest is a noble's helmet. Such a crest required a special permission and highlights the title of "Very Noble and Very Loyal" granted to the town.
Ivan Sache, 12 October 2008

Coat of Arms

from, located by Dov Gutterman, 31 May 2004