|Use||State and war flag, state and naval ensign|
|Adopted||March 12, 2006|
|Design||A horizontal tricolor of yellow, blue and red with the National Coat of Arms on the upper hoist-side of the yellow band and an arc of eight white five-pointed stars centered on the blue band.|
Variant flag of Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
|Use||Civil flag and ensign|
|Adopted||March 12, 2006|
|Design||A horizontal tricolor of yellow, blue and red with an arc of eight white five-pointed stars centered on the blue band.|
|Designed by||Francisco de Miranda|
Variant flag of Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
The current eight stars flag of Venezuela was introduced in 2006. The basic design includes a horizontal tricolor of yellow, blue, and red, dating to the original flag introduced in 1811, in the Venezuelan War of Independence.
Further modifications have involved including a set of stars, multiple changes to the placement and number of stars and inclusion of an optional coat of arms at the upper-left corner. Several opposition groups and Venezuelan exiles opposing the current government use the tricolor flag with seven stars adopted in 1954.
The flag is essentially the one designed by Francisco de Miranda for his unsuccessful 1806 expion to liberate Venezuela and later adopted by the National Congress of 1811. It consisted of three equal horizontal stripes of yellow, blue and red. Miranda's flag is also the inspiration for the flags of Colombia and Ecuador. This original design was first flown on March 12, 1806 at Jacmel, Haiti as Miranda's expion prepared to make the final leg of its voyage to Venezuela. The flag was first flown over Venezuelan soil at La Vela de Coro, on August 3. Until August 3, 2006, Flag Day was celebrated in Venezuela on March 12. Since 2006 it has been celebrated on August 3.
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 starts out from a name and a flag, and it then becomes them, just as a man fulfils his destiny."
After Miranda later designed his flag based on this conversation, he happily recalled seeing a fresco by Lazzaro Tavarone in the Palazzo Belimbau in Genoa that depicted Christopher Columbus unfurling a similar-colored flag in Veragua during his fourth voyage.[better source needed]
In his military diary, Miranda gave another source of inspiration: the yellow, blue and red standard of the Burgers' Guard (Bürgerwache) of Hamburg, which he also saw during his travels in Germany. The idea of the flag is documented in his 1801 plan for an army to liberate Spanish America, which he submitted unsuccessfully to the British cabinet. In it Miranda requested the materials for "ten flags, whose colours shall be red, yellow and blue, in three zones."
The symbolism traditionally ascribed to the colors are that the yellow band stands for the wealth of the land, the red for courage, and the blue for the independence from Spain, or "golden" America separated from bloody Spain by the deep blue sea.
The official colors are listed below:
|RGB (hex)||255-204-0 (#ffcc00)||0-36-125 (#00247d)||207-20-43 (#cf142b)|
According to the current interpretation, the colors signify:
During the first half of the 19th century, seven stars were added to the flag to represent the seven signatories to the Venezuelan declaration of independence, being the provinces of Caracas, Cumaná, Barcelona, Barinas, Margarita, Mérida, and Trujillo.
After the Guayana campaign, Simón Bolívar added an eighth star to the national flag (the so-called Flag of Angostura) in representation of the newly freed province. Bolívar issued the following decree:
The Law of the National Flag, Coat of Arms and Anthem added the Coat of Arms to the flag on February 19, 1954. The coat of arms was not incorporated into the Civil or Maritime Flag, which is intended for non-governmental purposes, such as civilian use, merchant craft, and international sports competition.
In 2006 the President of Venezuela Hugo Chávez announced plans to add an eighth star to the flag of Venezuela to bring about a much belated fulfillment to Bolívar's 1817 decree. The eighth star represents the Guayana Province, one of the Provinces of Venezuela at the time of the declaration of independence. The Coat of Arms was also changed to a white horse galloping left instead cantering to the right representing the political shift to the Left, a bow and arrow representing Venezuela’s indigenous people and a machete to represent the labor of workers. Although the new flag was approved by the Venezuelan government, opposition spokesperson Óscar Pérez stated that they would not use the new flag.
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As with most other national flags, the Venezuelan flag should be flown every day by the legally registered public institutions from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. Private institutions, businesses and citizens should fly the flag on national holidays or on days determined by the National Executive. Institutions which should fly the flag by obligation are:
There is currently no regulation as to the dimensions of the flag, its use inside private or public institutions or by the public in general, its form and protocol. The conventions that currently exist have been freely determined. Nevertheless, educational institutions currently follow a protocol modeled on the regulations issued for the armed forces for use in raising the flag on special days.
Out of respect for the flag, popular culture holds that upon raising the flag, the national anthem should be played and all civilians present should stand still, straight, with closed hands at the sides and without any headgear, while military and police personnel out of formation must salute.
Although there is no official regulation on the manner in which the flag should be folded, there is, as in other countries, a procedure with widespread acceptance in schools, scout groups and military institutions. Its origins are not known, but there are several possibilities, such as the adoption of the custom from other South American nations, in which this singular way of folding a flag originated. In the Venezuelan case, there are two ways of folding the flag depending on whether it is a civil or state flag.
The flag has its own anthem, which was composed in 1889 with music by Francisco Araldi and lyrics by Zolessi Geronimo, which reads:
|Himno de la Bandera|
Oh, Bandera del pueblo Caribe
Oh, flag of the Caribbean people
Difundiste por cumbres y llanos
You spread throughout peaks and plains
Venezuela la hermosa y pujante
Venezuela, the beautiful and thriving
Similarly, a Flag Oath has also been written for students to be said on August 3, which is as follows:
This is followed by the following pledge for those in schools:
Versions of this oath and pledge are used for the National Armed Forces of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and the Policia Nacional Bolivariana, but in this case, only the pledge is used during graduation and passing out parades.
Adapted from text of Ricardo Silva Romero
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