Flag of Chile
The national flag
National flag
A national flag is a flag that symbolizes a country. The flag is flown by the government, but usually can also be flown by citizens of the country.Both public and private buildings such as schools and courthouses may fly the national flag...

 of Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

, consists of two unequal horizontal bands of white and red and a blue square the same height as the white band in the canton, which bears a white five-pointed star
Five-pointed star
A five-pointed star is a very common ideogram throughout the world. If the colinear edges are joined together a pentagram is produced, which is the simplest of the unicursal star polygons, and a symbol of mystical and magical significance....

 in the center. It was adopted on October 18, 1817. The Chilean flag is also known in Spanish
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

 as La Estrella Solitaria (The Lone Star
Lone Star
- Locations :* Lone Star State, the official state nickname of Texas** Lone Star, Texas, a city in Morris County, Texas* Lone Star, California** Lone Star, Fresno County, California, an unincorporated community in Fresno County, California...


The star represents a guide to progress and honor; blue symbolizes the sky and the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

, white is for the snow-covered Andes
The Andes is the world's longest continental mountain range. It is a continual range of highlands along the western coast of South America. This range is about long, about to wide , and of an average height of about .Along its length, the Andes is split into several ranges, which are separated...

, and red stands for the blood spilled to achieve independence.

According to the epic poem La Araucana
La Araucana
La Araucana is an epic poem in Spanish about the Spanish conquest of Chile, by Alonso de Ercilla; it is also known in English as The Araucaniad...

, the colors were derived from those from the flag flown by the Mapuche
The Mapuche are a group of indigenous inhabitants of south-central Chile and southwestern Argentina. They constitute a wide-ranging ethnicity composed of various groups who shared a common social, religious and economic structure, as well as a common linguistic heritage. Their influence extended...

 during the Arauco War
Arauco War
The Arauco War was a conflict between colonial Spaniards and the Mapuche people in what is now the Araucanía and Biobío regions of modern Chile...

. "Flag Day" is held each year on the ninth of July to commemorate the 77 soldiers who died in the 1882 Battle of La Concepción
Battle of La Concepción
The Battle of Concepción was fought on July 9 and July 10, 1882, during the Sierra Campaign of the War of the Pacific. Heavily outnumbered, the Chilean detachment of 77 men under the command of Lieutenant Ignacio Carrera Pinto was annihilated by a 1.300 Peruvian force, many of them armed with...


Pre-independence flags

The first records on the possible use of flags by indigenous peoples date back to the War of Arauco, the most famous being the use described in the late 16th century epic poem La Araucana
La Araucana
La Araucana is an epic poem in Spanish about the Spanish conquest of Chile, by Alonso de Ercilla; it is also known in English as The Araucaniad...

. In Canto
The canto is a principal form of division in a long poem, especially the epic. The word comes from Italian, meaning "song" or singing. Famous examples of epic poetry which employ the canto division are Lord Byron's Don Juan, Valmiki's Ramayana , Dante's The Divine Comedy , and Ezra Pound's The...

 XXI, Alonso de Ercilla
Alonso de Ercilla
Alonso de Ercilla y Zúñiga was a Spanish nobleman, soldier and epic poet from the Basque Country. While in Chile he fought against the Araucanians, and there he began the epic poem La Araucana, considered the greatest Spanish historical poem. This heroic work in 37 cantos is divided into three...

 described Talcahuano
Talcahuano is a port city and commune in the Biobío Region of Chile. It is part of the Greater Concepción conurbation. Talcahuano is located in the south of the Central Zone of Chile.-Geography:...

, warrior and chief of the Mapuche
The Mapuche are a group of indigenous inhabitants of south-central Chile and southwestern Argentina. They constitute a wide-ranging ethnicity composed of various groups who shared a common social, religious and economic structure, as well as a common linguistic heritage. Their influence extended...

 who inhabited the lands near the present-day city that bears his name, bearing emblems of blue, white and red.

Two flags have been documented as used by Mapuche troops. However, these descriptions were made late in the eighteenth century without certainty about the age of them. One consisted of a five-pointed white star on a blue background similar to the canton of the current Chilean flag, while the second had a white eight-pointed star centered on a blue diamond with border zigzagged over a black background. The latter flag appears to be waved by the chief Lautaro
Lautaro was a Mapuche military leader and protagonist of the War of Arauco in Chile. He defeated and exterminated the Spanish forces of Governor Pedro de Valdivia and was almost able to expel them from the area when he was killed in battle.-Early life:...

 in the best-known artistic representation of it, created by painter Peter Subercaseaux.

In the case of the colonizing troops, they used several Spanish flags. Each battalion had its own flag, which could incorporate different elements including the heraldic coat of arms of the King of Spain
Coat of arms of the King of Spain
The blazoning of the coat of arms of the King of Spain is set out in Title II, Rule 1, of Spanish Royal Decree 1511 of 21 January 1977, by which the Rules for Flags, Standards, Guidons, Banners, and Badges were adopted.- Quartered shield :...

. One of the symbols most commonly used was the Cross of Burgundy, a jagged, red saltire
A saltire, or Saint Andrew's Cross, is a heraldic symbol in the form of a diagonal cross or letter ex . Saint Andrew is said to have been martyred on such a cross....

 crossed on a white cloth. The Cross of Burgundy was one of the main symbols of the Spanish Empire overseas, so it flew over the warships and was carried by the militia in the colonial territory during the Spanish colonization of the Americas
Spanish colonization of the Americas
Colonial expansion under the Spanish Empire was initiated by the Spanish conquistadores and developed by the Monarchy of Spain through its administrators and missionaries. The motivations for colonial expansion were trade and the spread of the Christian faith through indigenous conversions...


In 1785, Carlos III
Charles III of Spain
Charles III was the King of Spain and the Spanish Indies from 1759 to 1788. He was the eldest son of Philip V of Spain and his second wife, the Princess Elisabeth Farnese...

 established a uniform flag for all ships of the Spanish Armada
Spanish Armada
This article refers to the Battle of Gravelines, for the modern navy of Spain, see Spanish NavyThe Spanish Armada was the Spanish fleet that sailed against England under the command of the Duke of Medina Sidonia in 1588, with the intention of overthrowing Elizabeth I of England to stop English...

, similar to the current flag of Spain. The use of this red-and-yellow flag would be extended in 1793 to "maritime towns, castles and coastal defenses." Despite the establishment of this new flag, the cross of Burgundy would still often used by colonial entities.

Flag of the Patria Vieja (1812-1814)

At the onset of the Chilean War of Independence, the First Government Junta
Government Junta of Chile (1810)
Government Junta of the Kingdom of Chile , also known as the First Government Junta, was the organ established to rule Chile following the deposition and imprisonment of King Ferdinand VII by Napoleon Bonaparte...

 was proclaimed on September 18, 1810, marking Chile's first step toward independence. It would be during the government of Jose Miguel Carrera
José Miguel Carrera
José Miguel Carrera Verdugo was a Chilean general, member of the prominent Carrera family, and considered one of the founders of independent Chile. Carrera was the most important leader of the Chilean War of Independence during the period of the Patria Vieja...

 in which the desire for emancipation would gain more strength. Nevertheless, the junta was established (at least nominally) as a way of controlling the government during the absence of King Fernando VII, so that the symbols of government remained Hispanic. Therefore, one of the first acts of his government would be the implementation of national symbols, such as an insignia
Insignia or insigne pl -nia or -nias : a symbol or token of personal power, status or office, or of an official body of government or jurisdiction...

, a coat of arms
Coat of arms
A coat of arms is a unique heraldic design on a shield or escutcheon or on a surcoat or tabard used to cover and protect armour and to identify the wearer. Thus the term is often stated as "coat-armour", because it was anciently displayed on the front of a coat of cloth...

 and a distinctive flag to identify the patriots. The first flag, according to tradition, would have been embroidered by the sister of the ruler, Javiera Carrera
Javiera Carrera
Francisca Xaviera Eudoxia Rudecinda Carmen de los Dolores de la Carrera y Verdugo , better known as Javiera Carrera, was a member of one of the most aristocratic Chilean families, the Carrera family of Basque origin, who actively participated in the Chilean War of Independence...

, and would be presented and raised for the first time on July 4, 1812 at a dinner with the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

Consul (representative)
The political title Consul is used for the official representatives of the government of one state in the territory of another, normally acting to assist and protect the citizens of the consul's own country, and to facilitate trade and friendship between the peoples of the two countries...

 Joel Roberts Poinsett
Joel Roberts Poinsett
Joel Roberts Poinsett was a physician, botanist and American statesman. He was a member of the United States House of Representatives, the first United States Minister to Mexico , a U.S...

 to celebrate the anniversary of U.S. independence, an event having a great influence on the locals' struggle for independence.

Named the flag of the Patria Vieja
Patria Vieja
Patria Vieja refers to a time period in the History of Chile occurring between the First Junta of the Government and the Disaster of Rancagua . This period was characterized by the transformation from a movement of temporary autonomy to one of total independence...

("Old Fatherland"), the flag had three horizontal stripes of blue, white and yellow. For some, the bands represent the three branches of government: majesty popular, law and force, respectively; to others, the stripes represent features of nature: the sky, the snowy Andes and fields of golden wheat, respectively. The following September 30, during a celebration in the capital to commemorate the first government junta, the Chilean coat of arms, also called Patria Vieja, was solemnly adopted and included in the center of the flag.

Although the blue-white-yellow flag of the Patricia Vieja was the most recognized, other versions utilized a different arrangement of the colors, such as white-blue-yellow, for example. On other occasions, the red Cross of Santiago was included in the upper left corner together with the coat of arms in the center. The cross originates from the victory of the patriot troops in the Battle of El Roble
Battle of El Roble
The Battle of El Roble was fought on the Itata river, 17 October 1813, between the Chilean patriot general José Miguel Carrera and Spanish royalist forces under the command ofClemente Lantaño and de Luis Urrejola...

, where within the possessions of the captured war booty was a distinctive insignia of the Order of St. James, an important symbol of Spanish pride.

In 1813 after the royalist invasion and the outbreak of the War of Independence, the Spanish symbols were abolished and the tricolor flag was formally adopted by the patriotic forces in a ceremony at the Plaza Mayor of Santiago. Months later in 1814, Carrera left political and military power, and Francisco de la Lastra
Francisco de la Lastra
General Francisco de la Lastra y de la Sotta was a Chilean military officer and the first Supreme Director of Chile .-Biography:...

 was chosen as Supreme director
President of Chile
The President of the Republic of Chile is both the head of state and the head of government of the Republic of Chile. The President is responsible of the government and state administration...

. The war of independence began at great losses for the patriot side, and so signed Treaty of Lircay
Treaty of Lircay
Treaty of Lircay was a truce treaty agreed between the Royalist and the Patriot forces during the Chilean War of Independence.-Background:...

 on May 3, 1814. This agreement reaffirmed the Spanish sovereignty over the territory of Chile, among other things, and as one of its direct consequences, the colonial flag was readopted at the expense of the tricolor.

The flag of the Patria Vieja would wave again after Carrera's return to power July 23, 1814 until the Battle of Rancagua (October 1–2) where the royalist victory ended the patriot government and began the Reconquista
Reconquista (Spanish America)
In colonial Spanish America, the Reconquista refers to the period following the defeat of Napoleon in 1814 during which royalist armies were able to gain the upper hand in the Spanish American wars of independence...

 (or Reconquest) from 1814 to 1817, restoring the imperial standard. The tricolor flag was last flown for the last time in the Battle of the Papers (Batalla de los Papeles), but it would appear again raised in the ships that José Miguel Career brought in 1817 and during his campaigns in Argentina (1820–1821). The Reconquista ended with the victory of Liberation Army of the Andes
Army of the Andes
The Army of the Andes was a military force created by the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata and mustered by general José de San Martín in his campaign to free Chile from the Spanish Empire...

 (Ejército Liberatador de los Andes) in the Battle of Chacabuco
Battle of Chacabuco
The Battle of Chacabuco, fought during the Chilean War of Independence, occurred on February 12, 1817. The Army of the Andes of the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata led by General Captain José de San Martín defeated the Spanish force led by Rafael Maroto...

 on February 12, 1817. In this battle, the patriot troops fought with the army colonel and the flag of the Army of the Andes, inspired by the flag of Argentina
Flag of Argentina
The national flag of Argentina is a triband, composed of three equally wide horizontal bands coloured light blue, white and light blue. There are multiple interpretations on the reasons for those colors...

, without readopting the blue-white-yellow standard.

Today, the flag of the Patria Vieja is used during celebrations for this Chilean historical period, conducted by the National Institute
Instituto Nacional
Instituto Nacional , founded on August 10, 1813 by the Chilean patriot José Miguel Carrera , officially Liceo Ex A-0 - Instituto Nacional General José Miguel Carrera, is Chile's oldest and most prestigious school...

 (Instituto Nacional General José Miguel Carrera), which Carrera's government founded (August 10, 1813). The emblem, adopted as a symbol at the beginning of careerism, was subsequently adopted by Chilean nationalism
Nationalism is a political ideology that involves a strong identification of a group of individuals with a political entity defined in national terms, i.e. a nation. In the 'modernist' image of the nation, it is nationalism that creates national identity. There are various definitions for what...

 movement. For example, the flag with a red lightning bolt emblem superimposed was the insignia of the National Socialist Movement of Chile
National Socialist Movement of Chile
Movimiento Nacional Socialista de Chile was a political movement in Chile, during the Presidential Republic Era, which initially supported the ideas of Adolf Hitler, although it later moved towards a more indigenous form of fascism....

 between 1932 and 1938.

Flag of the Transition (1817-1818)

The victory at the Battle of Chacabuco on May 26, 1817 gave way to a new period known as the Patria Nueva (New Fatherland). A new flag was adopted that day, known today as the Flag of the Transition (Bandera de la Transición), and it is recognized as the first national flag and the last flag used until the one used currently. It was widely publicized at the time that the design was attributed to Juan Gregorio de Las Heras
Juan Gregorio de las Heras
Grand Marshal Juan Gregorio de Las Heras was an Argentine soldier who took part in the Spanish American wars of independence and was also a governor of the province of Buenos Aires.-Biography:...

. This flag had three equal stripes: blue, white, and red. The bottom red strip replaced the yellow from the flag of 1812. The origin of the flag's colors would be based on the description given by Alfonzo de Ercilla as those of the insignia of the Mapuche troops. The significances of these colors were equivalent to those of the Patria Vieja, except that the yellow replaced the red to represent the blood shed during the many conflicts.

Despite initial enthusiasm, this flag did not obtain official legalization and disappeared five months later. One reason for its suppression was that it was easily confused with the flag of the Netherlands or the tricolor of revolutionary France
Flag of France
The national flag of France is a tricolour featuring three vertical bands coloured royal blue , white, and red...

, from which it was inspired. According to the General History of Chile by Diego Barros Arana
Diego Barros Arana
Diego Jacinto Agustín Barros Arana was an educator, diplomat and Chilean historian. He is considered the most important Chilean historian of the 19th century and his most famous work is the General History of Chile...

, the last time the Flag of the Transition was unfurled was at the ceremony to commemorate the Battle of Rancagua, two weeks before the adoption of the current national flag. However, there is information about a possible third flag between the Transitional and final, which would have exchanged the order of white and blue stripes and incorporated the five-pointed white star on the central strip, but there is no certainty of this, and it is not accepted by the majority of Chilean historians.i made this

Third and current flag

The design of the current Chilean flag is commonly attributed to Bernardo O'Higgins
Bernardo O'Higgins
Bernardo O'Higgins Riquelme was a Chilean independence leader who, together with José de San Martín, freed Chile from Spanish rule in the Chilean War of Independence. Although he was the second Supreme Director of Chile , he is considered one of Chile's founding fathers, as he was the first holder...

's Minister of War, José Ignacio Zenteno
José Ignacio Zenteno
José Ignacio Zenteno del Pozo y Silva , was a Chilean soldier, politician and hero of the Chilean War of Independence....

, having been designed by the Spanish soldier Antonio Arcos, although historians argue that is was Gregorio de Andía y Varela who drew it.

The flag was made official on October 18, 1817 by a decree, of which only indirect references to the absence of a copy thereof, which was officially presented during the Pledge of Independence ceremony on February 12, 1818, a ceremony in which the bearer
A standard-bearer is a person who bears an emblem called an ensign or standard, i.e. either a type of flag or an inflexible but mobile image, which is used as a formal, visual symbol of a state, prince, military unit, etc.This can either be an occasional duty, often seen as an honour , or a...

 was Tomás Guido.

The original flag was designed according to the Golden Ratio
Golden ratio
In mathematics and the arts, two quantities are in the golden ratio if the ratio of the sum of the quantities to the larger quantity is equal to the ratio of the larger quantity to the smaller one. The golden ratio is an irrational mathematical constant, approximately 1.61803398874989...

, which is reflected in the relation between the fly and hoist of the flag and the square of the blue canton. The star does not appear upright in the center of the rectangular canton, instead the upper point appears slightly inclined toward the pole in such a way that its projection divides the length of the canton in the Golden Ratio. Additionally, in the center is printed the National Coat of Arms, known from the previous Flag of the Transition and adopted in 1817.
The adoption of the star configuration goes back to the star used by the Mapuches. According to O'Higgins, the star of the flag was the Star of Arauco. In Mapuche iconography, the morning star or Venus, (Mapudungun
The Mapuche language, Mapudungun is a language isolate spoken in south-central Chile and west central Argentina by the Mapuche people. It is also spelled Mapuzugun and sometimes called Mapudungu or Araucanian...

: Wünelfe or the Hispanicized
Hispanicisation or Hispanisation refers to the process by which a place or person becomes influenced by Hispanic culture or a process of cultural and/or linguistic change in which something non-Hispanic becomes Hispanic...

Guñelve is a symbol from the Mapuche iconography which can be described as an octagram or a star with eight points....

) was represented through the figure of an octagram
In geometry, an octagram is an eight-sided star polygon.- Geometry :In general, an octagram is any self-intersecting octagon ....

 star or a foliated cross. Although, the star which was finally adopted bore a star having five points with the design of the guñelve remaining reflected in an asterisk inserted in the center of the star, representing the combination of European and indigenous traditions.

These designs soon fell into oblivion due to the difficulty in the flag's construction. So, the embroidered seal and the eight-pointed asterisk disappeared while the star was kept completely upright. In 1854 the proportion was determined in keeping with the colors of the flag, leaving the canton as a square and the ratio of hoist to fly set to 2:3. Finally in 1912, the diameter of the star was established, the precedence of the colors in the presidential flag and decorative cockade
A cockade is a knot of ribbons, or other circular- or oval-shaped symbol of distinctive colors which is usually worn on a hat.-Eighteenth century:...

 was determined, setting the order as blue, white and red from top to bottom or from left to right of the viewer.

All of these arrangements would later be recast into Supreme Decree No. 1534 of 1967 from the Ministry of the Interior
Ministry of the Interior (Chile)
The Ministry of the Interior and Public Security is the cabinet-level administrative office in charge of "maintaining public order, security and social peace" within Chile. It is also charged with planning, directing, coordinating, executing, controlling, and informing the domestic policies...

 during the government of Eduardo Frei Montalva
Eduardo Frei Montalva
Eduardo Frei Montalva was a Chilean political leader of world stature. In his long political career, he was Minister of Public Works, president of his Christian Democratic Party, senator, President of the Senate, and president of Chile from 1964 to 1970...

. In this document, the national emblems, coat of arms
Coat of arms of Chile
The coat of arms of Chile dates from 1834 and was designed by the English artist Charles Wood Taylor. It is made up by a figurative background divided in two equal parts: the top one is blue and the bottom, red. A five pointed white star is in the centre of the shield...

, the rosette or cockade, and the presidential standard were established. Meanwhile, the Political Constitution of Chile of 1980
Constitution of Chile
In its temporary dispositions, the document ordered the transition from the former military government, with Augusto Pinochet as President of the Republic, and the Legislative Power of the Military Junta , to a civil one, with a time frame of eight...

 establishes in the first clause of article 222 that all inhabitants of the republic should respect Chile and its national emblems.
Few records remain of the original design, the most valuable being that of the flag used in the Declaration of Independence, which had a width of two meters and a length just over two feet. The flag was protected by various hereditary institutions until it was stolen in 1980 by members of the Revolutionary Left Movement
Revolutionary Left Movement (Chile)
Revolutionary Left Movement is a Chilean political party and former left-wing guerrilla organization founded on October 12, 1965...

 as a protest against the military dictatorship
Chile under Pinochet
Chile was ruled by a military dictatorship headed by Augusto Pinochet from 1973 when Salvador Allende was overthrown in a coup d'etat until 1990 when the Chilean transition to democracy began. The authoritarian military government was characterized by systematic suppression of political parties and...

. This group kept the specimen and returned it in late 2003 to the National Historical Museum
Museo Histórico Nacional (Chile)
The Chilean National History Museum is located in Santiago, Chile in Plaza de Armas. The institution was founded on May 2, 1911.-The exhibit rooms and their themes:The museum consists of 19 rooms on two different floors...

, where it can be found today.

There is a rather popular legend
A legend is a narrative of human actions that are perceived both by teller and listeners to take place within human history and to possess certain qualities that give the tale verisimilitude...

 in Chile that claims this third Chilean flag won a "Most Beautiful National Flag in the World" contest. Its most common version states that this happened in 1907 in Blankenberghe, Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

, in the coast of the Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
The Baltic Sea is a brackish mediterranean sea located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 20°E to 26°E longitude. It is bounded by the Scandinavian Peninsula, the mainland of Europe, and the Danish islands. It drains into the Kattegat by way of the Øresund, the Great Belt and...

 [sic]. Other versions of this story say this happened in the 19th century, or that the Chilean flag was placed second after the French flag; there are even variations that talk about Chile's national anthem
National anthem
A national anthem is a generally patriotic musical composition that evokes and eulogizes the history, traditions and struggles of its people, recognized either by a nation's government as the official national song, or by convention through use by the people.- History :Anthems rose to prominence...

, placing it either in the first place or second, after La Marseillaise
La Marseillaise
"La Marseillaise" is the national anthem of France. The song, originally titled "Chant de guerre pour l'Armée du Rhin" was written and composed by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle in 1792. The French National Convention adopted it as the Republic's anthem in 1795...

. The fact that the only documented version of this story gets basic details wrong (Belgium has a coast on the North Sea
North Sea
In the southwest, beyond the Straits of Dover, the North Sea becomes the English Channel connecting to the Atlantic Ocean. In the east, it connects to the Baltic Sea via the Skagerrak and Kattegat, narrow straits that separate Denmark from Norway and Sweden respectively...

, not the Baltic Sea) doesn't reflect well on its historical accuracy.

Similar flags

The flag of the U.S. state of Texas is similar to the Chilean flag. The flag of Texas
Flag of Texas
The Flag of the State of Texas is defined by law as follows:The Texas flag is known as the "Lone Star Flag" . This flag was introduced to the Congress of the Republic of Texas on December 28, 1838, by Senator William H. Wharton...

 was designed and adopted on January 25, 1839; whereas Chile's flag was adopted 21 years earlier on October 18, 1817. It is worthy of note, however, that the Chilean flag was not standardized until 1912, when the diameter of the star was established. The Chilean flag has had varying interpretations, due to its single star and bar, supporting the idea that the star represents the unitary state
Unitary state
A unitary state is a state governed as one single unit in which the central government is supreme and any administrative divisions exercise only powers that their central government chooses to delegate...

 instead of a federation. However, it can be argued that the similarity of shapes and colors between the Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

 and Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

 flags is just a coincidence, since these patterns were common at the time and not necessarily unique to the United States.

In 1822 during the Peruvian War of Independence, troops from both the Liberating Expedition of Peru (Expedición Libertadora del Perú) and the United Liberating Army of Peru (Ejército Unido Libertador del Perú) used a standard that was identical to the modern flag of Chile, except their flag had three stars in the canton, representing the three nations united by the cause of independence: the Argentine
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

 provinces, Chile and Peru
Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....


On the other hand, the Chilean flag would have served as inspiration for the supporters of Cuban independence at the start the Ten Years' War
Ten Years' War
The Ten Years' War , also known as the Great War and the War of '68, began on October 10, 1868 when sugar mill owner Carlos Manuel de Céspedes and his followers proclaimed Cuba's independence from Spain...

 in the so-called War Cry of Yara (Spanish: Grito de Yara) in 1868. The leader of this revolution, Carlos Manuel de Céspedes
Carlos Manuel de Céspedes
Carlos Manuel de Céspedes del Castillo was a Cuban planter who freed his slaves and made the declaration of Cuban independence in 1868 which started the Ten Years' War...

, would have been inspired to create the first Cuban flag named La Demajagua in honor of the place where the revolt began. Two main differences are that the red and blue colors are inverted and that the red canton extends to the middle of the fly instead of one-third as on the Chilean flag.

Céspedes would have been inspired by the Chilean flag as a way of honoring the efforts of Benjamín Vicuña Mackenna
Benjamín Vicuña Mackenna
Benjamín Vicuña Mackenna was a Chilean writer, journalist, historian and politician. Vicuña Mackenna was of Irish and Basque descent.-Biography:...

 on behalf of Chile to achieve independence of Cuba after the Spanish defeat in the Chincha Islands War
Chincha Islands War
The Chincha Islands War was a series of coastal and naval battles between Spain and its former colonies of Peru and Chile from 1864 to 1866, that began with Spain's seizure of the guano-rich Chincha Islands, part of a series of attempts by Isabel II of Spain to reassert her country's lost...

. According to Cespedes's son, his father "imagined a new flag that bore the same colors as that of the Carreras and O'Higgins and that would differentiate itself from the disposition of those colors." However, the flag would not have much success, and an earlier design would become the definitive Cuban flag.

The first flag of the Confederate States of America
Confederate States of America
The Confederate States of America was a government set up from 1861 to 1865 by 11 Southern slave states of the United States of America that had declared their secession from the U.S...

, known as the Stars and Bars
Stars and bars
Stars and bars may refer to* The first official flag of the Confederate States of America* A graphical method used to derive the formula for multiset coefficients and other combinatorial theorems* A 1988 film starring Daniel Day-Lewis...

, is somewhat similar to the flag of Chile.

The flag of Liberia
Flag of Liberia
The Liberian flag bears close resemblance to the flag of the United States, showing the ex-American slave origins of the country. The Liberian flag has similar red and white stripes, as well as a blue square with a white star in the canton.- Symbolism :...

, founded in 1847, also includes a single star on the canton, but it has multiple horizontal stripes similar to the United States Flag.

Also, the Flag of Malacca
Flag of Malacca
The Flag of Malacca is the flag of the Malaysian state of Malacca. Red, white, yellow and blue, which are the colours of the flag of Malaysia, are also used in the flag of Malacca. This shows that Malacca is a member state of Malaysia. The star and crescent represents Islam, the religion of the...

, a state in Malaysia, is similar, having the same colors (except the yellow star and moon) and a similar canton design, although the proportions and color order are different.

The state of Amazonas in Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

 also adopted a similar flag 1982. Its flag also has an elongated blue canton with multiple stars.


The construction of the flag of Chile, at present, is officially defined in Supreme Decree No. 1,534 of the Ministry of the Interior, published in 1967, on the use of national emblems, which systematized and consolidated various laws and regulations on the subject. (Other laws include Law No. 2,597 of January 11 of 1912, concerning the colors and proportions of the national flag, the presidential sash and rosette or cockade, and Supreme Decree No. 5805 of the Ministry of the Interior, published August 26, 1927, sets the size of the national flag for use in buildings and public offices.) According to the decree, the ratio between length and width of the flag is 3:2, being divided horizontally into two bands of equal size. While the lower section corresponds to the color red, the upper area is divided once in a blue square and a white rectangle whose lengths are in proportion 1:2, respectively. The star is located in the center of the blue canton and is constructed on a circle whose diameter is half the side of the canton.


According to Chilean law, public use of the flag is allowed without prior authorization. Before October 2011 its use was prohibited, without the approval of the governor concerned. This rule, however, was rarely enforced, as the flag was widely used on street celebrations, stadiums or rallies, without penal consequences.

Public buildings and private residences are required to display the flag on Navy Day (May 21), National Day (September 18) and Army Day (September 19). If the flag is displayed incorrectly or not displayed at all during these days, the person responsible may be fined.

An exception was made in 2010 during the bicentennial celebrations, where display of the flag was permitted during the whole month of September.

On a pole

According to the protocol concerned, the flag should be hoisted from the tip of a white mast, and if done in company with other flags different, they must be of equal or lesser size. The Chilean flag must be set to the left if the sum of the flags is an even number or the center if the sum is an odd number. The flag must also be the first to be lifted and lowered the last.

Freely hanging

The Chilean flag can be displayed hanging either vertically or horizontally from a building or wall. In both cases, the blue square should be to the viewer's upper left.

Respect due to the flag

Article 22 of the 1980 Constitution of Chile
Constitution of Chile
In its temporary dispositions, the document ordered the transition from the former military government, with Augusto Pinochet as President of the Republic, and the Legislative Power of the Military Junta , to a civil one, with a time frame of eight...

 states that all inhabitants of the Republic owe respect to Chile and to its national emblems. The national emblems of Chile are the national flag, the coat of arms of the Republic
Coat of arms of Chile
The coat of arms of Chile dates from 1834 and was designed by the English artist Charles Wood Taylor. It is made up by a figurative background divided in two equal parts: the top one is blue and the bottom, red. A five pointed white star is in the centre of the shield...

 and the national anthem. Pursuant to article 6 of the State Security Act of Chile (Decreto No. 890 de 1975), it is a felony against the public order to publicly mistreat the flag, the coat of arms, the name of the motherland or the national anthem.

Regional flags

Chile is administratively divided
Administrative divisions of Chile
The administrative division or territorial organization of Chile exemplifies characteristics of a unitary state. State administration is functionally and geographically decentralized, as appropriate for each authority in accordance with the law....

 into 15 regions in which the internal government corresponds to the intendant
The title of intendant has been used in several countries through history. Traditionally, it refers to the holder of a public administrative office...

. Some regional governments have adopted their own insignias, though most lack relevance, being principally used for public, regional organizations. The only exception is the flag of the Magallanes and Antartica Chilena Region, which has been adopted as a symbol of identity Magellan by its inhabitants.

The regional flags can be found in the Access Hall of the National Congress of Chile
National Congress of Chile
The National Congress is the legislative branch of the government of the Republic of Chile.The National Congress of Chile was founded on July 4, 1811...

 in the city of Valparaíso
Valparaíso is a city and commune of Chile, center of its third largest conurbation and one of the country's most important seaports and an increasing cultural center in the Southwest Pacific hemisphere. The city is the capital of the Valparaíso Province and the Valparaíso Region...

. Many communes and cities also have their own flags.

Pledge to the National Flag

In memory of the brave heroes of the Battle of La Concepcion
Battle of La Concepción
The Battle of Concepción was fought on July 9 and July 10, 1882, during the Sierra Campaign of the War of the Pacific. Heavily outnumbered, the Chilean detachment of 77 men under the command of Lieutenant Ignacio Carrera Pinto was annihilated by a 1.300 Peruvian force, many of them armed with...

 in 1882, on July 10 each year, the very day the final Chilean soldiers in La Concepcion died in defense of the Chilean nation, this Pledge to the Flag (Juramento de la Bandera) is recited at all installations and military bases of the Chilean Army
Chilean Army
The Chilean Army is the land arm of the Military of Chile. This 45,000-person army is organized into seven divisions, a special operations brigade and an air brigade....

, Chilean Navy
Chilean Navy
-Independence Wars of Chile and Peru :The Chilean Navy dates back to 1817. A year before, following the Battle of Chacabuco, General Bernardo O'Higgins prophetically declared "this victory and another hundred shall be of no significance if we do not gain control of the sea".This led to the...

 and Chilean Air Force
Chilean Air Force
The Chilean Air Force is the air force of Chile, a branch of the Chilean military.-History:The first step towards the current FACh was taken by Teniente Coronel Pedro Pablo Dartnell, when he founded the Servicio de Aviación Militar de Chile on December 20, 1910, being trained as a pilot in France...

 across the nation in remembrance of this great moment in Chilean history.

English translation of the pledge
I (rank and name) pledge, for God and this flag,
to serve with fidelity to my Fatherland,
whether be in the sea, in the land, and in any other place,
till I render my life in every necessary way,
in compliance and fully completed with my military debts and obligations,
conforming with the laws and vigilant regulations,
and obedient with rapidity and punctuality to the orders of my superiors,
and I will deserve my secured place as a true soldier
that my Fatherland truly loves and honors more!


Chile Historical Flag
  • Sobre los verdaderos simbolos patrios de Chile simbolospatrios.cl
  • The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.