World Facts

What Do the Colors and Symbols of the Flag of Chile Mean?

The current flag of Chile was officially adopted on October 18, 1817.

The current flag of Chile (shown above) was officially adopted on October 18, 1817.

The flag is modeled after the U.S. Stars and Stripes. Blue represents the color of the high-mountain skys, white is symbolic of the snow in the Andes Mountains, and red symbolizes the blood shed during the long struggle for independence from Spain.

History of the Flag of Chile

Chile adopted the Flag of the Transition after the Battle of Chacabuco, which was a triband with blue, white, and red stripes. Although the flag was well received by Chileans, it could not be used in official matters because it resembled the flags of both the Netherlands and France. As a result, the flag was receded five months later. The current flag of Chile was designed by Antonio Arcos, and then supported by Minister of War Jose Ignacio Zenteno for use as the national flag. The original version of the flag had a slightly tilted star, with a smaller eight-pointed star at the center, as well as a coat of arms in the middle of the flag. Use of the star can be traced back to the Mapuche. However, the design proved to be challenging to construct and consequentially, the asterisk and the coat of arms were removed. Additionally, the star was also upright rather than tilted.

Hoisting the Flag

Chilean law stipulates that the flag must be hoisted on the tip of a white pole. If raised along with other flags, the Chilean flag must be of equal size or taller. It must be raised on the left side if the number of flags to be raised is even and at the center in case of an odd number. Since 2011 the public is allowed to use the flag without state consent. All Chilean public and private residences are required to display the flag on the following days, which mark Navy Day, National Day, and Army Day, respectively: 21 May, 18 September, and 19 September. Failure to display or incorrect display of the flag on these dates can result in fines by the state.

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