The official flag of Ecuador consists of three horizontal stripes: a yellow stripe at the top, blue at the center, and a red stripe at the bottom. Ecuador's national coat of arms is featured in the center of the flag. The yellow stripe occupies half the flag, while thinner blue and red stripes occupy the other half. The flag of Ecuador resembles the flag of Colombia in every aspect, except for the coat of arms. The earliest version of the flag was first adopted in 1835, and later readopted on September 26, 1860. In 1900 the coat of arms was added in order to distinguish it from the flags of Colombia and Venezuela. The yellow color on the flag symbolizes the fertility of the land and mineral deposits, blue represents the sea and the sky, while red represents the blood spilled during the nation's struggle for independence.
History of the Flag of Ecuador
The flags of Colombia, Ecuador, and Venezuela share are similar in that they all are made up of horizontal stripes of the same color and order, but are not identical. All three countries adopted the colors of Gran Colombia's flag that was designed by Francisco de Miranda. The flag was inspired by the colors of the Burger Guard of Hamburg, which Miranda saw during an expedition in Germany. On March 12, 1806, Miranda raised the yellow-blue-red flag on a hired ship during his expedition to Venezuela, marking the first time the flag was used as a national symbol. After Spaniard Sebastián de Benalcáza conquered Ecuador, he raised the flag of the Spanish Empire as a symbol of conquest over the land. On August 10, 1809 rebels called for independence by raising a red flag, and in September 1820 Gabriel Garcia Moreno assumed power after leading his forces in the Battle of Guayaquil. Moreno readopted the yellow-blue-red flag, replacing a flag that consisted of white, blue and white vertical stripes, with seven white stars on the blue stripe. The stars represented the provinces of Ecuador.
Variants of the Flag of Ecuador
The current national flag was initially intended for military, state offices, and embassies across the world, but its use was later expanded for general use. An alternative flag, according to Registro Oficial No. 1272 of 1900, does not include the coat of arms. Without the coat of arms, the flag closely resembles the flag of Colombia. When at sea, Ecuadorian merchant ships are required to hoist the flag without the coat of arms, while Colombian merchant ships at sea hoist a version of the Colombian flag that includes the addition of a red and blue oval and a star at the center.