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

By Joseph Kiprop on April 28 2018 in World Facts

The flag of Andorra.

The Principality of Andorra adopted its national flag in July 1971. The flag has a horizontal rectangle design with a length-width ratio of 10:7. The flag's design features a vertical tri-color of blue, yellow, and red (as they appear from the flag’s hoist to the fly). This design is popular around the world, and resembles that of three other countries: Chad, Romania, and Moldova. The three stripes appear to be of equal size, but the middle yellow stripe is actually considerably thicker than the other two. The official width ratio of the three stripes is 8:9:8 for the blue, yellow, and red stripes, respectively. Centered on the yellow stripe is the principality’s coat of arms. Andorra borrowed the tri-band design and the symbolism of the colors from the neighboring (then-kingdoms) nations of France and Spain. Therefore, the red band is said to symbolize strength and courage, the yellow band represents generosity, while the blue band represents nobility.

Andorra's Coat of Arms: Description

Andorra adopted its official coat of arms in 1993, in line with the adoption of a new constitution, but it had existed in Andorra since the Middle-Ages. The coat of arms is made up of a shield comprised of four equally-sized segments. The top-left segment features a red field on which a miter is centered, which supports a yellow staff that runs diagonally. The top-right section features a yellow field, on which three red vertical stripes of equal size run. The bottom-left section also features a yellow field, but with four equally-sized vertical red stripes. The bottom-right segment features two red cows, each with blue horns and hooves and a bluebell tied on the neck. The red cows are centered on a yellow field. At the bottom of the escutcheon is the Latin inscription, “Virtus Unita fortiori.” There exists another official variation of the court of arms, that of the High Authorities, which is held by the co-princes of the principality (The Bishop of Urgell and the president of France). This variation features a crown above the shield, which is surrounded by a vine with golden leaves and a tri-colored ribbon which bears the Latin inscription “Virtus Unita fortiori.”

Andorra's Coat of Arms: Symbolism

The national motto of Andorra is written at the bottom of the emblem in Latin, which in English translates to “united virtue is stronger.” The top-left arm that bears the religious staff and headgear represents the Bishop of Urgell, who is a co-prince of the principality and the head of government. The top-left arm that features three red vertical strips on a yellow field represents the Count of Foix, historically another co-prince of Andorra, and currently the president of France. The bottom-left arm that features four red strips running vertically on a yellow field represents Catalonia, which was traditionally been an ally of the principality. The final arm, the two cows set upon a yellow field, represents the Viscount of Bearn, another traditional ally of Andorra.

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