Last modified: 2010-04-09 by dov gutterman
Keywords: ecuador | america | condor | colombia |
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image by Eugene Ipavec, 7 September 2006
Official Name: Republic of Ecuador
(República del Ecuador)
Location: South America
Government Type: Republic
Flag adopted: 26 September 1860
Coat of Arms adopted: 5 December 1900
ISO Code: EC
I just returned from a trip to Ecuador, and I made a few flag
observations while I was there. When I arrived in November there
was little evidence of flags except over government buildings.
But during the week of the Quito Fiesta the Ecuadoran and Quito
flags appeared on just about every storefront, balcony, window
and chimney pot. The fiesta celebrates the re-founding of Quito
on 6 Dec. 1534 by Spanish General Benalcazar. Quito had
pre-existed for some 4000 years, but Inca general Ruminahui had
evactuated and razed the city a few days earlier.
Below is the Ecuadoran flag with no coat of arms (see: Civil Flag). This flag differs from Colombia's only in its proportions (which means they cannot be differentiated unless they are side by side and correctly manufactured.) I assume this is the civil flag. Almost all the Ecuadoran flags on display were incorrectly proportioned and showed the national coat of arms (which I assume to be the state flag version). The relative size of the coa varied from about half the height to almost the full height of the field. I assume the people feel the need to include the coa to differentiate their flag from neighboring Colombia's, even if it is not strictly correct to do so.
The colours of the Ecuadoran flag are said to represent:
The flags of Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela are almost
identical because at independence in 1822 they formed a
confederation (Gran Colombia). They
parted ways in 1830, but retained the same essential flag whose
inspiration and design is attributed to freedom fighter General
TF Mills, 11 December 1997
The Ecuatorian flag is very similar to the Venezuelan and the
Colombian Flag. This happens because these three nations (under
the names of Guayaquil, Venezuela and Nueva Granada) formed, back
in the 1820s, the Great Colombia Republic (GCR),
and then adopted the Mirandinian-Venezuelan tricolori. The ratio
of this flag, however, differs from its sister flags: it's 1:2,
whereas the Colombian and Venezuelan flags are 2:3. The civil
flag wears only the tricolori, the state flag, as happens with
Colombia and Venezuela, also sports the country's Coat of Arms.
In 1860, Ecuador adopted the flag we know today.
The symbolism of the flag is analogous to those of Colombia and Venezuela ; being as follows:
Yellow, for the riches of the land and the warmth of the sun.
Blue, for the seas and sky which divide us form our motherland, Spain; and, Red, for the blood shed by the patrotical soldiers and martyrs of the independence wars.
Guillermo Aveledo, 8 October 1999
On September 26, 1860, Gabriel Garcia Moreno, Supreme Chief of
Government, decreed the flag change to its present (and ancient)
colours, adopting the ratio 1:2 which differentiates Ecuador flag
to that of Colombia (which would adopt the same distribution of
its tricolori the following year).
Guillermo Aveledo, 9 October 1999
I´m from Ecuador, and it seems that you got there two
versions of the ecuadorian flag, one as the "civilian
flag", the other as the "state flag". But there is
no such thing as a civilian flag. The thing is that here it is
very common for people that make their own flag to
"pass" the coat of arms, because of its difficulty. But
there is only one flag, and it is the one with the coat of arms.
It is really a mistake that people forget to put on their flag
the coat of arms, but they dont really give it that much of
importance, because when celebrating a national day, and showing
one´s patriotism, everything counts!!!
Carlos, 21 March 2000
Every publication seems to use a different eagle. at
"Nouveau Petit Larousse Illustre" (1924) it is flying
up looking towards the fly, but I'm sure I've seen flying up
looking towards the hoist, and floating looking towards the hoist
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 29 October 2000
According to Abum 2000 [pay00]
, the plain Civil Flag of Ecuador, do not
Jan Zrzavy, 14 January 2001
In Ecuador the civil flag and civil ensign is without arms,
possibly no one cares about private use of flag with Coat of
Arms. On <www.explored.com.ec>
you find a link to the national flag, where the state flag (with
Coat of Arms) is illustrated, but the text "Nacional del
Ecuador" discribes the plain tricolored flag. Although the
text mentiones the decree of 1900 it does not say anything about
later changes. I do not believe that the civil ensign is with
Coat of Arms as this might lead to confusion with the Colombian
civil ensign, which is the same flag with a badge in the center.
I think the flag with Coat of Arms is preferred in articles, maps
etc. to distinguish it from the flag of Colombia, but the
official civil flag is without Coat of Arms.
Ralf Stelter, 16 January 2001 and 25 Febuary 2001
According to Abum 2000 [pay00]
- National Flag (CSW/CS- (1:2)) - Note explains that private
citizens sometimes fly unofficial flag without Coat of Arms. It
seems to me that the distinction in usage between the flag with
Coat of Arms and that one without is not quite clear, and would
require more investigation. The original edition of Albium 2000
have here the Coat of Arms that is greatly oversized, and as
Armand explained, it should be made smaller, with hieght equal to
1/2 hoist size. Interesting, previous edition of Album has it
eljko Heimer, 1 August 2001
The Flaggenbuch (1939-41) section dedicated to Ecuador
captioned it as "State ensign, used as standard of the State
President, war ensign, jack of the warships, ceremonial ensign,
service ensign inside the country and abroad."
Ivan Sache, 2 August 2001
While it appears that the tendency has become (similar to
Spain and Argentina) to use the flag with the arms on land (both
inside and especially outside the nation), this does not
necessarily mean that Ecuadorian merchant ships automatically
wear the flag with the arms. The few Ecuadorian
merchantmen I have seen (visiting Houston TX, USA) wore the
plain tricolor; While the role as "civil flag" may be
fading, I wonder whether the established role as "civil
ensign" should be discounted, unless legislation
specifically abolishes the longstanding practice at sea.
James T. Liston, 25 November 2001
Today I saw on TV, part of ceremony of assumption of the new
president of the Republic of Ecuador. As you can imagine, I
observed in detail the Ecuadorian National flag and presidential
band. From that observation I can comment two things:
- the shade of blue of the Ecuadorian flag (and the presidential band too) is darker than the blue one on the flags of Venezuela and Colombia. Generally, as much in books of international Vexillology or Web Pages usually shows the three flags (Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador) with similar shades of such colors, but the "Ecuadorian blue" is very dark (nearer to the shade of blue called "turqui"). That's saw clearly today.
- Another thing which taked my attention was the Ecuadorian presidential band, something distant of the design usually followed on Latin American presidential bands (to almost reproduce exactly the disposition of the flag, with the National Coat of Arms on the center). The Ecuadorian band apparently is formed by three equal strips (reproducing the Miranda's flag of three strips of equal wide like in Venezuela), difference it from the Ecuadorian Flag which has the yellow stripe with double wide, like in Colombia. Another detail which interested to me was that in addition to the Coat of Arms the band has embroidering along the text: "MI PODER" ("MY POWER") (embroidered shield)"EN LA CONSTITUCIÖN" ("IN THE CONSTITUTION").
Francisco Gregoric (translated by Raul Orta), 15 January 2003
Dean McGee wrote: "Interesting, in English,
"turquoise" is usually a light, greenish blue."
As I reported, the Ecuadorian Blue looks darker than the Venezuelan and Colombian blue. You can see the Presidential Band of Ecuador at the CNN en Español Homepage: at <cnnenespanol.com>. The "turqui" blue for us is a blue with a little black. In Argentina it was used by Federalists in the XIXth Century instead of the "Celeste" or Sky blue in the Argentine Flag. I think that the colour you call "turquoise" is the colour we call "turquesa" in Spanish (light, greenish blue). Turquesa is also the name of a greenish blue mineral very common in Mexico and south of the USA used for jewelry For Spanish speakers "turquí" is a dark shadow of blue.
Francisco Gregoric, 17 January 2003
I think we should remember that the flag bearing arms is the
'National Flag of Ecuador' - it is not a 'State Flag' in the
sense that only Government agencies may fly it.
We should, perhaps, also remember that the civil population is nowhere (in law) forbidden to fly the National Flag, so it is hardly surprising (particularly given today's cheaper manufacturing techniques) that this same civil population do so (with or without arms on one side or both).
If I have interpreted the various laws and regulations correctly, the situation is as follows:
- Government agencies fly the National Flag, whilst Municipal authorities may fly either the National Flag or the special variant (with a circle of stars in place of the arms) created for them, and the civil population may fly either the Civil Flag or the National Flag.
- Government vessels (manned by a civilian crew) fly the National Flag, civil vessels may fly either the National Flag or the Civil Ensign whilst naval ships fly a suit of flags consisting of a Naval Ensign (the National Flag in proportions of 2:3) from the stern or at the peak, a Masthead Pennant (continuously) from the main masthead and a Jack (blue field charged with a fouled anchor and condor in white) at the bow when at anchor.
Christopher Southworth, 8 May 2009
Both common Ecuadorians and Colombians use their flags with
and without the arms on a daily basis.
Even though norms (laws or decrees) describe the proper use of civil and war flags, there is little knowledge, let alone compliance, with those norms outside police and military related institutions in both countries.
Interestingly enough, Colombian National Police units wear the flag without arms in their uniforms. Ecuador´s Army Soldiers, at least near the common border, wear their flag with arms on their field uniforms. Colombian Army soldiers do not employ flags of any kind in their field uniforms, at least within Colombia (too colorful for camouflage).
Many civil institutions (Universities, Labor Unions, Private enterprises, etc ) in both Colombia and Ecuador do employ a Flag with a arms in their ceremonies, albeit it should employed only as a War Flag.
Inquiring in Ecuador on the subject of the regulation for the use of the arms, the common assumption was that there was a rule somewhere that ordered the use of the arms in every flag, but no one, not even army officers seemed to remember when or which kind of norm so ruled.
Nicolás Velásquez, 9 May 2009
There's a PDF
document taken from the official website of the Presidency of
Ecuador. It mentions the use of the flag, the
"pabellón" (something like the national flag but
square with the Coat of Arms on it) and several other
E.R., 22 August 2009
On page two of this document, the ratio of the national flag
is mentioned as 2:3 ratio. However, we and others have the ratio
at 1:2, along with several photographs in this document. I looked
up the law
mentioned in the document,
Resolución No. 24-047, yet the only thing
that is mentioned is the drawing of the coat of arms.
Zachary Harden, 22 August 2009
image by António Martins, 22 April 1999
The plain tricolour certainly does legally exist (whether or
not anybody bothers to fly it) by the Law of 5 December 1900 (as
published in 'Registro Oficial' No.1272).
Christopher Southworth, 19 August 2004
This is a clip from wikipedia about a official decree of
Ecuador clarifying the use of the flag:
"The law of 5 December 1900 (Registro Oficial No. 1272) specifies that Ecuador's civil flag and ensign are different from its state flag and ensign in that the state flags are charged with Ecuador's coat of arms whereas the civil flags are not. However, in practice the state flag is often used as a civil flag, especially where this is necessary to distinguish it from the flag of Colombia, which is similar but of different proportions."
Nyddia Lugo-Spahr, 7 May 2009
Some photos of Ecuador presidential sash are at wikimedia
The text on sash is: MI PODER EN LA CONSTITUCIÓN.
Aleksandar Nemet, 24 January 2010
Ecuadorian army units carry the national flag (bandera
nacional) in an approximately square format with the national
coat of arms embroidered on the center and with the unit
designation in an arc of gold letters above the coat of arms and
in a straight line below it; gold fringe. The finial is a
gilt condor with wings spread. The cravat is red with gold
fringe and the flag is tied to the staff with yellow cords.
Source: pictures at <www.fuerzasarmadasecuador.org>.
In addition, photographs show other flags, apparently unit flags, of various designs being carried in troop formations. See <www.fuerzasarmadasecuador.org>.
Joe McMillan, 1 March 2002
image by Santiago Dotor, 26 January 2001
Yesterday the Spanish Undersecretary for Immigration travelled
to Ecuador to negotiate an agreement on the immigrants' quota.
Images on TV showed crowds of people waving small plastic flags.
Some looked handmade, others more or less industry manufactured.
There were of course many mistaken variants, for instance the
Spanish flag was shown with stripes of equal width, the
Ecuatorian flag with the stripes in reverse order, also in
However there was one flag, apparently a variant of the Ecuatorian one, which struck me particularly. Firstly because it had too many differences with the national flag, secondly because many people were displaying exactly the same flag, thirdly because it did not look like being homemade but printed on plastic.
It was a triband of light green, yellow, red, in proportions 2+1+1. It does not seem to appear in any of the Ecuatorian flags' pages in FOTW.
Santiago Dotor, 26 January 2001
Could that be a version of the State Flag of El Oro, without the national flag at the
Miles Li, 26 January 2001
Well, it could, but... it looks more like a coincidence. To
start with, El Oro is quite far away from Quito (the Ecuatorian
capital) to drive so many demostrators over there. Secondly, the
flag mentioned by Miles Li appears under the heading
"Previously reported two WRONG flags" and with a
footnote "by eljko Heimer, 15 July 1996 (flag
according to W.Smith (insecure))". Thirdly, it certainly has
a canton which the flags I saw lacked. Fourthly, the shade of
green was much lighter in those flags.
Santiago Dotor, 26 January 2001
I saw that flag too for a few seconds, but to me it seems as
At <dailynews.yahoo.com> there is a image is related with the one reported by Santiago. It seems to be a bolivian flag (caption say Ecuadorian flag bust is clearly wrong). Perhaps people from Bolivia is between the imigrants. I agree with Santiago, the yellow stripe in the flag seen was narrower
Jaume Ollé, 26 January 2001
No, I could see it for longer period and it was definitely
2:1:1. No doubt about that point, nor about the (light) shade of
green. That flag at <dailynews.yahoo.com>
is probably nothing to do with the one I spotted. It is being
flown by South American immigrants in Spain, so it might be any
South American flag, and most probably it is Bolivian immigrants
who appear in the picture.
The flags I spotted were being flown at the Ecuatorian capital (Quito), by many people (all waving the same flag, all new, manufactured flags) welcoming (or perhaps demonstrating against!) the Spanish Undersecretary for Immigration. And the colours showed regular shades for both red and yellow, but a very bright green.
Santiago Dotor, 29 January 2001