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The Costa Rica flag represents one of only two neutral countries in the world- and the story behind its flag is fascinating!
Of course, I absolutely adore Costa Rica- what is there not to love? Endless beaches to lush rainforest. Consistently one of the happiest countries on Earth. No military. Focus on sustainability and eco-tourism. One of the most visited countries in the world. Need I say more?
On top of that, the Costa Rican flag is one of the most recognizable flags in the world. It is a symbol of national pride for the people of Costa Rica and has a long and interesting history. In this blog post, I’ll tell you some the most important facts about the Costa Rican flag. We will cover its history, its design, and what it represents for the people of Costa Rica.
1. Official Adoption
The National Flag of Costa Rica was officially adopted on November 27, 1906, but it wasn’t designed until 1948 by the president’s wife, Pacifica Fernandez. (World Atlas)
Like most national flags, the Costa Rican flag is a horizontal rectangle. It has 5 horizontal stripes in the colors of blue, white and red. These are also the national colors. The blue bands are placed at the top and bottom. The red band is double wide and there are two white bands between the red bands. (World Atlas)
3. National Coat of Arms
The coat of arms is placed on the middle left of the flag. The coat of arms depicts three volcanoes. Each volcano represents a different mountain range in the country. The three mountain ranges are the Cordillera Guanacaste, the Cordillera Volcánica Central and the Cordillera Talamanca.
The horizontal lines represent the view over the Pacific Ocean. (World Atlas)
4. Changes to the Flag
Over the years, the flag has undergone 10 changes. (Adventure Tours Costa Rica)
5. Versions of the Flag
Costa Rica actually has two different versions of it’s flag. One has the coat of arms, and one does not. Other than the coat of arms, both flags are identical. (Go Visit Costa Rica)
The blue on the flag represents the sky. Metaphorically, it represents opportunity.
The red stripe stands for the blood shed during the country’s road to independence. Metaphorically, it symbolizes the warmth and generosity of the Costa Rican people (also known as ticos).
White means peace, happiness and freedom. (Adventure Tours Costa Rica)
The seven stars on the flag represent the seven provinces of Costa Rica: Alajuela, Cartago, Guanacaste, Heredia, Limon, Puntarenas. (Go Visit Costa Rica)
The flag’s original designer, first lady Pacifica Fernandez was light blue and yellow, and inspired by the French Revolution. (Adventure Tours)
9. Recent Adaptation
The flag was updated in 1998 to add smoke coming from the volcanoes on the coat of arms.
10. National Anthem
The national anthem of Costa Rica praises the flag, with the lyrics stating: “your beautiful flag” (nuestra hermosa bandera) showing the pride Costa Ricans have in their national flag.
Welcome! I’m Christa, a Spanish teacher married to a handsome Costa Rican and mother of two bilingual daughters. We’ve spent over 25 years living in and traveling to Costa Rica with our daughters, and this website is my love letter to all things Costa Rica- and to bilingual parenting too. You can read my full story here. Thanks for stopping by!