The Dominican Republic declared its independence from Haiti on February 27, 1844 and hoisted a flag created by Concepcion Bona and Maria Trinidad Sanchez. The original Dominican flag featured a white cross with two ultramarine blue quadrants on top and two vermilion red quadrants on the bottom. Designed by the country’s Founding Father Juan Pablo Duarte, the next national flag of the Dominican Republic was officially adopted a little over 8 months later on November 6, 1844, the same day as the country’s first constitution. Senor Duarte added the Dominican Coat of Arms to the center of the flag, which is formally described in Article 21 of the Dominican Constitution.
The current Dominican Republic flag features a white cross that stretches to the outer edges and divides the emblem into equal quadrants. The top of the flag features a blue rectangle on the left, or hoist, and a red rectangle on the right, or fly, of the flag. The rectangles on the bottom row are the opposite with red on the left and blue on the right. The alternating design was adopted in 1908. The Dominican Coat of Arms adorns the center of the cross and flag.
The coat of arms features six spears supporting draped cloth with alternating colors of blue, red and white similar to the field of the flag. Emblazoned on the shield are an open bible and a gold cross. Legend holds that the Bible is open to the Gospel of John. One account says it is the first chapter while another declares it is Chapter 8, verse 32, which reads “and the truth shall set you free.” An olive bough on the left and a palm branch on the right side flank and support the shield. Above the shield, a banner of blue ribbon is inscribed in gold with the phrase “Dios, Patria, Libertad.” The phrase, which means God, Fatherland and Liberty, was the slogan of the Trinitarians. The group led the cause of independence. Beneath the shield, a red ribbon features Republica Dominicana in gold letters.
Aquamarine blue color represents the clear blue sky, freedom and liberty. Vermillion red symbolizes patriotic spirit and the blood that was shed by patriots in the fight for freedom. White is the color of peace and dignity. The cross is emblematic of the country’s faith, honor and pride.