History and Design of the Venezuela Flag
Venezuela’s current flag was introduced in 2006 and features a horizontal tricolor of yellow, blue and red, which dates back to the initial flag flown in 1811 during the War of Independence. A set of stars was eventually included in the design, as was a coat of arms in the upper left corner. The stars symbolize the provinces that supported the independence of Venezuela. However, multiple modifications have been made to the design since 1811, such as the addition of more stars and changes regarding the emblem of a horse that is featured on the flag’s coat of arms.
The flag also bears a very strong resemblance to one created in 1806 by Francisco de Miranda for his expedition to liberate Venezuela, which was not ultimately successful. Later, in 1811, the National Congress of Venezuela adopted this flag with a few modifications. It was comprised of three horizontal stripes of the same measurements, with the yellow, blue and red going from top to bottom, respectively. This original design was initially flown in Jacmel, Haiti, on March 12th, 1806, just before Miranda’s departure on his ill-fated expedition. However, the first time it was officially flown on Venezuelan soil was not until August 3rd, 2006. Prior to this unveiling of the flag, Venezuelans celebrated Flag Day on March 12th, but since 2006, the date of the holiday has been celebrated on August 3rd.
Miranda cited at least two documented sources of inspiration for his flag design: he stated in 1792, in a letter to Count Vorontsov that the colors he selected, but not yet used at that time, were based on Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s theory about primary colors. Goethe was a German philosopher and writer and inspired Miranda to embrace the theory that the primary colors of a flag should symbolize the primary characteristics of the country it represents.
Meaning of Colors
The yellow stripe of the Venezuelan flag represents the gold found in this precious metals-rich country. The blue represents Venezuela’s blue skies, the many rivers that run through the region and its beautiful seashores. Finally, the flag’s red stripe was added to represent the blood shed for the independence of Venezuela.
Initially, a set of six stars was part of the flag, but that number is now eight, with the most recent change being with the final modification of the flag in 2006. At that time, a horse featured on the coat of arms was also changed from a right facing position to a left facing position. This change, along with the eighth star was made by Hugo Chavez, and at that time many individuals living in Venezuela thought it symbolized the political leanings of Chavez, but this has never been confirmed or denied by the man himself. Despite its many changes, the flag has remained a beautiful and colorful representation of the lovely country of Venezuela.