The flag of Andorra is a rectangular flag. It is a vertical tricolor, with deep blue near the hoist, yellow at the center and red near the fly. The yellow band is just a bit wider than the other two and contains Andorra’s coat of arms.
Andorra has had a coat of arms for centuries. The earliest known one is from the 13th century. The latest Andorran coat of arms has been used since 1969. The armigers, or the people entitled to use this coat of arms are Joan and François, both princes of Andorra. Interestingly, these two “princes” are not royalty. François is François Hollande, the President of France. Joan is Joan Enric Vives Sicília, the Bishop of Urgell.
The arms in the first quarter of the escutcheon belong to the bishop of Urgell, while the second quarter arms belong to the Count of Foix, which now belong to President Hollande. The third quarter holds the arms of the King of Aragon while the fourth quarter, which are two cows wearing blue ribbons around their necks, belong to the Viscount of Béarn. The motto is Virtus Unita Fortior, which means “Strength United is Stronger.”
The colors of the Andorran flag reflect the colors of Spain and France, the two countries that protect the country, as Andorra does not have a standing army. Andorra is found in the Pyrenees mountains between France and Spain and is one of the smallest countries in the world. It is only 181 square miles and has 85,000 people.
Andorra also has a civil flag, which is the same as the flag of the country except it lacks the coat of arms. Some private citizens of Andorra fly this flag. The Andorran flag used from 1806 to 1866 was a rectangle with a vertical yellow half and red half, with no coat or arms or any other symbol. From 1866 to 1939, the flag was a horizontal tricolor, with red on top, yellow in the center and blue on the bottom. The yellow band held a crown.
The flag of the capital city, Andorra la Vella, is completely different. It is rectangular, but consists of a green interior rectangle bordered by white which is bordered by a broader band of mustard yellow. A squiggly band of blue bordered by the same yellow color as the outer border of the flag is in the flag’s center.