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National Symbols of Colombia


Colombia national symbols
The national symbols of Colombia contain an entire historical and cultural legacy worthy of recognition. Credit: Luis Ospino/Colombia One

Colombia, a nation rich in history and culture, proudly showcases its heritage through national symbols that represent a tapestry of political evolution and natural wonders. From the flag, coat of arms, and anthem to emblematic flora and fauna, each symbol carries a profound significance embedded in the nation’s identity.

These symbols, regulated by Law 12 of 1984, hold a paramount place in Colombian culture, with the flag, coat of arms, and anthem serving as unifying elements. Governed by specific laws, these symbols reflect the essence of Colombian identity and are revered through national celebrations and mandated observances.

Flag of Colombia

In 1807, Francisco Miranda, a precursor to Colombian independence, introduced the yellow, blue, and red colors, later adopted as the Gran Colombia’s emblem in 1813 by liberator Simon Bolivar. The current horizontal design, with yellow occupying the upper half, was established in 1861. The flag’s colors symbolize Colombia’s natural wealth, skies, oceans, and the bloodshed for independence. Celebrated on August 7th, the Colombian Flag Day honors this historic emblem.

Colombia national symbols
Flag of Colombia over the Congress of the Republic. Credit: Luis Ospino/Colombia One

Coat of Arms

First established by Carlos V in 1548 and redesigned in 1834 by President Francisco de Paula Santander, the coat of arms encapsulates Colombian identity. Featuring the majestic Andean condor, a golden pomegranate, and maritime elements, it symbolizes liberty, wealth, and commerce. The blue background pays homage to the country’s historical name, Nueva Granada, while elements like cornucopias represent national abundance. The coat of arms is a visual narrative of Colombia’s historical and cultural legacy.

National Anthem: Oh Unfading Glory!

Crafted by José Domingo Torres and Oreste Sindici, Colombia’s national anthem, “¡Oh gloria inmarcesible!” (Oh Unfading Glory), stands as a musical testament to the nation’s spirit. Comprising eleven or twelve verses, this anthem is a daily fixture on Colombian television and radio at 6 am and 6 pm.

Andean Condor

As the world’s largest flying bird, the Andean condor graces Colombia’s coat of arms, symbolizing freedom and glory. Known for its grandeur and extensive flight range of up to 300 km in a day, this national bird represents the country’s triumphs.

Condor of the andes. Credit: Genival Gonzaga/Wikipedia/CC BY-SA 4.0

Cattleya Trianae: The Orchid Symphony

Colombia’s national flower, the Cattleya Trianae, captivates with its vibrant colors. Named after botanist Jose Jeronimo Triana, this rare orchid, native to Colombia’s cloud forests, beautifully echoes the hues of the national flag.

Wax palm

Standing as the world’s tallest palm tree, the Quindio wax palm embodies Colombia’s natural wealth. Towering up to 60 meters and living for over a century, it’s a symbol of the Cocora Valley’s biodiversity. Protected since 1985, this palm has historical significance as a source of wax and building materials.

Vueltiao hat

Crafted by the Zenu indigenous people, the vueltiao hat weaves cultural elegance into Colombia’s heritage. Fashioned from caña flecha cane, these intricately woven hats represent a month-long labor of love, symbolizing the nation’s indigenous roots.

Colombia national symbols

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