The current flag of Chile was officially adopted on October 18, 1817. Its background is made up of 2 horizontal stripes of equal width. The top stripe is white in color, while the bottom stripe is red. In the top left corner of the flag, partially covering the white band, is a dark blue square. A white, 5-pointed star sits directly in the center of the blue square. The official length by width proportion of the flag of Chile is 3 to 2. Additionally, the white stripe must be twice as wide as the blue square.
Each of the colors of the flag of Chile has its own specific meaning. The blue color, for example, is said to represent the sky over the country as well as the Pacific Ocean, where Chile has a long coastline. The white band represents the snow-capped Andes mountains. The red color represents the lives lost and the blood spilled during the war for independence. Finally, the meaning of the star varies according to the person. Some individuals believe the star represents governmental power, others believe it stands for independence, while still others believe it represents the progress of Chile.
Historians report a discrepancy over who originally designed the flag of Chile. Most individuals agree that the current flag design was roughly based on the Flag of Transition, which was first used in February of 1817. Jose Ignacio Zenteno, then Minister of War, is credited with establishing the basic design as it is known today. Between October of 1817 and February of 1818, it was used as the official flag of the rebel forces. On February 12, 1818, the flag of Chile was used publicly for the first time.
When rebel forces first convened in Chile, the troops wore cockades of blue, white, and yellow. On September 30, 1812, a flag with these colors was first raised. Although it was never made official, it remained the flag of Chile for 2 years, until Spanish forces took back control of the area. In 1816, however, Chilean forces once again gained ground over colonial troops and began to use a red, white, and blue flag with 3 horizontal stripes of the same size. In 1817, the design was once again changed to resemble the current flag, but with an oval-shaped emblem in the center. This shape contained a pillar monument, a star, and 2 flag replicas.
This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018
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