The flag of Uruguay consists of 9 alternating blue and white stripes of equal measurement. These stripes run horizontally across the flag and begin with a white band at the top. The top lefthand corner is a white square with a symbol of the sun at its center. This sun image is know as the Sun of May. This version of the flag was officially adopted on July 11, 1830. The official name of the flag of Uruguay is The National Pavilion, although informally, it is known as The Sun and Stripes.

What Do the Flag's Colors and Symbols Mean?

The current design of the flag of Uruguay is based on the previous version that was used in 1812. At that time, Uruguay belonged to the United Provinces of Rio de la Plata, which was represented by a blue and white flag used by Manuel Belgrano. Today, the 9 stripes stand for the original 9 provinces of Uruguay. The Sun of May is said to represent Inti, the principal god of the Incas. Another interpretation of the Sun of May is that it represents Uruguay as a new, independent nation.

Who Designed the Flag?

The current flag of Uruguay was designed by Joaquin Suárez, the first person to serve as Head of State while Uruguay fought for its independence from Spain. Reports indicate that he was inspired by the striped flag of the US and by the Sun of May emblem, which was first used on the flag of Argentina. In his original version, the flag had 9 blue stripes to represent the internal departments. Since 1830, however, the number of blue stripes has been reduced to only 4.

What Have Historical Versions of the Flag Looked Like?

Over the years, Uruguay has had several flag versions. Between 1821 and 1825, for example, the territory was under Brazilian control. During this time, the flag had 3 horizontal stripes in green and white. In the center of the flag, in the middle white stripe, was a globe-like symbol. When the Brazilian occupation ended, the region became known as Provincia Oriental. This flag, used from 1825 to 1828, had 3 horizontal stripes with red at the top, white in the middle, and blue at the bottom. The current version, but with 19 stripes, was adopted between 1828 and 1830.

This page was last modified on March 14th, 2018