Fun Facts

The Story Behind The Costa Rica Flag

Costa Rica Flag

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costa rica flag

The Costa Rica flag was officially adopted in 1906. The main colors of this flag are red, white, and blue. There are five horizontal stripes, going from top to bottom: blue, white, red, white, blue. The red one in the center is twice as wide as the other ones.

The color red on the Costa Rica flag represents the generosity of Costa Ricans and the blood spilled by those who defend the country. White symbolizes happiness, wisdom, and peace. Finally, the color blue stands for opportunities, idealism, perseverance, and the sky. The design of horizontal bands of the current flag was actually created in 1848 after the 1848 Revolution and the French 2nd Republic.(Source)

costa rica flag

The Costa Rican flag is pretty similar to the national flags of Korea and Thailand. The first of those three to be adopted was Costa Rica. The horizontal stripe design was created by Pacifica Fernandez, who was the wife of their former president, Jose Maria Castro Madriz.

A few years before it was created, Costa Rica had just separated from Spain and joined the United Provinces of Central America, where they used their flag. It looked very different than it does now, as it had light blue stripes on the top and bottom, and a yellow stripe in the middle.

costa rica flag

There are actually two different accepted versions of the Costa Rican flag. The one we have discussed above, and this one with the coat of arms in the center. The coat of arms represents the isthmus between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. The emblem features multiple colors, including blue, light blue, white, yellow, green, and brown.

On the design there are three smoking volcanoes, which represent the 3 most significant volcanic ranges of Costa Rica: Irazu, Poas, and Arenal. Then, the green below the volcanoes signifies the valley between the mountain ranges. The ocean on either side of the volcanoes stand for the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The ships symbolize ports on either side of Costa Rica. The seven stars above the volcanoes represent the seven provinces that support the country.

costa rica flag

Costa Rica got their independence from Spain on September 15th, so that is when they celebrate! It is typically a country-wide tradition to have a huge parade and September is the dedicated month to celebrate their independence. If you go to Costa Rica during that time, you’ll see the Costa Rican flag everywhere.

People decorate their house with the three colors and many of the government offices do the same. Even during soccer and other sports games, it is common to see faces painted with the country’s flag showing support for their national team.

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If you liked learning about the history of the Costa Rica flag, you’ll love the history behind the South Vietnam flag!

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What does the flag of Costa Rica represent?
The dark blue represents the sky, idealism, opportunities and perseverance. The white stripes represent peace, wisdom, and happiness. The red stands for the blood spilled by martyrs defending the country, as well as the warmth and generosity of the Costa Ricans.

What flag is similar to Costa Rica?
The Thailand flag is very similar to this flag, but with different proportions.

Which country owns Costa Rica?
It was a Spanish colony for about 250 years. In 1821, Costa Rica declared independence from Spain, jointly with several other Central American countries. Women and people of African descent gained the right to vote in 1949.

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