Costa Rican Flag

Costa Rican Flag



The Flag of Costa Rica - Description of the Costa Rican Flag
  • As the above picture of the Costa Rican Flag indicates the background is tri-color - Red, blue and white
  • The Costa Rican flag is described as follows:
    • Five horizontal bands of blue (top), white, red (double width), white, and blue, with the coat of arms of Costa Rica in a white disk on the hoist side of the red band
    • Above the coat of arms a light blue ribbon contains the words, AMERICA CENTRAL
    • Just below it, near the top of the coat of arms, is a white ribbon with the words, REPUBLICA COSTA RICA

  • According to Ancient and Heraldic traditions much symbolism is associated with colors. The colors on the Costa Rican flag represent the following:
    • White - peace and honesty
    • Red - hardiness, bravery, strength & valour
    • Blue - vigilance, truth and loyalty, perseverance & justice
  • The basic style shown in the picture of the Costa Rican flag is described as Emblem -reflecting the central design of the flag pattern
  • All Flag pictures depict flags flying, from the viewer's point of view, from left to right
  • The shape and flag ratio of the Costa Rican flag is described as 3:5
  • The emblem on the Costa Rican flag pictures the Costa Rican coat of arms
  • The Meaning & History of the Costa Rican Flag and Coat of Arms
    • The Costa Rican Coat of Arms depicts two branches of myrtle closing the coat of arms representing the peace of Costa Rica
    • The volcanoes represent the three Costa Rica's mountain range systems
    • The two oceans represent the Atlantic and Pacific
    • The merchant ships sailing on each ocean represent the cultural and commercial exchange between Costa Rica and the rest of the world
    • The rising sun represents Costa Rican prosperity
    • The seven stars above the volcanoes represent the seven Costa Rican provinces - Alajuela, Cartago, Guanacaste, Heredia, Limon, Puntarenas, and San Jose

Canton - Flag Terminology

Flag Terminology - Did you Know ?
  • The design and description uses specific flag terminology based on Heraldic principles
  • Animal blazons should always appear with the heads facing the flag - staff side
  • The Study of the Flags is called Vexillology
  • Your interest in flags makes you a Vexillologist!
  • Increase your knowledge - Play the Flag Quiz
Costa Rican Flag Etiquette
  • Costa Rican Flag etiquette is very strict and is is essential that Flag protocols and rules are followed correctly
  • Basic Flag Etiquette applies to all nations, including Costa Rican as follows:
  • Etiquette relating to the order of precedence for the flag
    • National Flag of Costa Rican
    • State Flag of Costa Rican
    • Military Flag of Costa Rican (in order of creation date)
    • Other Flag of Costa Rican
  • The United Nations uses alphabetical order when presenting a national flag including the Costa Rican Flag. Their flag etiquette ensures that no one country's flag has precedence over another country's flag
  • The National flag of Costa Rican should never be flown above another national flag on the same staff as this would suggest superiority, or conversely, inferiority of one flag, or Nation, over another
  • The Costa Rican flag should never be allowed to drag along the ground
  • A tattered or faded flag of Costa Rican should be removed and replaced with a new flag
  • Due care and consideration must be taken to ensure that the Costa Rican flag is always flown the correct way up
  • A Flag of Costa Rican, when in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem of display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning in private with all due care and respect
Flag History & Evolution:
  • The idea of flying a flag grew from the requirements of ancient warfare and the battlefield
  • Shields were painted with emblems to identify Friend or Foe
  • Warriors needed to know where their leaders were - the custom of carrying a pole was adopted
  • An emblem such as a shield, animal or religious device was attached to the pole for identification
  • The emblems were also used for identity and to cover suits of armour - Coats of Arms  were born
  • These emblems were the forerunners of modern flags
  • The Romans were the first to use a cloth flag - they were square and fastened to cross bars at the end of spears - the idea of fastening a flag to the side of a pole soon followed
  • The strict rules of Heraldry are still used when designing an emblem and creating a modern flag
Terminology & Etiquette in Costa Rican Flag display
  • Hoist - the act or function of raising the Costa Rican flag, as on a rope
  • Half Staff or Half Mast - the Costa Rican flag is hoisted to half of the potential height of the flag pole to denote grief and mourning
    • Performed by first raising the Costa Rican flag to the top, then lowering the Costa Rican Flag halfway
  • Distress - denoted by flying the Costa Rican flag upside-down
  • Manner of hoisting - The Costa Rican flag should be hoisted briskly and lowered ceremoniously
  • No disrespect should be shown to the Costa Rican flag
  • The Costa Rican flag should never be fastened, displayed, used, or stored in such a manner as to permit the Flag to be easily torn, soiled, or damaged in any way
  • The Costa Rican flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing on the flag of any nature
  • The Costa Rican flag should be hoisted first and lowered last
  • International Flag relating to Costa Rican Flag usage forbids the display of the flag of one nation above that of another nation in time of peace
  • We hope that the presentation of facts and information regarding Costa Rican Flag Etiquette has provided a useful resource.

National Flags of the World Map

Costa Rica

Location: Central America, bordering
both the Caribbean Sea and the
North Pacific Ocean, between
Nicaragua and Panama

Costa Rica
  • Costa Rican Land Size : 50,660 sq km
  • Costa Rican Climate / Weather : tropical and subtropical; dry season (December to April); rainy season (May to November); cooler in highlands
  • Costa Rican Population : 3,956,507 (July 2004 est.)
  • Former Name(s) : n/a
  • Costa Rican Capital City: San Jose
  • Costa Rican GDP: $35.16 billion (2003 est.)
  • Costa Rican Main Industries : microprocessors, food processing, textiles and clothing, construction materials, fertilizer, plastic products
  • Costa Rican Agricultural products : coffee, pineapples, bananas, sugar, corn, rice, beans, potatoes; beef; timber
  • Costa Rican Currency : Costa Rican colon (CRC)
  • Main Colors of the Costa Rican Flag : blue, white and red
South America - Concise History of the  Mesoamerican civilisations
  • Mesoamericans were the ancient civilisations of South America which is now divided into 12 independent countries consisting of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, and Venezuela
  • Costa Rica was also part of the Mesoamerica cultural area
  • The diverse civilizations of ancient Mesoamerica included the Olmecs, Toltecs, Aztecs, Incas and Mayans
  • 5000-1200 BC
    The Ancestors of the people of South America were believed to have been nomadic Asian hunter-gatherers who crossed over the frozen Bering Strait and into North America. From there they traveled to the lands of South America and were the descendents of the great Mesoamerican civilisations and established corn cultivation, pottery and the use of stone tools
  • The Olmecs - 1200 BC- 300 AD
    The Olmecs were the first true civilisation of South America and were the ancestors of the later cultures
  • The Mayan Civilisation - 300 - 1500's
    The Mayans empire covered Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, and El Salvador. The Mayans developed astronomy and hieroglyphic writing
  • The Toltec Civilisation - 900's - 1100's
    The Toltecs ruled Mexico and Guatemala from the 10th to the 12th century
  • The Aztec Civilisation - 1100'S- 1500'S
    The Aztecs' rose to power in Mexico during the 12th and 13th centuries and remained in control until the arrival of the Spaniards in the 16th Century
  • The Inca Civilisation - 1438 - 1535
    The empire of the Incas covered Peru, Bolivia, northern Argentina, Chile, and Ecuador. The amazing rise of the Incas was achieved in less than one hundred years and covered an area of nearly 400,000 square miles
  • The Spanish conquistadors - 1535
    The later civilisations of South America abruptly ended in 1535 when the Spanish conquistadors seized control
Concise Costa Rican History & its Flag
  • September 18, 1502 - Christopher Columbus visits the area and names it Costa Rica (translates as Rich Coast)
  • The indigenous tribes living in Costa Rica were the Caribs, Borucas, Chibchas, and Diquis
  • 1561 - Spain's Juan de Cavallon leads the first successful Costa Rican colonisers
  • The Caribs were progressively wiped out by the after-effects of the Spanish Costa Rican conquest
  • The Spanish were continuously harassed by the native Caribs and by pirates and buccaneers who attacked the Spanish galleons which were carrying riches back to Spain
  • 1776 Spain encompassed all of its territories in south-east South America to create one large colony called the Viceroyalty of the Rio de la Plata
  • 1808 - Coffee is introduced into Costa Rica from Cuba and becomes the principal Costa Rican crop
  • 1810 - Overthrow of the king of Spain by Napoleon
  • 1821 - Central America gains independence from Spain
  • 1823 - Costa Rica joins the United Provinces of Central America ( El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua)
  • 1838 - Costa Rica becomes fully independent
  • 1949 - New constitution gives Costa Rican women and people of African descent the right to vote
The Costa Rican Flag and Nation

We hope that the presentation of facts and information regarding the Costa Rican Flag and Country has provided a useful educational resource. To improve your knowledge of Flags and Vexillology still further check out the Flags and Nations Index and test your knowledge with our interactive, multi-choice, picture-based Flag Trivia Quiz Game - it's fast and it's fun! If you answer all questions correctly you will earn the right to enter the Vexillologist Hall of Fame!


Costa Rican Flag

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