|Flag Name(s)||[Flag Of Guatemala]|
|Color and Design|
A vertical triband of Maya blue (hoist-side and fly-side) and white with the National Emblem centered on the white band.
|Meaning & Symbolism||The two Sky blue stripes represent the fact that Guatemala is a land located between two oceans, the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean (Caribbean sea); and the sky over the country (see Guatemala's national anthem). The white signifies peace and purity. The blue and white colors, like those of several other countries in the region, are based on the flag of the former Federal Republic of Central America.|
The coat of arms in the center includes the resplendent quetzal, the national bird of Guatemala that symbolizes liberty. A parchment scroll bearing the date of Central America's independence from Spain, 15 September 1821. Crossed rifles represents Guatemala's willingness to defend itself by force if need be. A bay laurel crown is the symbol for victory. And crossed swords represents honor.
|Description and Brief History|
The flag of Guatemala, often referred to as "Pabellón Nacional" (literally, "National Flag") or "Azul y Blanco" ("Blue and White") features two colors: Sky blue and white. The flag bears a strong resemblance to many other Central American flags due to the shared heritage of those nations, but it also features several elements that ensure it is a uniquely Guatemalan design. The design has been in use for more than a century, but it is not the first Guatemala flag to be authorized as a symbol of the nation or even the only flag that is in use today.
Guatemalan flag is one of four national flags among UN member states that features a firearm, along with those of Mozambique, Haiti and Bolivia.
The history of the Guatemala flag began when Central America won its independence from Spain. The oldest design dates back to 1825. It was a horizontal triband that featured a central white stripe without any emblem between two stripes of dark blue. An emblem that was intended to represent Guatemala was added to the flag in 1838, and the emblem was altered in 1843.
The flag changed dramatically in 1851. The central stripe remained, but half of each blue band was replaced on the hoist side. The top band gained a red section, while the bottom band gained a yellow section. The flag changed once more in 1858, when the government adopted a design that featured a thick yellow stripe in the center that was flanked above and below by three stripes of blue, white, and red. That design was used until the modern flag came into use in 1871.
Guatemala has also authorized a flag to represent its indigenous people. It was formally adopted in 2008 and it is used alongside the national flag at all government events. It is divided into four parts of white, black, yellow, and red that each represent one native group. The sections surround a central emblem that represents the nation's native heritage.
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