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Bolivian flag of 1825-1826

Last modified: 2006-12-16 by antónio martins
Keywords: error | star: 5 points (yellow) | wreath | stars: 5 (2+1+2) |
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State flag (bandera mayor)

National flag of Bolivia of 1825
image by Jorge Hurtado, 01 Jul 1997

In 1825 the Bolivian Assembly determined the coat of arms and national flag:

Coat of arms: three quarters of blue field and five silver stars (for the five departments); the first quarter was in the center; the second, split into two spaces, had an alpaca and a tree; and the middle one the hill of Potosí. In the upper part was the Frigian cap between two genies that held a tape with the name of the nation (adopted the same year).

Flag: two colors: green and dark red (in spanish punzó), being the band of dark red between two of green; in the center five ovals formed by laurel and tree branches and within each one a guilded star (one for each department: Charcas or Potosi, La Paz, Cochabamba, Santa Cruz and Antofagasta?). The flag was adopted in 1825.08.17.

Source: Coleccion oficial de leyes, decretos, etcetera desde 1825 hasta 1903 (I have only a short resume but the complete collection, including 77 volumes, is in the public library of La Paz, and was published for first time in 1891.)

Jaume Ollé, 20 Aug 1996

All my sources indicate that punzó is «very bright red», «very intense or pure red».
Santiago Dotor, 14 Mar 2001

Decreto supremo n° 22482 dated 27 Mar 1990 [for the current flag] states red (rojo) color, quoting law of 5 Nov 1851.
Armand du Payrat, 12 Mar 2001

The law to the second flag replaced the upper green stripe by a yellow one.
Ralf Stelter, 13 Jun 1999

Alternative reconstruction of the state flag

Incorrect depiction
image by António Martins and Jorge Hurtado, 13 May 2004

The image above seems to be a reconstruction based on the quoted text («in the center five ovals formed by laurel and tree branches and within each one a guilded star»). A diifferent design, based possibly in the same description, is at Bolivia.COM (link to image). This shows a single wreath and the five stars placed in arch within it. Apparently Jaume’s reconstruction fits better the text, but this is a doubt we’d like to see thru, including how does this compare with the incorrect depiction of the same flag.
António Martins, 13 May 2004

Incorrect report of the state flag

Incorrect depiction
image by Jorge Hurtado, 01 Jul 1997

Flag Bulletin and Jorge Hurtado reported the flag in vertical version, but, acording to several Bolivian plates provided by Michel Lupant, the correct one is the horizontal version.
Jaume Ollé, 01 Jul 1998

Civil flag (bandera menor)

The 1825 flag was officially introduced in two variants: one showing five ovals named bandera mayor, and another one with only one oval in the center, named bandera menor. Today we would call these flags State flag and National flag.
Ralf Stelter, 17 Jul 1999

Tentative reconstruction

Civil flag of Bolivia of 1825
image by Jorge Hurtado and António Martins, 23 Jul 1999 reconstruction

I made this reconstruction of the civil flag, but I’m not sure about the size of the central emblem.
António Martins, 23 Jul 1999

There is no picture of that flag, only a description. So I think this image is at least not wrong.
Ralf Stelter, 25 Jul 1999

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