Peru Flag Colors

The Peruvian Flag or Flag of Peru

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The Size and Shape of the flag of Peru

The Peruvian flag is composed of three stripes of equal width running from top to bottom, one white and two red.

As is the case of most national flags, it is rectangular with a ratio of three to two.

The Colors of the Flag of Peru and Their Significance

Where did the red/white/red colors originate?

The man who freed Peru from Spanish oppression, General Jose de San Martin, appropriately was the one who originally chose the colors.

Why did he choose those colors for the flag of Peru?

A few historians claim that San Martin wanted to show the colors of Argentina (white) and of Chile (red), which were the countries that fought for Peru's freedom.

The Flag of Peru:

Peruvian FlagPeruvian Flag

Other writers of Peru historical accounts, however, believe that the colors of the flag of Peru were chosen by San Martin for another reason.

At the moment he landed in the Bay of Paracas with his army to free Peru, San Martin observed the abundance of a type of bird called "parihuanas" and took the colors of that bird for the flag of the new republic.

Among other conjectures is that the red color represented the Inca war and that it was a symbol of the blood poured out by the heroes and martyrs of that war.

The central white stripe was said to represent the purity of feelings of freedom, social justice, and peace.

History of Peru's Flag

The founding father of the Republic of Peru, Jose de San Martin, was the one who ordered the creation of the flag of Peru.

On October 21,1821, in Pisco, he laid out the guidelines for the flag: It was to be "of silk or canvas, 8 feet long and 6 feet wide, and divided by diagonal lines into 4 fields, two white ones on the top and bottom and the two sides red."

However, this design created some difficulties. Therefore, on March 15, 1822, it was decided that the Peruvian flag would be made of "a transverse white band between two red bands of the same width."

Again, this new design presented difficulties. It could be confused with the Spanish flag; the flag of Spain having a yellow stripe that would bleach out to white and appear similar to the Peruvian flag.

So in May of 1822, a new design was authorized: " will have 3 vertical or perpendicular columns, the center one white and the two end ones red," and so came into being the Peruvian flag that is used to this day. 

The Shield Emblem on the Flag of Peru

The emblem seen in the center of the Peruvian flag was also originally laid out by San Martin.

In Pisco on October 21, 1821, he mandated that the shield would "have an oval wreath of laurel and, in the middle of that, a sun rising behind rugged mountains above a calm sea."

On the outside of that emblem were added palm leaves at the bottom, a condor to the left, and a vicuna to the right. In the background were the flags of the American states.

The upper part had a banana tree with along with the sun; a field of blue lined with a gold and red ribbon with the inscription "Rebirth of the Sun of Peru."

The Peruvian flag, of course, needed to have dyes or colors that would hold up under varied conditions and climates, and so another obstacle arose. Once again it was redesigned.

On February 24, 1825, under a decree of congress, it was decided that: "The symbol of the Peruvian Nation would be of a shield divided in three parts; on blue on the right that would have a vicuna looking towards the center; on the left, a white area where there would be a 'quina' tree; and a smaller red section below in which there would be a cornucopia pouring out coins as a symbol of the richness of Peru in the three natural realms. The shield would have a civic crown seen flat and having on each side a flag and a banner with the national colors."

As the shield shown on the Peruvian flag was often depicted at only half its original size, this variant of the Peruvian flag was officially accepted on March 31, 1950.

And although you may see the flag of Peru depicted without the shield in the center, that is, with just the red/white/red stripes, that is not an official flag of Peru.

In early 2011, Peru published the new logo to promote Peru internationally.

See Peru's modern logo now on Inside-Peru's line of products called "Made In Peru."

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