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Flag of Chile

Ratio 2:3
Adoption 1817
Design It has a 3:2 ratio between length and width, it is divided horizontally into two bands of equal size (being the lower red). The upper area is divided once: in a square (blue), with a single centered white star; and rectangle (white), whose lengths are in proportion 1:2. [0]


The design of the current Chilean flag is commonly attributed to Bernardo O'Higgins's Minister of War, José Ignacio Zenteno, having been designed by the Spanish soldier Antonio Arcos, although historians argue that it was Gregorio de Andía y Varela who drew it.

The flag was made official on 18 October 1817 by a decree, of which only indirect references to the absence of a copy thereof, which was officially presented during the Pledge of Independence ceremony on 12 February 1818, a ceremony in which the bearer was Tomás Guido.

The original flag was designed according to the Golden Ratio, which is reflected in the relation between the widths of the white and blue parts of the flag, as well as several elements in blue canton. The star does not appear upright in the center of the rectangular canton, instead the upper point appears slightly inclined toward the pole in such a way that the projection of its sides divide the length of the canton golden proportion. Additionally, in the center is printed the National Coat of Arms, known from the previous Flag of the Transition and adopted in 1817.

The adoption of the star configuration goes back to the star used by the Mapuches. According to O'Higgins, the star of the flag was the Star of Arauco. In Mapuche iconography, the morning star or Venus, (Mapudungun: Wünelfe or the Hispanicized Guñelve) was represented through the figure of an octagram star or a foliated cross. Although, the star which was finally adopted bore a star having five points with the design of the guñelve remaining reflected in an asterisk inserted in the center of the star, representing the combination of European and indigenous traditions.

These designs soon fell into oblivion due to the difficulty in the flag's construction. So, the embroidered seal and the eight-pointed asterisk disappeared while the star was kept completely upright. In 1854 the proportion was determined in keeping with the colors of the flag, leaving the canton as a square and the ratio of hoist to fly set to 2:3. Finally in 1912, the diameter of the star was established, the precedence of the colors in the presidential flag and decorative cockade was determined, setting the order as blue, white and red from top to bottom or from left to right of the viewer. [0]


The star may represent a guide to progress and honor while other interpretations refer to its reference to an independent state; blue symbolizes the sky and the Pacific Ocean, white is for the snow-covered Andes, and red stands for the blood spilled to achieve independence.

According to the epic poem La Araucana, the colors were derived from those from the flag flown by the Mapuche during the Arauco War. "Flag Day" is held each year on the ninth of July to commemorate the 77 soldiers who died in the 1882 Battle of La Concepción. [0]