Flag of Bolivia

Flag of Bolivia
Country Bolivia
Population 12,388,571 (2023)
Area (Km²) 1,083,300
Сontinent South America
Emoji 🇧🇴
  hex rgb
#DA291C 218, 41, 28
#F8E600 248, 230, 0
#007A33 0, 122, 51

The Bolivian flag was adopted on October 31, 1851 and is called "La Tricolor" in Spanish, which means the tricolor. Thus, it looks like three horizontal stripes of equal size: red, yellow, and green. The national flag additionally has a coat of arms placed in the middle of the yellow stripe.

Meaning of the Bolivian flag

  • The red stripe represents the bravery and sacrifice of national heroes who fought for Bolivia's independence;
  • The yellow stripe emphasizes the country's rich mineral resources, including gold and tin, and symbolizes prosperity;
  • The green stripe symbolizes fertile lands and Bolivia's commitment to preserve the diversity of ecosystems. This color shows the harmony between man and nature. 

The combination of these colors on the flag reflects Bolivia's heroic past, economic potential and sense of belonging to nature.

The national flag, adopted in the same year of 1851 as the civilian flag, has the national emblem on a yellow central stripe.

Bolivian coat of arms
The national emblem of Bolivia consists of the following elements:

  • The rising sun symbolizes independence and a bright future;
  • Mount Cerro Rico near the city of Potosí symbolizes mineral resources and is of great historical importance. The Spanish Empire began mining silver ore in Cerro Rico as early as 1545. At that time, this mountain was the largest source of silver in history. Between the 16th and 18th centuries, 80% of the world's silver reserves were extracted from this mine. The work continues to this day, but not to the same extent;
  • The alpaca is the national animal of the country, and the sheaf of wheat and palm tree to its right symbolize the country's resources;
  • the inscription "BOLIVIA" in gold letters on a blue background;
  • ten golden five-pointed stars represent the 9 current departments (Beni, Chuquisaca, Cochabamba, La Paz, Oruro, Pando, Potosí, Santa Cruz, Tarija) of Bolivia and one former province - Litoral;
  • three national flags on each side of the coat of arms;
  • cannons, rifles and an axe symbolize the country's struggle for independence;
  • a red Phrygian cap or "freedom cap" under the right wing of the condor symbolizes the thirst for freedom;
  • the Andean condor in a fighting position symbolizes the readiness to defend the nation and the country's freedom; 
  • two crossed laurel branches symbolize peace.

History of the Bolivian flag

The history of the Bolivian flag began in 1825, when Bolivia became an independent republic. The first flag had vertical stripes of green, red and green, where the red stripe was much wider than the green ones and contained five stars in the center, symbolizing the five founding departments of the country. The second flag, which appeared in 1826, had a horizontal yellow stripe over three vertical stripes from the previous flag and the Bolivian coat of arms in the center. In 1831, during the presidency of Andrés de Santa Cruz, the stripes were changed to three horizontal stripes of yellow, red and green. The civilian flag consisted only of colored stripes, while the national flag additionally contained the coat of arms in the center. Also, during 1836-1839, there was a flag of the Peruvian-Bolivian Confederation with intertwined coats of arms and laurel branches.

History of the Bolivian flag

The Bolivian flag was created in 1851 during the National Congress in Oruro. The then president of Bolivia, Manuel Isidoro Belsu, noticed a rainbow of red, yellow, and green in the sky and decided to use these colors on the flag. The official design of the flag was approved on October 31, 1851 and had three equal-sized stripes: red at the top, yellow in the center, and green at the bottom. Two days later, on November 7, 1851, the flag was raised on top of a hill above the Conchupata Lighthouse in Oruro. In 1888, a law was passed that established the official use of the flag and stipulated that all three stripes on the flag should be the same size. This flag design and colors remain unchanged to this day.

History of the Bolivian flag

In 2004, it was established that the civilian flag would be used at public and civic events, while the flag with the coat of arms would remain for official events.