Republic of Guatemala


  • 30 Sep - 06 Oct, 2017
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Panorama

Together with Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua, Guatemala made up the complement of five member states of the United Provinces of Central America, who broke away from Spanish rule in 1821. The federation broke up 18 years later, but all five nations have retained the same basic blue, white and blue tribands, originally based on the Argentinian flag. Guatemala changed its bands from a horizontal to a vertical orientation in 1871. The state flag bears the national arms in the centre and unlike those of other former federation members, these are not based on the old federation arms. They feature a quetzal bird perched on a scroll bearing the date of national independence, 15 September 1821. Behind these are arms, symbolizing a willingness to defend the country, and a laurel wreath. Guatemala’s arms were initially adopted in 1825 and reached their present appearance, after several revisions, in 1968.