Flag of Nicaragua
Adopted August 27, 1971 [1]
Designed by (unknown)
Proportions 3:5 [2]

Flag of Nicaragua consists of three equal horizontal bands of blue (top), white, and blue with the national emblem centred in the white band; the coat of arms features a triangle encircled by the words REPUBLICA DE NICARAGUA on the top and AMERICA CENTRAL on the bottom. [3]

The flag was adopted on September 5, 1908. In 1971 the coat of arms was slightly modified.


The flag uses blue-white-blue colour scheme, common for the Central American nations. Ultimately it's based on the flag of Argentina, one of the earliest Spanish colonies to proclaim independence. The white stripe between two blue stripes generally are interpreted as representation of the Central American isthmus between two oceans.

Also the colours are interpreted as follows:

  • The blue stripes: justice, loyalty, brotherhood, strength, courage.
  • The white stripe: purity, integrity, peace, kindness, and the nation.[4]


From the 16th century through 1821 Central America formed the Captaincy General of Guatemala. Officially, the Captaincy was part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain and therefore under the rule of the Spanish viceroy in Mexico City.

On September 15, 1821, Mexico (including Guatemala) proclaimed its independence from Spain. For short time the Spanish Captain General remained leader of independent Guatemala. On January 5, 1822, the Captaincy General was annexed by the First Mexican Empire.

On July 1, 1823, the congress of Central America declared absolute independence from Spain, Mexico, and any other foreign nation, and a Republican system of government was established. In 1823 the Federal Republic of Central America was formed, and Nicaragua became one of its five states. The federation broke up in 1838 but Nicaragua continued to use its insignias.

Finally, in 1854, a new horizontal Nicaraguan tricolour of yellow-white-scarlet was chosen, but it did not fly for long. Civil war and intervention by North American filibusters (military adventurers) subsequently resulted in a number of flags being introduced and quickly replaced.

In 1908 the old federation flag was re-adopted as the national banner of Nicaragua, with appropriate modifications in the coat of arms.[5]


  1. Nicaragua at Flags of the World
  2. Flag of Nicaragua at Wikipedia
  3. Flag of Nicaragua at CIA World Factbook
  4. Bandera de Nicaragua at Spanish Wikipedia
  5. Nicaragua, flag of. (2009). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved January 31, 2009, from Encyclopædia Britannica Online
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