Cali Flag: History And Meaning

The flag of Cali is the official symbol of this city since May 31, 1954. However, this flag had been created in 1928 during the administration of Nicolás Ramos Hidalgo and was used unofficially since the same year.

This flag consists of five stripes, arranged horizontally as follows: one navy blue, one red, one white, one red, and one green. The blue, white and green stripes are the same size. The red stripes are thinner and measure a third of the thickest stripes.

By its colors, it is said that this flag represents sky, meadow, purity, blood and love. Likewise, blue is considered to represent the water courses that cross the city from west to east.

The official flag does not include the coat of arms of the city of Santiago de Cali. However, the flag found in the mayor’s office does have the city’s coat of arms embroidered.


The current flag of the city of Santiago de Cali, capital of the Colombian department of Valle de Cauca, was created in 1928. Its creation was made under the administration of Nicolás Ramos Hidalgo, mayor of the city.

This flag consisted of five horizontally oriented stripes. From top to bottom, the colors were as follows: navy blue, red, white, red, and green.

Of these stripes, the blue, the white, and the green were the same size. For their part, the two red stripes measured a third of the thickest stripes.

Since 1928 the flag was used as a symbol of the city. However, its use was not official, since no ruler had ratified the legality of this flag.

It was not until 1954 when it was established that this flag was to be the official symbol of the city. This decree entered into force on May 31 of that same year.

Since then, a series of regulations has been established that aim to regulate the use of this symbol.


The regulations regarding the use of the flag establish that this symbol can be used in the following cases:

– Permanently hoisted in public buildings that are part of the Santiago de Cali mayor’s office.

– Lifting permanently at the entry points to the city of Santiago de Cali.

– In public events in which the mayor or other political figures participate.

– Raised on July 3 of each year in both public and private buildings. This is done to celebrate the anniversary of the independence of the city.

– Hoisted at half mast when the mayor so decrees, either out of mourning or for any other circumstance.

– As a cover for the ballot boxes of figures who belonged to the city administration, of soldiers who died in military service or any other individual.

– As teaching material in schools and other educational institutions.

– Inside the office of the mayor of the city.

– As a cockade, circular insignia used as an ornament.

– As tapes used in building inaugurations and other works carried out by the mayor’s office, as long as the tape is not planned to be cut. In these cases, the correct thing to do is make a bow with the ribbon and unknot it with your hands.

When not to use the flag?

The regulations establish that the flag of Santiago de Cali cannot be used in the following cases:

– As a ribbon at openings if you plan to cut it. It is disrespectful to inflict damage on a national symbol.

– As part of other symbols, such as banners of political associations, political parties, private organizations, among others.

If it is considered that the integrity of this national symbol has been violated, the authorities can punish the guilty taking into account the provisions of the Magna Carta of Colombia.

Cali flag and shield

The official flag of Santiago de Cali does not include the city’s coat of arms.

The exception is the pavilion that is in the mayor’s office, which is allowed to display the city’s coat of arms. The shield is positioned in the center of the flag.

This blazon shows a landscape dominated by seven bluish mountains. Of these seven formations, the middle one is the largest.

At the foot of the mountain is a green meadow with lush vegetation. To the left of the image you can see a town that seems to be built in gold.

Two rivers with white and blue waters complete the picture. On these waters, there are two ships and a canoe.

At the top of the shield you can read “1559”. This was the year that Princess Juana of Austria, regent of Spain, granted the coat of arms to the city.


Each of the colors of the Santiago de Cali flag has a meaning:


It represents the sky and the river that crosses the city from west to east.

Some authors point out that this color can also represent the seas that bathe Colombian coasts, even though Cali is not a coastal city.


It represents the purity of both the city and the citizens.


It represents the green areas that abound in the city, such as meadows and fields.


The two red stripes represent the love and patriotism of the inhabitants, not only from Cali but also from Colombia.

Likewise, this color represents the blood shed by all those who fought for the independence of the city, which was obtained on July 3, 1810.


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  3. Cali (Valle, Colombia). Retrieved on November 15, 2017, from
  4. Colombia Sate Symbols, Song, Flags and More. Retrieved on November 14, 2017, from
  5. Cali (Colombia) coat of arms. Retrieved on November 14, 2017, from
  6. Flag of Santiago de Cali. Retrieved on November 15, 2017, from
  7. List of Colombian flags. Retrieved on November 15, 2017, from

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