Flag Of Cartagena: History And Meaning

The flag of Cartagena  began to be used in the year 1812. This occurred after Cartagena, a Colombian state, declared itself a sovereign and independent state of the Republic of Spain in the year 1811.

This flag consists of three squares of different colors. The first square in the center is green; this is surrounded by a yellow one, and finally a red square borders the flag. In the central green square there is a white eight-pointed star.

Historically Cartagena has shared its flag with Barranquilla, another Colombian province. This is because both departments belonged to the same territorial entity at one point in the history of Colombia.

When Barranquilla became an independent department, it continued to use this same flag to honor its neighboring state and its noble patriotic cause.

The colors of this flag represent the sacrifices made by the independentistas, the promise of a bright future and the freedom that Colombians so desired for their country.

This flag is known as “La cuadrilonga” and is of great pride to the natives of this state.


Cartagena used the colors green and white as a representative emblem of the region before creating the official flag.

Before being a sovereign and independent people they could not use a flag. During this time these colors were represented in a circular shape and not in a square shape.

It is known that they used these colors, but it is not known exactly in what order they were placed. It is believed that green was over white, although some experts believe that both forms were used.

By 1810 this symbol was used as the emblem of Cartagena. Additionally it was used as a flag and banner.

Each flag was of a different size and probably each one was of a different shade, since they were made by hand and any fabric that was available was used regardless of the exact shade.

In January 1812 the flag of Cartagena was officially adopted. It was chosen and created at the convention of 1812.

Later, this same flag would be provisionally adopted by the Federal Government of the United Provinces, on April 26, 1814.

The 1812 convention described the flag as “three concentric squares of red, yellow and green, with an 8-spoke white star in the center.” Thanks to its shape, it was popularly called “La cuadrilonga”.

The flag of Cartagena has the honor of having been the first flag of Colombia. Additionally, it was the second flag adopted in all of Latin America when it was chosen by the Tunja Congress in 1814 to represent the United Provinces of New Granada.

For this reason, the flag of Cartagena was the one that was used during all the battles fought in the War of Independence, from the year 1813 to the year 1821.

Its historical importance is vital, since it was the national flag of Colombia until the year 1861.

As a curious fact, this flag was the banner carried by the Liberator Simón Bolívar throughout the Lower Magdalena campaign during the year 1812, and also when the liberation of the city of Caracas was carried out.

As of 1861, this emblem ceased to be the national symbol of Colombia when the current flag, which consists of three horizontal stripes of yellow, blue and red, began to be used.

This change was made by the then president Tomás Cipriano de Mosquera.


Although historians do not know specifically why those particular colors were chosen, there is consensus as to the meaning of these colors.

Red is believed to represent the blood shed by those who died in the struggle to achieve independence.

On the other hand, yellow is assumed to represent the sun . In this case, the sun and yellow are symbols of the freedom that had finally been achieved after so many years of struggle and death.

Finally, green represented hope. It is believed that its creators wanted to represent the desire and confidence that they were going to achieve a prosperous nation for all its inhabitants. The green color represented a territory with a great future ahead of it.

As for the star, experts differ in explaining why to place an eight-pointed star.

The provinces of the Spanish viceroyalty of the kingdom of New Granada were not eight; If the Captaincy General of Venezuela is excluded, the viceroyalty had two sections: the Audience of Santa Fe and the Presidency of Quito.

If only the audience from Santa Fe is considered, then there were 15 provinces: Antioquia, Cartagena, Casanare, Citara, Mariquita, Neiva, Pamplona, ​​Panama, Popayan, Riohacha, Santa Fe, Santa Marta, Socorro, Tunja and Veragua.

But Riohacha, Popayan, Santa Marta, Panama and Veragua remained in Spanish hands. Then there were ten provinces in the hands of the independentistas.

The Federal Pact was signed on November 8, 1811 by only five provinces: Antioquia, Cartagena, Pamplona, ​​Neiva and Tunja. Later others joined this pact; in the process, some withdrew and other provinces joined to form a single entity.

When the Cartagena flag was adopted in January 1812, eight provinces had already joined the Federation, with Cartagena in command.

Of these eight states, five were the original founders. Those that followed were probably Valle del Cauca, Citara and Nuevita.

That is why it is believed that the points of the star represent each of these provinces that began to form the nation of Colombia.


  1. Cartagena state (Colombia) (2004). Recovered from crwflags.com
  2. Colombia-independence. Recovered from angelfire.com
  3. Cartagena, wrapped in its flag (2011). Recovered from eluniversal.com.co
  4. Symbols of Cartagena. Recovered from cartagenacaribe.com
  5. History of Cartagena. Recovered from historiadecartagenalgv.blogspot.com

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