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República del Paraguay; Republic of Paraguay

Last modified: 2003-04-05 by antonio martins
Keywords: paraguay | seal | phrygian cap | different reverse | treasury | lion | star: 5 points (yellow) | republica de paraguay | paz y justicia |
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[Paraguay flag (obv.)]
by Gerard van der Vaart, 27 Aug 1999 | [two-sided]

See also:

Description of the flag

Album 2000 [pay00] says:

National Flag. CSW/CSW 3:5 [obverse/reverse]
Zeljko Heimer, 25 Oct 2002

Album’s 1995 recapitulative issue [pie95] says «National Flag, Naval and Merchant Ensign. 3:5 (size of emblem 2/9 hoist)» Already showing the current design of the emblem. This is the only source that I can think of giving the size of the emblem. However, 2/9 seems a bit too small — it seems larger in the images of all other in sources..
Zeljko Heimer, 27 Oct 2002

The disc around the star should have the same blue shade as the blue stripe of the flag.
Ivan Sache, 22 Oct 1999

Differences from previous versions

[Comparing with the 1988-1990 vesion,] there is in fact a simplified version of the Paraguayan flag. That flag is in use at least since 1991. We have photocopy of a military map of Paraguay which shows the redesigned symbols of the flag. The map was edited in 1991. I was informed that the flag was redesigned withouth special sanction as it was only an artistic modification of the two symbols on either side. And it was not known when the redesigned flag was introduced (I assume it came into use step by step). By the way, the flag seems to have new proportions of 3:5, as I received with the military map a photograph of the new flag which is in that dimensions.
Ralf Stelter, 17 Jul 1999

The reverse (back side)

[Paraguayan flag (rev.)]
by Gerard van der Vaart, 27 Aug 1999 | [two-sided] [reverse] [sinister]

The backside is different from the frontside. It bears the Treasury Seal of Paraguay. It shows a phrygian cap on the top of a pole.
Giuseppe Bottasini, 29 Aug 1995

Is there any reason why the Treasury seal, specifically, was chosen for the reverse (apart from the desire for its elements)?
Nathan Lamm, 08 Mar 2002

I am in possession of the current national flag of Paraguay, which shows the same on each side, a wreath around a gold star of state, with the words around the exterior of the wreath: "REPUBLICA DEL PARAGUAY" (which reads backwards on one side).
John Crosby, 24 May 2001

Origin and symbolism of the flag

White, blue and red flags were used by Paraguayan troops in 1806 wen they went to the defense of Buenos Aires during the British invasion. The earmiest mention of a red-white-blue tricolor in Paraguay seems to date from 15 August 1812. This bore on one side the arms of the capital city, Asunción, and on the other those of the King of Spain. The Star of May in the national arms recalls the date of independence, 14 May 1811. Defense of national liberty is symbolized by the lion guarding the liberty cap on the Treasury seal whose motto proclaims «Peace and Justice».
Ivan Sache, 20 Oct 1999, quoting [smi75b]

The colors were influenced by French Tricolore, which had become a symbol of liberation. A number of variant designs existed prior to the current design, which was regularized in 1842. The practice of having a separate emblem on each side is dating from the time of José de Francia, in power from 1814-1840.
Ivan Sache, 20 Oct 1999, quoting [udk97]

The official symbolism of the flag is very rich. To mention only colour symbolism, red stands for patriotism, courage, heroism, equality and justice; white for purity, firmness, union and peace; and blue for tranquillity, love, knowledge, verity and liberty.
Ivan Sache, 20 Oct 1999, quoting [eun]

Emblems on the flag

The coat of arms was adopted in 1812 (like the flag)! But it was not precisely described in all its elements. In 1823 it was modified by Dr. Francia. It was used even after his death until 1842. Since 1828 the bishopric Paraguay had used a differing version. In 1842 the symbols of Paraguay were described exactly for the first time. We know that the coats of arms before had looked similar [alv8]. Possibly the bishopric had used two trees? The “makers” of the 1842 arms said nothing about all their earlier prototypes.
Ralf Stelter, 23 Jan 2001

The “classical” emblem (used in all flags of 1842-1990), is noted in several variations, of which is most notable difference in the field around the star on the obverse, with three main types:

  • simple white
  • light blue and golden base with shadow
  • golden rays emanating from the star
Similar differences may be observed on the reverse, too. All the differences were, as far as I understand not prescribed, but were developed de facto in practice in the 150 years of the useage.
Zeljko Heimer, 30 Oct 2002