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Historical flags of Uruguay

Last modified: 2002-09-28 by antonio martins
Keywords: uruguay | oriental | artigas (josé gervasio) | tupamaros | desacration | patria vieja | stripes: 9 | stripes: 17 | canton: sun | sun: 16 rays |
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Patria vieja

[Flag of Artigas]
by Jorge Candeias, 08 Jun 1998

The celeste color (light blue) had been suppressed from the Uruguayan flag because it was associated with the colours of the Argentinian flag, in times when our national hero Artigas was fighting for our independence, and instead of being helped by the Buenos Aires government, he had to fight against them. This happened around 1815.
Jorge Cajarville, 14 Jun 2000

The red, blue and white colours were used by Artigas to establish a clear difference between the flag of the Eastern Province. This “Eastern” adjective was kept when the Independence of our country was achieved in 1828, but with a different meaning. From then on it was known as the República Oriental del Uruguay, i.e. the republic east side or the Uruguay river. This is still today the official name of Uruguay.
Jorge Cajarville, 16 Jun 1999

It is true that this "Oriental" refers to the Eastern bank of the river Uruguay, hence the official name (before the country was known as Uruguay, it was refered to as "Banda Oriental"= the eastern bank), but for this matter, oriental has also that meaning of far east: if we argentinians talk about orientales, we think more about chinese than uruguayan, so the translation is quite good, in my humble opinion.
Nicolas Rucks, 14 Jun 2000

The official name of this country since the second constitution of 1917 is "República Oriental del Uruguay" (in the first constitution of 1830 was "Estado Oriental del Uruguay"). The flag of Patria Vieja used by Artigas and his supporters, was in use between 1814 to 1817. At this time, Artigas was the national leader. By then the country was known as Provincia Oriental, associated with Argentina (then called Provincias Unidas del Rio de la Plata). The portuguese army invaded the country in july, 1816, and Artigas was defeated by them. Uruguay was part of the Reino Unido de Portugal, Brasil e Algarves (United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and Algarves) since july 1821, at the Congreso Cisplatino (Cisplatine congress), which decided the incorporation. At the Brazil independance, Uruguay become a brazilian province from february 1824 to october 1828, as a same name by portuguese ruling: Província Cisplatina.
Rodolfo Tizzi, 10 Jul 2002

Was the current national flag used also as such in 1825-1830?
António Martins, 23 Jun 1999

Tupamaro’s “desacration”

I do not know when Uruguay changed her jack, but I can tell you why: Because the Tupamaros used the Artigas flag as their symbol, [something considered to be] a shameful and blasphemous profanation of the emblem of José Gervasio Artigas, National Hero of the Oriental Republic.
Juan Morales, 08 Jun 1998

In a recent visit of the spanish Kings to Uruguay, the Artigas flag, the national flag and the 33 Orientales flag shown togheter (as usual) in official acts and military parades. If profanation exists then why the flag is still used?
Jaume Ollé, 10 Jun 1998

First stripped flag (1828.08.27)

[Hist. flag of Uruguay]
by Zeljko Heimer and António Martins, 02 Jun 2002

Uruguay had it’s first stripped flag in 1828.08.27. This flag was simply 9 blue stripes and 8 white stripes.
Jaume Ollé, 08 Feb 2000

I don't know this flag. I think this is an error.
Rodolfo Tizzi, 10 Jul 2002

17-stripped flag with sun canton (1828)

[Hist. flag of Uruguay]
by Zeljko Heimer and António Martins, 02 Jun 2002

Almost immediately [after the adoption of the previous flag] the sun was added to the canton.
Jaume Ollé, 08 Feb 2000

Uruguay’s previous flag had the same sun, but it had 9 light blue stripes representing each “department”.
Edward Kovach, 03 Dec 2000

Inverted variant

[Hist. flag of Uruguay]
by Zeljko Heimer and António Martins, 02 Jun 2002

The stripes were also used as 9 of white and 8 of blue.
Jaume Ollé, 08 Feb 2000

9-stripped flag with sun canton (1830)

[Flag of Uruguay]
by Zeljko Heimer, 13 Feb 1996

At last the sun was officialized in January 11th, 1830, and the stripes were reduced to nine (5 white and 4 blue). For many years, the order of the strpes and the shade of blue changed according to the political situation.
Jaume Ollé, 08 Feb 2000

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