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Learn About the History of the Dominican Republic’s Flag


Learn About the History of the Dominican Republic’s Flag

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A flag is one of the most important symbols that any country has. Its colours, their layout and the other elements that it is comprised of are always there for a reason. The case of the Dominican Republic’s flag is no different. Therefore, we invite you to learn a little bit more about the history of the country through its flag.

History of the flag

The origin of the Dominican Republic’s first flag dates back to 1838 and was designed by Juan Pablo Duarte, considered by many to be the father of the country. That same year, the design was approved by Los Trinitarios. But it was not until February 27, 1844, at the Puerta del Conde, when it was raised for the first time, proclaiming this day as National Independence Day.

It was on November 6, 1844, when it was officially adopted by the country as its official flag, once the country gained its independence from Haiti. Thus, the Dominican Republic’s constitution states that “the national flag is composed of the colours ultramarine blue and vermilion red in alternate quarters, placed so that the blue must be at the top of the flagpole, separated by a white cross, with a width equal to half the height of each quarter, bearing in its centre the coat of arms of the Republic.”

Since then, it can be seen flying on the country’s official buildings, as well as at the most important tourist attractions in the country.

Dominican Republic’s flag waving in Santo Domingo

Meaning of the flag’s colours

The flag’s colours are loaded with symbolism, as they represent the history of the country. The colour red refers to the blood that the liberators had to shed. The blue, on one hand, refers to the ideals of progress and freedom and to the fact that God protects the country. On the other hand, the cross is the symbol of the liberators and its white colour reminds us of the importance of having peace and unity prevail among the Dominican people.

Flag Day

If you are planning your holiday to the Dominican Republic for February, it may coincide with Flag Day. This day is celebrated every year, on February 27, and commemorates the anniversary of the country’s independence, making it the national holiday.

On this day there are many celebrations that take place throughout the country. Perhaps one of the most memorable is the one organised on Washington Avenue, in Santo Domingo, where the parade of the Armed Forces of the Country is held. But afterwards there are dances and parties where you can eat and drink some of the country’s typical products, where rum and sugar cane juice are never missing.

Other national symbols

In addition to the flag, Dominicans have other national symbols for the country:

National coat of arms

It appears in the centre of the flag and has the same colours and layout, with the cross in the centre. On top of it, an open Bible and a gold cross are placed, both emerging from between a trophy that is made up of two lances and four national flags without coats of arms on both sides. In addition, on the left we find a laurel branch and on the right a palm. All this is crowned by an ultramarine blue ribbon with the motto “God, Country, Freedom” and at the bottom there is another red ribbon that reads “Dominican Republic”. 

Coat of arms found on the Dominican Republic’s flag

If you visit any official buildings during your holidays, such as those in the city of Santo Domingo, it will be very easy for you to see the coat of arms on the facades of these buildings, so you will quickly be able to recognise it.

National anthem

The lyrics of the anthem were composed by Emilio Prud’Homme, author and composer, and the score by José Reyes, both of whom are Dominicans and are important figures in the country’s history.

The anthem was first performed on August 17, 1883. The music was an instant success. However, the lyrics were not received in the same way, as they contained several historical errors according to the intellectuals of that time. As a result, Emilio Prud’Homme had to submit new lyrics with corrections, thus putting an end to the controversy that the initial version had sparked.

After several political upheavals, the anthem was officially adopted as a national symbol in 1934 and has survived to this day to be used in official acts, such as in the parade of the Armed Forces on the Dominican Republic’s National Day.

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