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History of the paraguayan national flag

Last modified: 2017-10-27 by antónio martins
Keywords: seal | phrygian cap | different reverse | treasury | lion | star: 5 points (yellow) | republica del paraguay | paz y justicia | peace and justice | tree: 2 trunks (twisted ) | francia (dr.) | palm | olive branch |
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Chronology of flag changes

dates obverse reverse ratio
-1811.06 [flag] Blue flag ?
1811.06​-1812 Provisional tricolors ?
1812​-1826 [placeholder] with Arms of the capital city, Asunción with Arms of the King of Spain [placeholder] ?
1826​-1842 [flag] Dr. Francia’s blue flag ?
1842​-1954(?) [flag] with National Coat of Arms: Yellow 5-pointed star with rays surrounded by wreath. Outside the wreath the country’s full name («Republica del Paraguay») in black. All that on a white disk with a border in the national colors. with Treasury Seal: Lion in natural colors to the left (heraldically) sitting on a piece of grass in front of a pole with a Jacobinian cap. Light blue background. Behind the pole the motto «paz y justicia», above the country’s full name, both written in black. All that again on a white disk with a border in the national colors. [flag] 333:5000.6̅
1954(?)​-1956 [flag] [flag] 1:20.5
1956​-1988 [flag] [flag] 27:50 0.54
1988​-1990 [flag] [flag] 3:50.6
1990-2013 [flag] with National Coat of Arms: Yellow star on small blue disk, no more rays. Outside the wreath the name is written in yellow on a red ring. Everything still on a white disk, now with a black border. with Treasury Seal: Lion to the right, sitting in the air, white background. Above the lion the motto «paz y justicia» in yellow on a red ribbon, The name has disappeared. Everything still on a white disk, black border. [flag]
2013- [flag] with National Coat of Arms: Yellow star, wreath retained. Rings around them are modified to narrow black lines. with Treasury Seal: Lion facing to the right, sitting in the air, white background. The rings around the lion are narrow black lines. The inscription «paz y justicia» appears in black. [flag] 11:20 0.55
emblem descriptions by Harald Müller

Avaliable data:

  • National flag is shown in Flaggenbuch (1939) [neu39] with proportion 333:500 (approx. 2:3)
  • Pedersen [ped71b] and Smith [smi75b] show it as ca. 1:2.
  • DK Pocket Book [rya97] shows it 1:2 but the companion text says 3:5; it seems to use an outdated image, with the “complex” emblems, and hesitate on the correct proportion.
  • Album des Pavillons [pay] says and shows 3:5. Album des Pavillons (recapitulative edition of 1995) also shows the “simplified” emblems of both sides of the flag, exactly as described above.
A putative chronology can be established with the help of the yearly supplements of Encyclopaedia Universalis [eun], which are mainly based on Album des Pavillons [pay] and have a notice for each country:
  • 1993: 1:2, “complex” emblem. Notice: «1811, modified 1842»
  • 1994: 1:2, “simplified” emblem. Notice: «1811, modified 1842, modified 1988»
  • 1998: 3:5, “simplified” emblem. Notice unchanged.
It seems that traditionally change in proportion is not considered as a “modification” worth being mentioned.

From the data I infer that the 1988 modification was the change in the emblem (it could not have been anything else), only noticed during the edition of the 1994 supplement of [eun] and also reported by Harald Müller at the same period (probably coming from Album des Pavillons [pay]). The change in proportions is not easy to date since it appears in 1995 in Album but was only incorporated in the 1998 supplement of [eun].

Another chronologic unresolved question is: when did the proportion move from 333:500 to 1:2 Is there any correlation to be found with the dates of reign of Alfredo Stroessner on the country (1954-1989)? It could match the change from 333:500 to 1:2 and then to 3:5, but not the change in the emblem.

Ivan Sache, 20 Oct 1999

The ratio at this time [April 1957] wasn’t 1:2 but 500:270 [270:500].
Brendan Hennessy, 18 Apr 2014

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