The Story Behind Uruguay’s Flag

Uruguayan flag and lighthouse
Uruguayan flag and lighthouse | © Matt Rubens/Flickr
Milena Fajardo

On December 16, 1828, the creation of the first Uruguayan flag with the colors that are used now, was approved. Although other flags represented the country before it, it was the first use of the flag we know today. Here’s all you need to know about its origins, history, symbolism, and everything else about its meaning and design.

Its origins

The decree stated that the flag should have nine horizontal light blue stripes, representing the number of “departments,” or areas in which the country was divided back then, on a white background, and a free space to its left, where a sun would be placed. In 1830, these nine light blue stripes were reduced to four, keeping the symbol for the nine departments as four light blue stripes and five white stripes. In 1852, an additional change dictated that the sun should be a golden circle, with a face and 16 rays: eight of which should be drawn as isosceles triangles, and the other eight intercalated as burning flames.

Uruguayan flag

Links to the past

This figure on the top-left corner, next to the flag’s pole, is one of the basic flag forms. In Anglo-Saxon countries, this element is usually the state’s crest, religious, or political symbols. In other countries, like Uruguay, it links the state with its old metropolis; it symbolizes the link to the Provincias Unidas del Río de la Plata, who started the first actions towards independence from Spain.

Uruguayan flag and lighthouse

Symbolism

The personified sun was taken from Inti, the Incan God of the Sun. It is also called the May Sun, because in the stormy day of May 25, 1810, when the process of independence from Spain started, the sun appeared suddenly from the clouds and the rain. It signifies the independence, and its color represents unity, truth, clarity, majesty, abundance, and riches. It is a symbol for liberty and benevolence.

The big flag waves in Montevideo
landscape with balloons floating in the air

KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?

Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

X
Edit article