Flag of Colombia
Colombia Flag Meaning
There is no official explanation for what the colors of the Colombian flag stand for. One of the most common interpretations is that the yellow color represents all the riches of the country, the blue a symbol of the Atlantic and the red is the blood sacrificed by the people in their struggle for an independent Colombia.
The flag was adopted on November 26, 1861, it is very similar to the flag of Greater Colombia, a former federal republic consisting of three ministries. King Bolivar dreamed of uniting all of South America, but he was quite alone in his dreams. The federation ended in 1831, due to civil wars between different nations. With Bolívar’s departure, the fighting escalated and that was the end of Greater Colombia.
|Capital city||Santa Fé de Bogotá|
|Population density||36.9 residents/km2|
The Andes Mountain Range splits the land from north to south and consists of three parts: the western, central and eastern chains, which are separated by the fertile valleys, Cauca and Magdalena. North of the Andean chain lies the swampy Magdalena Delta. To the west, the plains extend to the Pacific Ocean and to the east the rainforest and savannah extend to the Orinoco and Amazon rivers. This geography has given the country a great climatic variation, from the cold highs around the peaks of the Andean chain to the tropical climate of the Amazon region. The majority of the population lives in the temperate Andean region. The coffee is the country’s most important legal export item, but is probably surpassed by the illegal trade in cocaine produced by the leaves of the cocoa plant in Peru and Bolivia. In 2001 alone, the coca area increased by 25% to approx. 169,800 acres. Colombia’s subsoil has significant deposits of oil, coal, gold, platinum, silver and emeralds. Intensive cultivation of the land and mining has pitted the soil. At the same time, deforestation is considerable. Two-thirds of the birds are at risk of extinction.
The people: The Colombians are racially and culturally a mixture of the country’s indigenous population, Africans and Europeans. Ca. 1% is pure indigenous population.
Religion: Catholic (official, 93%). There is religious freedom.
Language: Spanish (official)
Political parties: Nueva Fuerza Democrática (NFD, The New Democratic Power), led by the conservative Andrés Pastrana; Partido Liberal (PL, Liberal Party); Partido Social Conservador (PSC, Social Conservative Party); Alianza Democrática M-19 (ADM-19, Democratic Alliance M-19); Movimiento de Salvación Nacional (MSN, Movement for National Salvation), split from the PSC; Unión Patriótica (UP, Patriotic Union) formed by the guerrilla movement FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarios de Colombia); Ejercito para la Liberación Nacional (ELN, National Liberation Army); Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia (AUC, Colombian United Self Defense – State United death squads).
Social organizations: There are 4 national organizations: Confederación de Trabajadores de Colombia (CTC), Confederación Sindical de Trabajadores de Colombia (CSTC), Union of Trabajadores de Colombia (UTC) and Confederación General del Trabajo (CGT). In 1986, the Central Unitaria de Trabajadores de Colombia (CUT) was formed, which organizes 80% of the country’s organized wage workers. Consejo Regional Indígena de Tolima (CRIT, Tolima Regional Indian Council); Asociación Colombiana de Mujeres Campesinas e Indígenas (Colombia’s Association of Peasant and Indigenous Women); Confederación Colombiana de ONG (Colombia’s NGO Association); Asociación Nacional de Usuarios Campesinos (National Farmers Association, ANUC-UR).
Official name: República de Colombia.
Administrative division: 32 departments and the metropolitan area
Capital: Santa Fe de Bogotá, (since July 1991) 7,332,000 (2009).
Other important cities: Medellín, 2,962,900 residents; Cali, 2,732,300 residents; Barranquilla, 1,841.700 residents; Cartagena, 837,600 residents (2000).
Government: Iván Duque Márquez is president from August 2018. Two-chamber system with a Senate consisting of 102 members and a House of Representatives with 161 seats.
National Day: July 20 (Independence Day, 1810)
Armed Forces: 207,000 Soldiers (2003)
Paramilitary forces: Fuerza Nacional de Policía, (police): 85,000. Coast Guard: 1,500. (1993).