The current national flag of Peru was adopted in February 1825. It is a tricolor with two outer red bands and a white band in the middle.
The color red symbolizes the blood shed for achieving Peruvian independence, while the white represents peace. The colors are also said to symbolize the Incas and they impact on the country of Peru. The coat of arms on the state flag represents prosperity.
Flag Day is celebrated on June 7 and is actually the anniversary of the Battle of Arica (fought between Peru and Chile in 1880).
Variations of the flag
The civil flag or the national flag is used by citizens. It has no coat of arm and has changed several times.
The state flag or the national ensign is used by state institution. It contains the coat of arms of Peru – containing a vicuna, the chichona tree and a cornucopia of gold – and is used during ceremonies. The national standard (a form of the state flag) is used indoors by private and official institutions.
The war flag is similar to the state flag but contains the national shield and not the coat of arms. It is used by the Peruvian military and the police.
The naval jack is not based on the national flag. It’s a square containing the coat of arms on a red field.
History of the flag
In 1820, during the struggle for independence, a proposed flag was used and contained a golden sun on a navy blue background. The first republic of Peru was declared in October 1820 and its flag was diagonally quartered, with white upper and lower fields, and the left and right red. It also had an oval-shaped laurel crown in the center, which surrounded a sun rising behind a mountain and a sea.
The flag was replaced in March 1822. The new flag was a horizontal triband with a white band in the middle between two red bands. A golden sun was in the center of the flag. But it was so similar to the Spanish flag that it had to be changed — due to confusions on the battle fields. In May 1822 , the flag changed to a vertical triband, with the white in the middle and the red outer bands. The golden sun was kept in the middle.
The flag was again changed in 1825. During the Peru—Bolivian Confederation (1836-1839) , a new flag was used. On the left there was a red vertical band with a sun and 4 golden stars in the middle. The right part was divided into two horizontal bands: green on the upper part and white in the lower part.
In 1950, the flag was modified to the current form, removing the coat of arms from the civil flag (national flag).