Do You Know What The National Flag and Pavillion of Costa Rica Mean?

Get to know more about its history and meaning

National Pavilion Day of Costa Rica is the day dedicated to honoring the flag that represents us “Ticos”. A symbol that we show with great pride and respect as Costa Ricans, both inside and outside our borders since it symbolizes the feeling of struggle, freedom, and peace of the entire nation. The National Pavilion is the flag with the shield. It was created by decree CXLVII of the twenty-ninth of September 1848, signed by President José María Castro Madriz.

When is the day of the National Pavilion of Costa Rica?

The day of the national pavilion of Costa Rica is celebrated every November 12. This celebration is held on this day because according to national history it was on November 12, 1848, when the pavilion was first hoisted in the “Plaza Mayor” of San José (currently known as Parque Central). This day it is customary to make formal honors to the flag of Costa Rica.

Now, although there are two similar concepts, they are not the same, we are talking about the National Flag and the National Pavilion of Costa Rica. The main difference between them is that the National Pavilion has the shield printed, while the National Flag does not. There is a special law that regulates this.

The National Pavilion Law

This was created by decree No. 147 of September 29, 1848, signed by José María Castro Madriz, the President of the Republic at that time, in the law or decree it is indicated textually its characteristics: “The National Pavilion of the Republic will be tricolor by means of five horizontally placed girdles, in this way: a red girdle will occupy the center that will be comprised between two white ones, each of which will follow a blue one. The width of each of these lateral bands will be the sixth part of the one given to the entire flag, and two sixths that correspond to the red band, in whose center the Coat of Arms of the Republic must be embroidered on a white background “.

Unlike the National Flag that can be used anywhere, the law states that the National Pavilion has a very regulated use, some of those rules being the following: The Law establishes that it must be hoisted in the buildings that are headquarters of the national supreme powers such as the Presidential House, Legislative Assembly and Supreme Court of Justice in addition at the headquarters of the ministries and the municipal offices. It can only be hoisted during the day and at six in the afternoon, it should be lowered.

During an official celebration, the National Pavilion should always be placed on the right; and there can only be one of the premises (room, lounge, meeting place).

How long can the National Pavilion are hoisted?

The National Pavilion can only be hoisted during daylight hours; it must be lowered at six in the afternoon. The National Pavilion should never remain hoisted when its nighttime.

Dimensions of the National Pavilion. Using Law No. 60 of June 13, 1934, the dimensions of the National Pavilion were established and the position of the shield was changed so that it could be seen when the flag flies.

The National Pavilion that is hoisted in public buildings must measure two meters long by one meter twenty centimeters wide and will be stamped in color with the Coat of Arms of the Republic, with the red stripe inside a white ellipse thirty centimeters wide in its major axis by twenty in the minor, whose center will be sixty centimeters from the end of the flag attached to the flagpole.

How should the National Pavilion be placed?

The National Pavilion should always be placed on the right. In a room or enclosure, there can only be one National Pavilion. When you enter an enclosure, those present must stand up. It must also be removed before attendees leave the site.

How is the National Pavilion to be folded?

It is extended by two people holding the four lateral ends, to proceed to fold it along; first in half and then in four.  A triangle-shaped end is folded and the figure is continued on the fabric until it ends in the opposite end. The Pavilion folded in this triangular shape, will be kept with reverence and respect.

Meaning of the National Flag of Costa Rica

It is interesting to know the meaning of the Costa Rican National Flag since many times we can appreciate it but we don’t know what the true meaning is. In essence, from an abstract way, that is to say from a manner that is not visible but rather sentimental, we could define the meaning of the National flag of Costa Rica as a national symbol that represents and differentiates the inhabitants of this nation from the rest of the world; In other words, it is a symbol that represents our national identity anywhere in the world, since as it is a uniquely identifiable symbol by Costa Ricans in any part of the world where they might. It is also a symbol of independence and sovereignty because each country has an independent territory and therefore must show a symbol that differentiates it.

The symbolic meaning of the elements present in the Costa Rican National Flag is defined as a parallelogram that is composed of five stripes interspersed with the colors blue, white and red. The first two stripes (blue, white) are the same size as the last two (white, blue) and the red center one is twice the size of the previous ones.

Many people also wonder about the meaning of colors and why they are located that way, well, as for the colors we see on the flag, each of them has a different meaning that is interesting to know. The meaning of the bands observed is as follows:


The blue color that appears in the fringes of the beginning and the end represents the color of the sky that covers Costa Rica, also represents the ideals or aspirations of creating a nation in which there are many opportunities available to everyone; In addition, it is also a color that represents the freedom of intellectual thought, the perseverance to achieve the goals and ideals proposed, as well as religious and spiritual desires.


White represents the goodness of peace, the peaceful image that Costa Rica as a nation in which its inhabitants always seek peace above all since this is a country with very low rates of violence. White also means thought, wisdom, happiness, power, and beauty of heaven, the human force that drives initiatives in search of new efforts.


The red color at the center of the flag is a little bigger, it represents the blood of the patriots who in unity fought for the freedom and independence of the country, it also means the love for life and the abundant attitude towards seeking a generous nation where people can help each other as brothers and sisters.

SOURCEOsmary Torres
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