Panama's national flag is divided into four equal rectangular portions. The top left and bottom right quadrants are white, while the top right and bottom left quadrants are red and blue, respectively. In the top left, there is a 5-pointed blue star, and in the bottom left, there is a 5-pointed red star. These symbols are the country's coat of arms.
The stars are actually representations of the flags that were flying over Panamanian territory when it was discovered by Christopher Columbus on August 15, 1492. The blue star is on the flag of the State of Panama, and the red star is on the flag of the Republic of Colombia.
The colors of the flag are red, white, blue, and orange. The exact proportions of these colors are 1:2:1:2. The panama flag was adopted back in 2001, so it is currently used by both the government and the military.
There are two versions of the panama flag. One has a ratio of 1:2.5, and the other has a ratio of 1:3. Both are accepted as valid versions of the flag by law.
The blue color of the flag is called azul marino (marine blue) in Spanish. It is derived from the name given to one of the first boats built by Panama's indigenous people. The red color is called rojo pasmo (passionate red) or simply rojo (red).
The Republic of Panama's flag is a quartered red, white, and blue flag (rectangle divided into four quarters). The white of the flag denotes peace, the blue star represents purity and honesty (as well as the Conservative Party), and the red star represents authority and the rule of law (and the Liberal party).
The current flag was adopted on May 8, 1979. It replaces the Panamanian flag that had been in use since 1903.
The United States granted territory to Colombia and France, but not until after both countries already had established flags. In 1821, Spain gave up its colony of Panama upon agreeing to divide up the New World between it and Britain. But the Spanish government did not create a new flag for its portion of the world; instead, it used the royal flag. This was because under the Treaty of Madrid, all colonies were considered extensions of their mother countries. So when Spain gave up its North American colonies, it didn't need to create a new flag for itself; rather, it continued to use the royal flag.
Panama became part of Colombia in 1856. But since Colombia was a federal country at the time, Panama got its own governor who was responsible for running the colony's government. Also in 1856, Colombia created a flag for itself which included colors similar to those in today's Panamanian flag: red for courage, white for peace, and blue for water.
The white of the flag symbolizes peace. The blue star denotes purity and honesty, as well as the Conservative Party. The red star denotes power and law, as well as the Panamanian Liberal Party. The green leaf stands for nature and life, while the yellow sun means sunshine and warmth. The image of a gun with an arrow pointing toward it represents violence stopped by justice.
Panama's national anthem was written by Francisco Porras Barrenechea, and its music was composed by José Domingo Reyes. It contains both Spanish and English words, and it was first sung on July 4, 1821.
In Latin, the anthem says: "Panamá, la patria es tuyo; para ti todo el pueblo está unido. La libertad es nuestra, la igualdad es suya; con orgullo se defiende y se levanta." (Panama, your country is yours; all the people are united behind you. Freedom is ours, equality is yours; we proudly defend ourselves.)
In English, the anthem reads as follows: "Panama! Land of beauty and majesty, / Where mountain peaks reach beyond the sky, / This happy nation lives and dies / For freedom, unity, and pride.
The height to length ratio of the national flag is 2:3. It was originally designed by Pedro Moya Viscardo.
The stars on the Panamanian flag represent the five original provinces of Panama when it became independent from Spain in 1821. They are Bocas del Toro, Chiriquí, Darién, Veraguas, and Zapatosa.
Although the 6 flags that make up the official panamanian flag have different historical origins, they all share a similar design pattern. This shows that somewhere between 1741 and 1821, someone created a standard pattern for flags to be made out of cotton with silk lining. Although no one knows who created this original flag, it is believed to be responsible for creating a new world style of flag making that has become popular throughout the world.
Since 1971, when Panama adopted its current constitution, these six flags have been the only flags allowed to fly over government buildings. However, other flags can be used as long as they are not considered offensive or controversial.
Currently, there are seven countries that have their own version of the original panamanian flag.