Costa Ricans or “Ticos” and “Ticas” are known for their cultural pride and pura vida way of life.
When you visit this small Central American paradise, you will no doubt see the country’s flag displayed proudly pretty much everywhere. During soccer games, it is not uncommon to see faces painted with country’s flag showing support for their national team. Many vacationers to Costa Rica, enjoy bringing home magnets, t-shirts, hats, and other souvenirs containing the Costa Rican flag to remind them of their trip.
If you are considering a trip to Costa Rica, here are 20 fun facts about the meaning behind the Costa Rican flag that you are sure to see on your vacation.
1. The Costa Rican flag has gone through ten updates and changes over the years.
2. The flag originally contained blue and yellow horizontal stripes.
3. For one year, the Costa Rican flag contained a red star on a white background.
4. In 1824, the flag was changed to contain light blue and white horizontal stripes.
5. The current blue, white, and red version of the national flag of Costa Rica was made official on September 29, 1848.
6. The background of the flag is a combination of red, white, and blue horizontal stripes. It is said that the flag was modeled after the French Tricolour or the French flag.
7. The color white was used on the Costa Rican flag to signify peace, happiness, and wisdom. It also represents liberty and freedom from Spanish rule.
8. The color red appears on the flag to represent the blood that has been spilt in defending the country. It also signifies the cultural warmth and generosity of the Costa Rican people and their love for life.
9. The color blue on the Costa Rican flag is meant to represent the sky and the opportunities that are available to the country’s people.
10. The blue, red, and white stripes alternate in a ratio of 1:1:2:1:1.
11. The coat of arms of Costa Rica was revised in 1848 and placed in the center of the flag’s red horizontal stripe.
12. The unofficial version of the Costa Rican flag does not contain the Coat of Arms.
13. The Coat of Arms shows three volcanoes representing the country's three mountain range (Cordillera Guanacaste, Cordillera Volcánica Central & Cordillera Talamanca) and the Central Valley.
14. In 1998, the flag was updated to add smoke coming from the tops of the volcanos.
15. The two sailing ships on either side of the extensive valley are symbolic of the country’s Pacific and Caribbean coastlines and the maritime history of Costa Rica.
16. In a previous version of the flag, the Coat of Arms had five stars representing the country’s five provinces.
17. Two additional stars were added in 1964 so the flag now contains seven stars that represent the seven provinces of Costa Rica: Alajuela, Cartago, Guanacaste, Heredia, Limon, Puntarenas, and San Jose.
18. There is a rising sun on the left side of the Coat of Arms which is meant to signify the birth of Costa Rica as a new nation.
19. The gold frame of the Costa Rica flag’s Coat of Arms contains small beads representing the importance of coffee in their culture.
20. The flag of Thailand is very similar to the Costa Rican flag but on its flag, the red and blue colors are reversed.