Venezuela

The Flag of Venezuela

The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, usually referred to as Venezuela, is a country in the South American tropics, bordering both Colombia and Brazil. Venezuela was colonized by the Spanish in the early 16th century, and was the first Spanish American colony to declare independence (in the early 19th century). Though many South American countries have become military dictatorships at one time or another, Venezuela has managed to remain mostly democratic since the 1950s. The current flag of Venezuela was adopted in 2006, and is similar to the flag used in the Venezuelan War of Independence. The flag is a horizontal tricolor, with stripes of equal length—yellow at the top, blue in the middle, and red at the bottom. The yellow stripe is said to represent South America; the blue, the waters of the Atlantic Ocean; and the red, Spain. The blue is between the yellow and the red, as the ocean separates the old country from the new. Inside the blue stripes are seven or eight white stars arranged in an arc (seven starts were on the traditional Venezuelan flag, but a controversial eighth was added in 2006). The original seven stars were signs of the first seven provinces to support Venezuela's bid for independence in the 19th century; the eighth represents another historic province, whose support during the war was less steadfast, but which many nonetheless wished to see honored.