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An Introduction to the Republic of Guatemala

Guatemala, officially the Republic of Guatemala (Spanish: República de Guatemala), is a country in Central America bordered by Mexico to the north and west, the Pacific Ocean to the southwest, Belize to the northeast, the Caribbean to the east, and Honduras and El Salvador to the southeast.

Map of Guatemala

Map of Guatemala

Its area is 108,890 km² (42,043 mi²) with an estimated population of 13,276,517.

A representative democracy, its capital is Guatemala de la Asunción, also known as Guatemala City.

Guatemala’s abundance of biologically significant and unique ecosystems contributes to Mesoamerica’s designation as a biodiversity hotspot.

The former Mayan civilization was a Mesoamerican civilization, which continued throughout the Post-Classic period until the arrival of the Spanish. The Mayans lived in Guatemala, Honduras, Belize, the southern part of Mexico and northern parts of El Salvador before European settlers arrived.

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Flag of Guatemala

National Flag of Guatemala

National Flag of Guatemala

The flag of Guatemala features two colors: sky blue and white. The two sky blue stripes represent the fact that Guatemala is a land located between two oceans, the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean (Caribbean sea); and the sky over the country (see Guatemala’s National Anthem). The white color signifies peace and purity.

In the center of the flag is the Guatemalan coat of arms. It includes the Resplendent Quetzal, the national bird of Guatemala that symbolizes liberty; a parchment scroll bearing the date of Central America’s independence from Spain, 15 September 1821; crossed rifles, indicating Guatemala’s willingness to defend itself by force if need be; a bay laurel crown, the symbol for victory; and crossed swords, representing honor.

The Central American flag was used in Guatemala until 1851, when a pro-Spanish faction took over and added the Spanish colors of red and yellow to the flag. The original colors were restored on August 17, 1871, but as vertical (rather than horizontal) stripes and with a new coat of arms.

The Resplendent Quetzal previously appeared in the 1830s in the flag of Los Altos, the sixth state in the Federal Republic.

Variants

Civil Flag and Ensign of Guatemala

Civil Flag and Ensign of Guatemala

Presidential Standard of Guatemala

Presidential Standard of Guatemala

History

The Guatemalan Flag has changed throughout history and arriving to its current design in 1871.

Flag of Guatemala 1825-1838

Flag of Guatemala 1825-1838

Flag of Guatemala 1838-1943

Flag of Guatemala 1838-1943

Flag of Guatemala 1843-1851

Flag of Guatemala 1843-1851

Flag of Guatemala 1851-1858

Flag of Guatemala 1851-1858

Flag of Guatemala 1858-1871

Flag of Guatemala 1858-1871