The Flag of Chile was adopted on October 18, 1817, during Chile’s battle for independence from Spain. The flag of Chile is called La Estrella Solitaria, or “The Lone Star.” The flag is divided into two horizontal regions. In the top portion, there is a blue square in the left corner with a white five-pointed star in the center. The remainder of the top half is occupied by a white stripe. The bottom half of the flag consists of a red stripe.
The flag of Chile is simple in design; however, the colors and the star have symbolic meaning. The red bottom half of the flag represents the bloodshed of Chilean revolutionaries during the quest for independence. In the top half, the white portion represents the snow on top of the Andes Mountains and the blue represents both the sky and the Pacific Ocean. The white star stands alone in the upper left corner as a guiding symbol towards progress and honor.
Chile flew several other flags before adopting its current version. Chile’s first flag, used as early as the sixteenth century, featured a blue background with a white eight-pointed star. This flag was most likely used by the Mapuche warriors, a group of indigenous Chileans, during the Arauco War.
In 1812, at the beginning of the Chilean War of Independence, the provincial Chilean government adopted its first flag, the Patria Vieja (“Old Fatherland”). This flag consisted of three horizontal stripes, one each in blue, white, and yellow. These colors represent the sky, the snow on the Andes Mountains, and Chile’s vast golden wheat fields. Occasionally, this version of the flag appeared with the Cross of Santiago in the upper left corner and the Chilean shield in the center. In 1817, during Chile’s transition towards being an independent nation, the country flew a flag that also contained three horizontal stripes, but a red stripe replaced the older yellow stripe.
Finally, in 1817, the Chilean government adopted the current version of their flag, which was designed by José Ignacio Zenteno del Pozo y Silva, a Chilean soldier that fought in the Chilean War for Independence.