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Venezuela - Change of Symbols (2006)

Last modified: 2015-08-13 by zoltán horváth
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New Flag and Coat of Arms for Venezuela - 2005/2006

According to "Agence France-Presse", 20 November 2005, President of Venezuela Hugo Chavez proposed during his Sunday TV program "Allo President" to modify the national flag by adding an eight star. This star would be a tribute to Simon Bolivar and a reference to the Bolivarian revolution launched by Chavez after his election in 1998. The seven stars currently shown on the flag recall the seven provinces which signed the independence act in 1811.
Chavez also proposed to modify the national coat of arms: the white horse would gallop towards the left of the shield instead of its right, in order rto symbolize the XXIst century socialism advocated by Chavez.
The President added that the modifications of the flag and arms should be decided by the National Assembly after the general elections scheduled for December.
Source: www.cyberpresse.ca. [Retrieved from webarchive.org. Ed.]
Ivan Sache, 25 November 2005

The mass media have reviewed that National Assembly approved on first discussion the reform of the Law of National Flag, Coat of Arms and Anthem by means of which would be added eighth star to National Flag and would change the position of the horse (most controversial matter) of the National Coat of Arms in addition of which would be included the legend "Republica Bolivariana" ("Bolivarian Republic") as a part of the motto (the tricolor pennants with inscriptions), everything which takes place as a result of the initiative of president Chavez.
Raul Orta, 19 January 2006

Maikel Arista-Salado sent a link (<www.el-carabobeno.com>) with information about the proceeding towards the adoption of a new flag. It seems that those preceedings were shifted to higher gear in order to adopt the new flag on the "flag day" (12 March). It is also seems that the known eight-stars proposal is not the only one.....
Dov Gutterman, 23 February 2006

"El Nacional", 20 February 2006 (<www.el-nacional.com>), reports that the new symbols of Venezuela could be adopted in March. President of the National Assembly Nicolás Maduro says that the proposal of law modifying the national flag, coat of arms and anthem could be adopted during the first week of March. The new law shall then be confirmed by a popular consultation.
Ivan Sache, 26 February 2006

Cilia Flores, President of the Commission for Domestic Policy of the National Assembly, announced on 1 March 2006 that the national flag will eight stars will be hoisted on 12 March, the National Flag Day, following the reform of the Law on the National Flag, Shield and Anthem. The reform will be submitted to a big national referendum on 3 and 4 March   It is currently forbidden to use the national flag in public acts like marches and demonstrations. Once the new Law will be passed, the use of the national flag in demonstrations will be totally allowed. The reformed Law shall be presented on 7 March and approved on 9 March. The change in the orientation of the horse on the national shield will also be prescribed by the Law.  
Source: <www.el-nacional.com> [The title of the article  seems erroneous, predicting 12 stars instead of eight!].
Ivan Sache, 3 March 2006

According review B-15 page of Daily "EL NACIONAL" on its today’s edition (March 8th, 2006), National Assembly approved yesterday night the reform of the Law of National Flag, Coat of Arms and Anthem.
Article signed by Maria Jose Mairena indicates among other things that "during plenary session were some discords as far as placing ten stars to national flag and on the increase of the number of ears on the Coat of Arms. Nevertheless, the modification was sanctioned without changes with practically unanimous voting and in the middle of strong applause".
It continuing saying that "Since now national flag will count with one eighth star and the patriot Coat of Arms will have "an untamed white horse, galloping towards the left of who observes and looking ahead, emblem of independence and the freedom".
It adds that "the new legal instrument also establishes sanctions on tributary units (Tax pattern on Venezuela) so that the changes can adapt in the time to the economic realities".
Agreement the reform it was decided that on the middle of blue stripe will be placed eight five pointed and white stars in arc of circle with the convexity upwards. With regards to the Coat of Arms, it also will have twenty-four ears on the first quarter to represent all the states of the Republic, whereas on the second quarter will added an arc and an arrow inside a carcaj to represent the aboriginal natives, and a machete to allude to the afro-descendents and farmers.   The B&W photo, illustrates the moment when the President of the Commission in charge of the Reform presents the corresponding proposal.
Raul Orta, 8 March 2006

The bill on the new national symbols of Venezuela passed its second reading at the National Assembly on 7 March 2006. The reform includes: - the addition of an eight star to the flag - the mirroring of the horse on the coat of arms - the inclusion of 24 wheat ears in the first quarter of the shield (instead of 20) to represent the 24 states constituting Venezuela - the addition of a machete, an arrow and a bow in the second quarter of the shield to represent the arms of the natives and of the peoples of African origin.  
Source: Unión Radio <www.unionradio.com.ve>, 7 March 2006.
Ivan Sache, 9 March 2006

The seven stars of the traditional Venezuelan flag stand for the original 1811 seven provinces (in those times they were provinces and not states) that started the fight for independence in the area. To pay homage to these seven provinces, different designs of seven stars flags have been used in Venezuela uninterruptedly since 1863.   According to the opinion and ideas of the people that modified the flag, the eight star added by Chávez government neither represent a present day rise of Guayana to Province nor any present day event.   Again according to their opinion, the eighth star stands for an eighth historical province from early 19 Century: the Province of Guayana.
Francisco Gregoric, 12 March 2006

The "Basler Zeitung" <www.baz.ch>, writes that the eighth star represents the province of Guayana, which was conquered in the war of independence. If that's correct, then this star is rather a late acknowledgement of the province in the flag than a symbol for the upgrading as a province. The terms "Guayana" (in Spanish) and "Guyana" (in English) describe the same geographical and political regions. More infos about the historical roots of these terms see <www.guyana.ro>.
Martin Karner, 12 March 2006

Provincia Guayana is now Estado Bolivar, or at least most of it. According to my records, until 1864, Venezuela has several administrative-territorial divisions and Guayana as provine survived till 1864, as a state 1864-1881, and again 1889-1901. From 1881-1889 was formed Gran Estado de Bolivar, combining two states Guayana and Apure. In 1901 Estado de Guayana became Estado Bolivar. So, today's Guyana has nothing with former Guayana.
Valentin Poposki, 12 March 2006

the historical province of Guyana included both large areas within present Venezuela [Bolívar] and the claimed territory now within Guyana. So adding the 8th star does not necessarily have to be interpreted as an irredentist statement- it could be viewed as merely a move to acknowledge the historical significance of the areas still in Venezuela.
Ned Smith, 12 March 2006

Here are few media reports about the change of symbols: <www.realcities.com>, <au.news.yahoo.com>, <www.sun-sentinel.com>, <seattletimes.nwsource.com>, <news.yahoo.com>.
The bill on the new national symbols of Venezuela passed its second reading at the National Assembly on 7 March 2006. The reform includes the addition of an eight star to the flag the mirroring of the horse on the coat of arms the inclusion of 24 wheat ears in the first quarter of the shield (instead of 20) to represent the 24 states constituting Venezuela the addition of a machete, an arrow and a bow in the second quarter of the shield to represent the arms of the natives and of the peoples of African origin. The congress initially approved the new flag design in January, and the latest vote confirmed the move. The yellow, blue and red flag has had seven stars since 1863, representing the original seven provinces that rose up against Spain. Chavez suggested the eighth star to represent the early 19th-century eastern province of Guayana, which was initially loyal to Spain but then joined an independent Venezuela. South American independence hero Simon Bolivar once proposed a flag with eight stars in 1817 and it was used for several years. Chavez has called the eighth star the "Bolivarian star," like his "Bolivarian Revolution," which he says is leading the oil-producing country toward socialism.
Evan, 12 March 2006

To see the boundaries for the historical province of Guyana go to <www.terra.es>. By comparing with a modern map one can see the historical province of Guayana included present-day Venezuela south of the Orinoco River, northern Roraima in Brazil, and the area claimed in present-day Guyana. Since Venezuela never relinquished its claims to land in Guyana, it might be argued that they can't be "resurrected" but whether Chavez is emphasizing them at present I do not know [I don't believe Venezuela currently claims northern Roraima, having sold its rights to Brazil in 1903]. In any case, it can be seen that the eighth star represents at a minimum over 50% of the current area of Venezuela.
Since we seem to have established what territory the 8th star represents only this question remains whether Chavez is reasserting this claim to Guayana Esequibo. If Chavez is asserting Venezuela's claim, that is not a new initiative of his- he is only continuing existing Venezuelan policy. For example, see a CNN report about the dispute from 1998, before Chavez was elected.
Ned Smith, 12 and 13 March 2006

I was going by Wikipedia's Venezuela article, which talks about Guayana Region as being the three states of Bolivar, Amazonas, and Delta Amacuro. There are long-standing claims on Guyanan territory (which some in Venezuela might like to consider as part of Guayana), but it certainly appears that Guayana also exists within the currently accepted borders of Venezuela.
James Dignan, 13 March 2006

The opposition movement CNR (Comando Nacional de Resistencia) [National Resistance Command] marched the 12th of March (Flag Day of Venezuela)  flying the 7 stars old Venezuelan flags and the CNR's leader, Oscar Perez stated that CNR rejects the 8 stars flag because they consider the new flag as a symbol of authoritarianism and only due to the capricious decision of Hugo Chavez. They prefer the 7 stars flag that they identify with freedom and democracy.
There is a photo of the new flag at EL MUNDO Newspaper.
Santiago Tazón, 13 March 2006

The flag and the Coat of Arms were ammended on March 12, 2006 after the Venezuelan Assembly establishes the addition of an eight star (to the flag) representing the Province of Guyana requested by Simon Bolivar during the Congress of Angostura on February 15, 1819. In this Congress the Ley Fundamental (Fundamental Law) was issued, establishing the República de Colombia, known as Gran Colombia consisting of Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador and Panama (as part of Colombia).
The full name of Angostura was Santo Tomé de Guayana de Angostura del Orinoco, later changed to Ciudad Bolívar in 1846. The territory claimed by Venezuela is a border dispute with Guyana considered by Venezuela as Guayana Esequibo.
E.R., 5 January 2008


2006 Legislation

Translation from <www.asambleanacional.gov.ve>:

 

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

OF BOLIVARIAN REPUBLIC OF VENEZUELA

Decrees the following,

Law of National flag, National Anthem and Coat of Arms of Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela

Chapter I

Symbols of the Homeland

Article 1. The National flag, the National Anthem and the Coat of Arms of Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela are the symbols of the Homeland and shall be venerated by all Venezuelans and respected by citizens of another countries.

Article 2. Except disposed on laws and special regulations, when National Flag be raised or flooded, in front of it, or when National Anthem be interpreted on official or public acts, all person shall be standing, immovable and discovered the head.

Chapter II

National Flag

Article 3.The National flag is inspired on the one adopted by Congress of the Republic on 1811. This is formed by the colors yellow, blue and red, in united, equal and horizontal stripes in the order that is expressed, from superior to inferior and, in the middle of the blue one, eight five pinted and white stars, placed in arc of circle with the convexity upwards. The National flag which uses Presidency of the Republic and National Armed Forces, as well as the one that is raised on national, state and municipal public buildings, shall have the Coat of Arms of Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela on the end of the yellow strip near the hoist. The National Flag used by the Merchant Marine only will have the eight stars.

Article 4. The National flag shall be raised

1.On Federal Legislative Palace during the sessions of National Assembly and on the buildings where the Legislative Councils have meetings, while it were in session.

2. On national, state and municipal public offices, in the days declared as National Celebration and other dates in which by special resolutions will be established by the competent authorities.

3. On the buildings of embassies, legations, consulates and agencies of the country outside it National holidays and when will be prescribe by the protocol of each country

4. On the building of the Office of the President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, daily.

5. On the installations of National Armed Forces, fortresses and other military buildings in the cases determined by the pertinent laws and regulations.

6. On Venezuelan merchant ships in the form and opportunity which determines the navigation laws and regulations.

Article 5. Venezuelans and resident foreigners on Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela shall raise the National Flag on their particular houses, offices and establishments, on National holidays and those opportunities which indicates the competent authorities. In these cases, as well as on the days of their patriotic celebrations, the resident foreigners on the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, will be able to raise also their nationality flag jointly with Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela Flag, corresponding to this last one the position of honor, this is, the extreme right of the site where will be raise

Article 6.All Venezuelan or foreigner will be able to make use of the National flag daily, being obligatory it use in those days and conditions indicated in this Law and its Regulation

Article 7. On parades and another protocol acts where National Flag is accompanied by others, this one shall be placed on the honor site, on the center if it are uneven, and on the extreme right if it are even.

Chapter III

Coat of Arms

Article 8. The Coat of Arms of Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela will have on its field the colors of the National Flag on three quarters: The quarter of the left of who is observes will be red and will contain the figure of a handful of ears, with so many as states have Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, as symbol of the union and the wealth of the Nation. The quarter of the right of who is observes will be yellow and as emblem of triumph will appear there an arc, an arrow, a machete, a sword, a lance, a carcaj and two national flags, interlaced by a laurel crown. The third quarter will be blue, will occupy all inferior part of the Coat of Arms and there will appear an untamed white horse, galloping towards the left of who is observes and watching ahead, emblem of the independence and the freedom. The Shield of Arms will have like crest, as symbol of the abundance, the figures of two cornucopias interlaced on the middle, horizontally disposed, full with tropical fruits and flowers and on it lateral parts the figures of an olive branch to the left of who is observes and of a palm to the right of who is observes, tied on the inferior part of the Coat of Arms with a tape of the national flag. On the blue stripe of the tape will be put the following inscriptions: to the left of who is observes "19 de Abril de 1810" (April 19th, 1810), "Independencia” (“Independence"), to the right of who is observes, “20 de Febrero de 1859 (“February 20th, 1859"), “Federación” ("Federation"), and on the center “República Bolivariana de Venezuela” ("Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela").

Article 9. The Coat of Arms will have to be placed in position of honor on all national, state and municipal public offices, and on the installations of the National Armed Forces

Article 10. The Coat of Arms of Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela will be used on the correspondence and official publications of National, State and Municipal Public Powers and in other cases which specifies the Regulation of this Law.

Chapter IV

National Anthem

Article 11.The National Anthem of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is the patriotic song known with the traditional name of "Gloria al Bravo Pueblo” (Glory to the Brave People”)

Article 12.The National anthem will be interpreted on the following occasions:

1. For tribute honors to the National flag.

2. For homage to the President of the Republic.

3. On official act of solemnity

4. On public acts which be realized on the states of the Republic for commemoration of historical dates of the Homeland.

5. On the cases which will be anticipate by other laws of the Republic

6. On that acts that determines the Regulation of the present Law.

Article 13. All Venezuelan or foreigner will be able to interpret National Anthem daily, being obligatory its intonation in those days and conditions indicated on this Law and its Regulation.

Chapter V

Sanctions

Article 14 Who don’t fulfill the dispositions contemplated on article 4 of this Law, will be sanctioned with fine from five tributary units (5 T.U.) to ten tributary units (10 T.U.).

Article 15. Who don’t fulfill the dispositions contemplated on article 5 of this Law will be sanctioned with fines from five tributary units (5 T.U.) to ten tributary units (10 U.T.).

Article 16.Who don’t fulfill the dispositions contemplated on articles 8 and 9 of this Law will be sanctioned with fines from ten tributary units (10 T.U.) to twenty tributary units (20 T.U.).

Article 17. Who that anyway and with premeditated form destroys, non respect or use illegally the patriot symbols, will be sanctioned on the following way:

From twenty tributary units (20 T.U.) to forty tributary units (40 T.U.) if it were partial or totally destroyed.

From ten tributary units (10 T.U.) to twenty tributary units (20 T.U.) if it were non respected.

From five tributary units (5 T.U.) to ten tributary units (10 T.U.) if it were used illegally.

The Regulation of this Law will fix the conditions of use and the form in which shall be respected the patriot symbols.

Derogatory Disposition

Unique. Is derogated the Law of National Flag, Coat of Arms and Anthem, sanctioned on February 10th, 1954 and published on the Official Gazette of the Republic of Venezuela N° 24,371 of date February 17th, 1954

Transitory Dispositions

First. The National, State and Municipal Public Powers shall adapt to the dispositions of the present Law, in progressive way and in the measurement in which the existence is exhausted, the official correspondence and publications that use patriot symbols of Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela on a maximum term of five years.

Second. Will maintain total validity and use the monetary species, the fiscal seals, letterheads and tax species which are in circulation at time of the entrance in force of the present Law, whose printings and designs were adjust to parameters established on the Law of National Flag, Coat of Arms and Anthem, sanctioned on February 10th, 1954 and published on the Official Gazette of the Republic of Venezuela N° 24,371 of date February 17th, 1954, until the same ones will not retired of circulation or replaced by the competent authority.

Third. The Central Bank of Venezuela in consideration to the necessity to do the adjustments to its monetary technical systems of production of currency species will be able to put on circulation monetary species with the Coat of Arms whose design correspond with the parameters established Law of National Flag, Coat of Arms and Anthem, sanctioned on February 10th, 1954 and published on the Official Gazette of the Republic of Venezuela N° 24,371 of date February 17th, 1954, until to a period of five years counted from the entrance in force of the present Law.

Fourth. The National Executive, through the Ministry of Interior and Justice, is authorized to regulate the form, dimensions and uses of all patriot symbols, National Flag, Coat of Arms and National Anthem, by part of public, private institutions and the people in general; as well as the position, size and hierarchy that, according to the protocol, shall have National flag when another flags there are other flags. Also it will regulate the forms, dimensions and uses that will have the standards, emblems and ensigns that have the colors of the National flag, as well as any other use of them on decorations and badges. This Regulation will have to be dictated within the six months following the publication of this Law on the Official Gazette of Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

Fifth. The flags, standards, emblems and badges of National Armed Forces will be governed, as far as form, uses and dimensions, by the laws and military regulations. Once published on the Official Gazette of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela the present Law, the military laws and regulations will have to be adapted to the changes.

Sixth. Will be maintained the Coat of Arms existing on those buildings declared historical-artistic monuments. Also will stay in those monuments, buildings or constructions of whose ornamentation comprises substantial part or whose structure could be damaged by its separation.

Seventh. According to the new representation of the patriot symbols, the states and municipalities of Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela which maintains its symbollogy elements of the national symbols, will have five years for adapt its emblems agreement with the established on the present Law.

Final Disposition

Unique. This Law will enter in force the same day of its publication in the Official Gazette of Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

Given, signed and sealed on the Federal Legislative Palace, seat of the National Assembly, in Caracas to the seven days of the month of March of two thousands six. Year 195° of Independence and 147° of the Federation.

NICOLÁS MADURO MOROS                 DESIRÉE SANTOS AMARAL

President                                                             First Vice-president

ROBERTO HERNÁNDEZ

Second Vice-president

IVÁN ZERPA GUERRERO                        JOSÉ GREGORIO VIANA

Secretary                                                          Sub-secretary

National Assembly Exp. N° 423

Law of Partial Reformation of the Law of National Flag, National Anthem and Coat of Arms of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

Published on Official Gazette of Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela N° 38,394 of March 9th, 2006

Note: Tributary Units are the parameter for the taxes in Venezuela.

Translated by Raúl Jesús Orta Pardo, 24 March 2006


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