National Symbols

Flag of El Salvador

There are two versions of the flag, one containing the national coat of arms with the words “REPUBLICA DE EL SALVADOR EN LA AMERICA CENTRAL” (English: Republic of El Salvador in Central America), and the other with the words “DIOS UNION LIBERTAD” (English: God, Union, Liberty); both have the words in amber. The one bearing the coat of arms is used by the government and state organizations. The other version is used for civil purposes. Both contain the same cobalt blue and white stripes and both flags have a 3:5 aspect ratio.

The blue stripes symbolize the ocean and sky. The white means Peace.

Blue is an important colour in Salvadoran culture and identity. It started with Native American cultures of Mesoamerica in El Salvador, that cultivated and produced (añil) indigo plant which they used extracts to produce blue dyes. When the Europeans invaded and colonized the area, they saw the wealth of indigo and turned El Salvador to one of the world’s foremost providers of indigo dye in its time. Synonymous to the country’s wealth, the colonizers referred to the dye as “the blue gold”, that dominated El Salvador’s economy until it was completely replaced by coffee cultivation. Today El Salvador remains as one of the few countries in the world that still cultivates indigo to produce blue dyes. Over time El Salvador’s flag has had several different shades of blue, from the lightest to darkest. The present current modern flag displays a Cobalt Blue tone.

Coat of arms of El Salvador

The coat of arms of El Salvador has been in use in its current form since 15 September 1912.

The coat of arms of El Salvador has Medieval Gothic influences, as well as geographical, biblical, and Native American Indigenous symbolic representations, all which come together in a distinctive, stylized shield design. Its center consists of a bold golden amber triangle outline, in which a row starting from the left side, of five mighty and proud green forested coned volcanoes, depicting a tropical Jurassic landscape, rise out of the massive cobalt blue pacific ocean swells, symbolizing the fellowship of the five original isthmian member states of the United Provinces of Central America.

The volcanoes are all illuminated yellow on their right side by sunshine. Above the volcanoes is a crimson red Phrygian cap on a staff before an amber sun with spiraling swirling rays, with a brilliant volcanic “red sky at morning” under the sun in the horizon. The date (15 September 1821), Independence Day of El Salvador, in black letters over the sun, midway a top there is a rainbow arch in an azure sky which Biblically symbolizes peace. The colors in the rainbow usually depict from top to bottom five colors only: red, orange, yellow, green, and blue.

Behind the coat of arms there are five cobalt blue and white striped flags representing the flags of the Federal Republic of Central America, one flag is risen straight up behind and over the triangle, hanging loosely around the spear, and the other four flags are risen half way and stretch out far like wings from behind the triangle sides, two on each side, one over another, the flags hang loosely on their sides, creating almost a horn-like effect with their ends being tied up behind the triangle’s bottom.

All of the five flags are each held up and raised with Native American Indigenous wooden war spears, with obsidian Clovis Projectile points, and tied with American Indigenous feathers, symbolizing El Salvador’s American Indigenous ancestry and heritage, the spears also are a reference of the Lenca and Pipil warriors, who defeated the first European Spanish conquest in this Mesoamerican region. Spanish conquistador Pedro de Alvarado wrote he was awestruck and spooked in great fear when he saw the massive numbers of American Indigenous warriors with large spears and bow arrows as their weaponry standing their ground in their battle against the invading Spaniards.

The Native Indigenous shock troops made an unexpected decisive military attack on the Spaniards who fled from this strong Indigenous resistance. The Lencas of El Salvador were led by their mighty Warrior Princess Antu Silan Ulap who made a Guanacasco (botherhood fellowship) with chief Lempira of Honduras, against the Spanish. The nickname Guanaco which means (brother) in Lenca language is coined to present day Salvadorans. The Pipil were led by their Warrior Prince, who defended the Cuzcatan nation. The spears in the coat of arms of El Salvador are a representation of the nation’s indigenous heroes and spirit.

Under the triangle, there is a golden Amber (color) scroll which states the national motto of El Salvador: Dios, Unión, Libertad (Span., “God, Union, Liberty”) in capital and bold black letters.

All of this is surrounded by a green Laurel wreath, which is tied together with a cobalt blue and white striped ribbon of the national flag symbolizing unity. The laurel wreath is divided into 14 different parts, which symbolize the 14 Departaments, the Salvadoran subnational administrative units. All this is surrounded by golden Amber (color) letters, which form the Spanish words REPÚBLICA DE EL SALVADOR EN LA AMÉRICA CENTRAL (English: Republic of El Salvador in Central America) in capital and bold letters. For special occasions the whole entire coat of arms of El Salvador is stylized in amber gold color with a white or royal cobalt blue background. The coat of arms of El Salvador is also recognizable in silhouette.

National Anthem of El Salvador

“Himno Nacional de El Salvador” (National Anthem of El Salvador) is the national anthem of El Salvador.

The lyrics were written by General Juan José Cañas in 1856, with music composed by the Italian Juan Aberle in 1879. The anthem was adopted on September 15, 1879, and officially approved by the regime on December 11, 1953.

English translation

CHORUS

Let us salute, the Motherland,
proud to be called its children,
And let us spiritedly swear our lives
to consecrate its good without rest! (2x,)

FIRST VERSE

Of peace and in supreme happiness
El Salvador always nobly dreamed of.
To achieve this has been Her eternal proposition,
To keep it, Her greatest glory.
And with unwavering faith, the path of progress
She strives to follow, to follow
To fulfill Her greatest destiny
And conquer a happy future.
A stern barrier protects Her
Against the clash of vile disloyalty,
Ever since the day when Her soaring Flag,
Wrote “Freedom” with Its blood.
Wrote Freedom.(3x)

CHORUS (Repeat)

SECOND VERSE

Freedom is Her dogma and Her guide;
A thousand times She has managed to defended it,
And as many times She repelled
The hateful power of atrocious tyranny.
Her history is bloody and sad,
Yet at the same time sublime and brilliant,
A source of legitimate glory
And a great lesson in spartan pride.
Her innate bravery does not waver:
In every man there is an immortal hero
Who will know how to keep himself up to
the proverbial valour of old.

CHORUS (Repeat)

THIRD VERSE

All are devoted and faithful
To the tradition of warlike bravery
With which they have always reaped fame
By saving the Motherland’s honour.
To respect the rights of others
And base Her actions on right and justice
Is for Her, without infamous trickery,
The constant and most firm ambition.
And in following this line She persists,
Dedicating her tenacious efforts
In waging hard war to war;
Her fortune is found in peace.

CHORUS (Repeat)

The national flower of El Salvador

The national flower of El Salvador is called the “Flor de Izote“. The fruit of the izote plant is used in cooking in El Salvador. You may recognize this plant if you are familiar with the California deserts. Izote is a type of yucca plant.

The national tree of El Salvador

Maquilishuat (Tabebuia Rosea) is the national tree of El Salvador. The maquilishuat and the balm are indeed the two national trees of El Salvador. The maquilishuat is empowered by a unique beauty, it could grow as tall as 30 meters high and blooms all year round. Its leaves are complex and the colour of its flowers vary. These two giants were declared as the country’s national trees by an executive decree issued back in 1939.

(Source: wikipedia.org)