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Costa Rica - State Flag

República de Costa Rica, Republic of Costa Rica

Last modified: 2022-05-14 by rob raeside
Keywords: costa rica | united states of central america | america | central america |
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(3:5) image by Zachary Harden, Jaume Ollé and Antonio Martins, 8 February 2018

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State Flag

From Album 2000 [pay00] - State Flag, Coast-Guard Ensign and President of the republic (-SW/-S- 3:5) - The five-striped flag of blue-white-red-white-blue,  the red stripe being double width of each the other four. Offset to the hoist in the red stripe on white oval is set the coat of arms. The construction details beside the figure set the horizontal offset of the oval as 3:7 (i.e. size from hoist to the oval's vertical axis : size from the axis to fly). The oval size seems to be (as measured from the image) as 1.75:1.5, using the same unit as above (which is the same that give vertical dimensions of the flag as 1+1+2+1+1, and therefore being 1/6 of the hoist). In any case - are the oval details determined by any law? I suspect that they may not be.
I used Jaume's image of the coat of arms as a clipart to make this images.
Željko Heimer, 1 June 2001

Construction Sheet

image by Zachary Harden, Jaume Ollé and Antonio Martins, 8 February 2018

Variant flags

Zachary Harden, Jaume Ollé and Antonio Martins, 8 February 2018

I discovered from the Coast Rica Olympic Committee's Facebook page that there is a variant of the state flag. This version omits the oval around the arms and enlarges the arms. The photo can be seen at This is not the first image I saw of the oval-less flag; there is a photo from 2015 that shows the flag without the oval, yet the size of the arms are about the same. This can be seen at

Željko Heimer asked on 1 June 2001 "In any case - are the oval details determined by any law? I suspect that they may not be. " I can confirm that the oval details are determined by law...somewhat. In Article 4 of "LEY QUE REGULA USO SÍMBOLOS NACIONALES - PABELLÓN Y ESCUDO – Ley n.° 18 del 27 de noviembre de 1906 " there is a specification on how big the flag should be, along with the oval. It reads "The flag that will be hosted on the public buildings indicated in Article 2, will measure two meters long by one meter, twenty centimeters wide and will be stamped in colors with the National Coat of Arms, in the red belt, inside a white ellipse of thirty centimeters in its major axis by twenty in the minor, whose center will be sixty centimeters from the end of the side that is attached to the pole." (As amended by Law No. 60 of June 13, 1934, and by Article 1 of Law No. 3429 of October 21, 1964). Law No. 60 of June 13, 1934, determined the sizes of the flag used on public buildings, along with military standards and for harbormasters.
Zachary Harden, 8 February 2018

Note that in the version with enlarged arms, there is a white outline around the arms, while in the version without enlarging, there seems to be no such outline.
Tomislav Todorovic, 8 February 2018

The latest law regulating the national symbols of Costa Rica, dates from 26 June, 2007 and is called: Ley de Símbolos Patrios y Valores Cívicos, Expediente Nº 16.678.

Article 27 derogates all previous laws dealing with the symbols, and thus flag. It reads:
“Artículo 27: Derógase la Ley Nº 18, de 27 de noviembre de 1906, y la Ley Nº 550, de 10 de octubre de 1949 y sus reformas.”

Article 7 describes the flags of the country as follows:
“Artículo 7: La Bandera Nacional
La Bandera Nacional de la República será tricolor y formada por cinco franjas colocadas horizontalmente en este orden: una roja en el centro, una blanca a cada lado de la roja y una azul en el extremo superior e inferior. Las franjas blancas y azules serán de igual anchura, la roja doble ancho.

Se conocerá como Pabellón Nacional el símbolo patrio conformado por la Bandera Nacional y que lleva en su centro el Escudo Nacional.”

As you can read the white circle or ellipse is not mentioned anymore. This may lead to the conclusion that the correct, official state flag of Costa Rica is the one with just the coat of arms in the centre.
Jos Poels, 11 February 2018

image by BlinxCat, 17 April 2022

This Antique Costa Rican State flag I purchased in a set of flags that got made around the 1970s. What is interesting is the flag's emblem is in a sphere instead of the "oval", not only that but the emblem is clearly incomplete being only gold-white-grey instead of being fully colored in.
BlinxCat, 17 April 2022

Presidential Sash

images by Eugene Ipavec, Jaume Ollé, Francisco Gregoric and António Martins-Tuválkin, 11 August 2006

Very recently, the newly elected President of Costa Rica Óscar Arias took oath as the new President of his country. There is a  picture at in which he can be seen wearing the presidential sash, which is the flag of Costa Rica plus the Coat of Arms in a diagonal way.
Source: El Tiempo, August 3rd, 2006 online edition.
E.R., 11 August 2006