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Quito Canton (Pichincha, Ecuador)

Cantón de Quito

Last modified: 2021-08-26 by klaus-michael schneider
Keywords: ecuador | pichincha | quito | amaguana | san francisco de quito |
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image by Jens Pattke, 29 October 2002


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The flag above is based on the province official site.
Falko Schmidt, 29 October 2002

The flag is presented on the municipal website as follows:
"Decree No. 1634
The flag of the town was officialized on 17 May 1944 by the Municipal Council of Quito. It is made of a horizontal rectangle divided into three parallel stripes: the central part is red and the two lateral parts are blue. In the middle is shows a castle as a symbol of strength, nobleness and loyalty of the town. The finial of the staff is decorated with the golden ribbon of St. Francis."  
There is more information on the website of the Province of Pichincha. The text is exactly as above, but there is an image of the flag showing the central red stripe twice wider than the blue ones.
There are several reports of the flag with the municipal coat of arms instead of the castle. The most recent sighting is a photograph, published in "La Hora" on 21 October 2008, of the last meeting of the Supreme Court of Justice, to be replaced soon by the new National Court of Justice.
The coat of arms is described on the municipal website as follows:
"Decree No. 3111
The coat of arms of the Town of San Francisco de Quito was granted by Emperor Charles V, King of Germany and Spain, by the Royal Letter signed on 14 March 1541 in the palace of Talavera, Spain. This Letter, following a first Letter granting the title of Town to an Francisco de Quito, granted to the town a coat of arms which has been used until today.
The Royal Letter grants to Quito "all the pre-eminences, prerogatives and immunities that it can and shall have as a town" and commission the whole Royal Court to respect and let respect this rank for Quito. The document prescribed to the new Town of Quito a coat of arms and a blazon, which have been kept until now and make of the coat of arms of Quito the oldest of all the coats of arms granted to towns and provinces of Ecuador, highlighting the importance of the town in the history of our country.
The Emperor ordered the coat of arms of Quito to be "a castle argent surrounded by two mountains or rocks, with a green cave on the base of each of them, on the top of the castle a cross or with a base vert hold in their claws by two eagles sable fimbriated or, one dexter and the other sinister, [...], the whole on a field gules; an orle made of the St. Francis ribbon or on a field azure".
The coats of arms was immediately used in all the documents of the town's administration. According to a report published in 1914  by Pedro Pablo Traversari, once a Municipal Councillor in Quito, and whose original illustrated manuscript is thoroughly kept in the reserve of the Municipal Historic Museum, the oldest reproduction of the coat of arms of Quito that we can still observe is the coat of arms carved in a stone located on the facade of the St. Augustine convent. According to Traversari, this coat of arms is dated 1573.
For the commemoration of the 460th anniversary of the Royal Letter, Paco Moncayo, Mayor of the Metropolitan Disctrict of Quito, unvealed last March a polychromous coat of arms of Quito, encarved in cedar wood by the artist Whitman Villalba. Villalba's coat of arms is a model based on Traversari's detailed drawing and reproducing the central element of the coat of arms of Quito, the crenellated tower, crowned by the cross, in a beautiful silversmith's piece kept by the municipality for centuries [...] This work is part of the Hall of the Coat of Arms of Quito, located in the Municipal Palace and placed under the custody of the Metropolitan District of Quito."  
The website of the Province of Pichincha gives fragments of this text.
Ivan Sache, 26 October 2008

Variant (?)

[Flag of Quito] image by T.F. Mills, 11 December 1997

Quito's flag is a blue-red-blue tricolour, and about half of them showed a coat of arms.
I made the "Variant (?)" from a small flag which I purchased in Quito shortly before submitting them.  I saw many more like them on buildings and none like the 1944 model -- so I think your assumptions are fairly sound.  I know very little about the vexillographic culture of Ecuador, but in my experience much of the world does not have "sealed patterns".  It is therefore possible that the difference is not an official evolution.
T.F. Mills, 11 December 1997 and 13 December 2001

Coat of Arms

[Coat-of-Arms of Quito] image from website of the Province of Pichincha