Dominican Republic Flag. The shield which features in the coat of arms may be interpreted as a symbol of the Dominican Republic’s battle for independence.
One of the oldest flags in the world, the Dominican Republic flag was adopted on 6th November 1844 and is based around the colors white, blue and red. The white strip quarters the flag and provides a backdrop to the coat of arms, which lies in the center, while the two blue and two red corners face one another diagonally.
- History of the Dominican flag
- Interpreting the Dominican flag
- National pride at the 2012 Olympics
The concept of the Dominican flag was created by the Trinitarian leader, Juan Pablo Duarte, who added a white cross to the original design of the Haitian flag; this modification was not warmly accepted by the people of Haiti due to the violent struggle which occurred between the two countries during the Dominican’s fight for independence. The coat of arms positioned in the center of the flag seems to encapsulate both the escalation and resolution of this conflict. It consists of a red, white and blue shield embellished with a flag, a Bible and a cross; to the left of the shield is an olive branch and to its right, a palm branch. The blue ribbon above the shield reads ‘Dios, Patria, Libertad’ or ‘God, Fatherland, Liberty’ and the red ribbon below it ‘Republica Dominicana’, meaning ‘Dominican Republic’.
A Symbol of the Dominican Independence
The shield which features in the coat of arms may be interpreted as a symbol of the Dominican Republic’s battle for independence, as well as a symbolic of their defense against their neighboring country, Haiti. The red and blue colors of the shield have quite varying meanings: while the red represents the blood shed during the patriotic struggle, the blue alludes to clear blue skies and the liberty of the Dominican Republic as an independent nation. As for the white interludes which interrupt the red and blue, they are symbolic of the pride of the Dominican Republicans, but also of the peace which the nation hoped would be restored. The olive and palm branches which stand on either side of the national emblem serve to enhance this message and to promote a peaceful coexistence with Haiti. Finally, the slogans which frame the coat of arms reinforce the proud message that the Dominican Republic has achieved its goal of self-government.
During the 2012 Olympic Games, the Dominican Republic arrived in London, at the center of the world’s attention, with a bigger squad of competitors than in the previous twelve occasions, with 35 athletes. Yulis Gabriel Mercedes Reyes, the Taekwondo competitor, was the flag bearer at the opening ceremony proudly displaying the national emblem as he led his fellow Dominicans through the huge Olympic Stadium. In total, the Dominican Republic won two Olympic medals and came in a very respectable forty-fourth place in the overall medal table.
Despite the Dominican Republic’s difficult beginnings in their quest for independence, it seems that, having achieved their much desired ambition, the nation has flourished. The Dominican flag continues to hold great significance in the country as a symbol of the country’s progression from being under Haitian rule to their liberation.