The flag of Ecuador, which consists of horizontal bands of yellow (double width), blue and red, was adopted on September 26, 1860. It is very similar to that of Colombia and Venezuela, which are also former constituent territories of Gran Colombia. All three are based on a proposal by Ecuadorian General Francisco de Miranda, which was adopted by Venezuela in 1811 and later Gran Colombia with some modifications.
Miranda ascribed the colours he chose for his flag to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's theory of primary colours. In a letter written to Count Simon Romanovich Woronzoff (Vorontsov) in 1792, Miranda described a late-night conversation which he had with Goethe at a party in Weimar during the winter of 1785. Fascinated with Miranda's account of his exploits in the US Revolutionary War and his travels throughout the Americas and Europe, Goethe told him that, "Your destiny is to create in your land a place where primary colours are not distorted". He proceeded to clarify what he meant:
"First he explained to me the way the iris transforms the light into the three primary colours... then he said why Yellow is the most warm, noble and closest to the bright light; why Blue is that mix of excitement and serenity, so far that it evokes the shadows; and why Red is the exaltation of Yellow and Blue, the synthesis, the vanishing of the bright light into the shadows".
The elements of the coat of arms of Ecuador have the following meanings:
* The condor: Power and Courage
* The landscape: The Chimborazo volcano and the Guayas River
* The boat: The Guayas, an historic ship of the Ecuadorian Navy
* The sun: Ecuador's pre-Columbian heritage
* The Zodiac: The Marcist Revolution
* Palm and Laurel leaves: Peace and Dignity
Meaning of the colors
The colors of the modern Ecuadorian flag evolved from those of the flag of the nation of Gran Colombia, which encompassed the territories of modern-day Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela. The colors have the following meanings:
* Yellow: The country's gold and agricultural wealth, and its extensive natural resources
* Blue: The ocean, and the clear and clean Ecuadorian skies
* Red: The blood spilled by the heroes who died in the name of their countrymen's Fatherland and Freedom.
It should be noted that the exact shades of the flag's colors are not coded in any laws or decrees; the proportions may vary, but have generally settled on the colors seen on this page.