Last modified: 2004-07-31 by dov gutterman
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by Antonio Broto, 16 July 2001
I've been trying to find out someting on the flags of the
provinces of Ecuador. The data is quite insecure, and I seem to
have problems even with the numbers of provinces. My Encyclopedia
from 1969 claims that there are 17, W.Smith has 19 and my atlas
also from 1969 (! and from the same publishing house) that there
are 19. All of them agree that there is additionally one
territory - Galapagos Islands or Achipelago Colon, as they call
it. Since Ecuador has a quite unstable history, this is certanly
due to it. Even the flags of the provinces are not the same in
all sources. W. Smith gives 19 flags, but 11 of them he gives as
uncertain. Jaume Olle has on his pages 13 provincial flags, but
with one exception (Guayas) all are different from Smith's
[Note : Since then, two additional province (Sucumbíos and Orellana (since july 20, 1998)) has been added, and Galapagos has also been named a province, so that there are now 22 provinces in 4 regions.]
One more thing, W.Smith claims (but doesn't gives an image) that there is a special flag used on provincial government buildings, that have a ring of stars. How many stars there are? Is Galapagos included? What kind of stars they are? White fivepointed seems to be natural conclusion. But are they pointed up, as on Eur.Union flag or outwards as on Cook Islands? And are they all in the blue field, like in Venezuelan flag?
Zeljko Heimer, 15 July 1996
Editorial note : There has been a lot of confusion surrounding these flags. The various pages show the provincial flags as reported by Jaume on 8 September 1996, as well as those previously erroneously reported flags. Even W. Smith apparantly reported wrong designs.
Jaume Olle reported:
The provincial flag history of Ecuador is very complicated because there exists in each province dozens of district flags (many of them similar to the provincial one) and many times the sources (generally not expert vexillolists) are wrong. Only when the colombian vexilloligist Restrepo Uribe went to Ecuador (where he currently lives) is became possible to know the exact design of the provincial flags and shields.
I edited two years ago some pages in spanish with this explanation, but Zeljko Heimer read it and did not understand, and redrew the images and posted them to the list as if they were correct. Mario explained recently the possibility that one proposal was confused with an official design, and the flags of my pages were pending confirmation from the people, and they were not sure (this warning was unfortunately only in spanish).
The flags posted existed probably nearly all (one or two at least are surely wrong), but they are of undetermined districts.
In the recent XI Spanish Congress in Cuenca (I returned some hours ago) I see a poster edited in Equador in the 70s with the images of flags exactly like I posted.
Jaume Olle, 13 November 1996
Some of those "wrong" flags had been on Ecuadorian
postage stamps (which not always proves that they were correct)
and also on (official?) Ecuadorian charts. Manabi's flag had, for
example, first a row of three stars, later four, then a ring of
ten stars and now of twelve. Lojas flag had no stars in the
Ralf Stelter, 23 May 1999
There should be done some more investigation, as many flags
which are marked "incorrect" have even been on
Ecuadorian postage stamps and on photographs, or are known
predecessors of today's flags. So most incorrect flags may have
been correct once, and the flags labelled "correct"
should be relabelled "actual".
Ralf Stelter, 26 January 2001