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image by Fibonacci Prower, 27 February 2007
Department Development Nuclei (Previously - Provinces):
Flag description and symbolics at <comunidades.calle22.com>.
It says in Spanish:"Está conformada por una barra vertical
de color rojo, sobre la cual se sitúan 5 estrellas blancas, dos
bandas verdes en los extremos, con las que limitan
respectivamente otras dos bandas amarillas separadas por otra
La banda roja simboliza la nobleza y el heroísmo de la raza santandereana. Las 5 estrellas representan las cinco provincias del departamento. El color verde simboliza la lealtad, la firmeza y la esperanza, mientras que el amarillo y el negro hacen referencia a las riquezas auríferas y petroleras del departamento"
The stars are "upside-down"..
J.J. Andersson, 29 March 2002
The new flag of Santander has 6 stars. The flag was adopted at
the end of 2001. Six stars represent new six provinces of
Santander: Comunea, Garcia Rovira, Guanetá, Mares, Soto and
The five stars of the Previous Flag symbolized five historic provinces of Santander: Garcia Rovira, San Gil, El Socorro, Soto and Vélez.
Jens Pattke, 9 May 2003
The site <www.gobernaciondesantander.gov.co>,
from the Governorship of the Department, agrees with the six
stars for six provinces.
Carlos Thompson, 9 May 2003
There is a new decree which modifies the flag. The decree,
which can be found at the Governorship website,
states in its first article:
"Modificar el artículo segundo del decreto 579 de 1972, en lo pertinente a las estrellas, el cual quedará así: LAS ESTRELLAS de plata son representación de los ocho (8) Núcleos de Desarrollo Provincial del Departamento de Santander." [Modify the second article of the decree 579 of 1972, regarding the stars, which will state so: THE STARS Argent represent the eight (8) Cores of Provincial Development of Santander."]
Fibonacci Prower, 27 February 2007
The official flag according to the official
website of the Government of the Department of Santander
contains eight white stars, in representation of the Núcleos de
Desarrollo Departamental (Department Development Nuclei) formerly
known as Provinces. Metropolitano, Carare-Opón,
Rovira, Guanentá, Mares, Soto Norte and Vélez.
There is also a mistake regarding the Department flag and the Coat of Arms, which are shown on the website: according to legislation (Decree No. 579 of 1972 by which the Governor or the Department of Santander creates and adopts the the Department's Coat of Arms and Decree No. 254 of 2006, by which the Governor of Santander modifies Article 2 of the Decree No. 579 of 1972), the flag and the Coat of Arms should have eight stars.
The Coat of Arms is explained in deep at the department site.
The wrong depiction of emblems can be seen at a photo here. In this photo the current Governor, Colonel (R) Hugo Heliodor Aguilar Naranjo (actually the man who killed druglord Pablo Escobar Gaviria), appears wearing the governor sash with the color of the flag, charged with the Coat of Arms. Notice that both, the sash and the Coat of Arms, have only six white stars. This is due to the fact that the legislative reform to the Coat of Arms and the flag was carried out in 2006, and the Governor took oath back in 2004, when the Flag and the Coat of Arms had six white stars.
E.R., 6 May 2007
Flag with 5 stars
image by Carlos Thompson, 8 May 2003
The stars represent the five historical provinces of the
department: García Rovira, San Gil, Socorro, Soto and Vélez,
they no longer exist as political entities, but for reference.
Carlos A. Leiva, 12 August 2000
Flag with 6 stars
image by Carlos Thompson, 8 May 2003
image from <www.gobernaciondesantander.gov.co>
Previously Reported Old Coat of Arms
image by Felipe Carrillo, 7 July 2002
The reported coat of arms of Santander, Colombia is just the
arms used by the State of Santander in the United
States of Colombia (1863-1886), which basically are the coat
of arms of Colombia with the name of the state in the border. I
have no clue if this coat of arms has been used in Santander (for
representing the department in the Republic of Colombia
(1886-present)), however I found the following articles in the
website of Santander governorship: <www.gobernaciondesantander.gov.co/article&sid=422
(from 27 August 2004) (title translation: Santander will now have
a coat of arms) and <www.gobernaciondesantander.gov.co/sid=425>
(from 31 August 2004) (title translation: today is issued the
coar of arms of Santander) regarding a contest for
choosing a coat of arms for the department. The
articles do not show the new coat of arms, neither is there a
description (blazon or not).
Carlos Thompson, 1 September 2004
Found: at <www.vanguardia.com>
(Vanguardia Liberal is a newspaper from Bucaramanga, Santander).
The author of the coat of arms is Yair Leonardo Pinzón Enciso
and the date of adoption is 31 August, 2004. The motto
"siempre adelante" means "always ahead" and
is taken from the departament anthem. I suppose the
leaves are tobacco leaves, in the chief sinester there is an oil
tower, and the six stars and the colors of the shields are taken
from the colors (and meanings) of the flag. I
speculate that the river is the Chicamocha river between the
Carlos Thompson, 3 September 2004
About in 2000 a regional reform of the administration was
executed. Some departements introduced the second administrative
level. These levels are "zone" or "province."
A province contains several municipalities.
Jens Pattke, 9 May 2003
I wonder if the Santander provinces have flags. I doubt
Cundinamarca's have, for instance, as it seems that nobody yet
agree with the Cundinamarca provinces yet, but Santander seem to
have more institutionalized provinces.
Anyhow, last time I was in Bucaramanga (Santander Capital) I remember I usually saw two flags flying together. One was Santander and the other was Bucaramanga. I do not remember how this later flag was, but I do not recognize the flag in Bucaramanga page as well in <www.bucaramanga.com>.
Well, you never know, there is a Municipality of Bucaramanga (municipio) and a Metropolitan Area of Bucaramanga (área metropolitana). Or that second flag might have been the province of Soto (where Bucaramanga is).
Tthe provinces are:
- Provincia Comunera (fromerly Socorro) - municipalities: Socorro*, Simacota, Chima, Contratación, Guacamayo, Palmas del Socorro, Confines, Oiba, Guadalupe, Santa Helena, Gámbita, Suaita, Hato, Palmar, Galán, and Guapotá.
- Provincia de García Rovira - municipalities: Málaga*, San Andrés, Guaca, Molagavita, San José de Miranda, Enciso, Carcasí, Capitanejo, Macaravita, San Miguel, Concepción, and Cerrito.
- Provincia de Guanentá (formerly San Gil) - muicipalities: San Gil*, Aratoca, Barichara, Valle de San José, Encino, Coromoro, Cabrera, Páramo, Villanueva, Jordán, Pinchote, Curití, Charalá, Mogotes, San Joaquín, Onzaga, Ocamonte, and Cepitá.
- Provincia de Mares (formerly part of Soto) - municipalities: Barrancabermeja*, San Vicente, El Carmen, Zapatoca, Betulia, Puerto Wilches, and Sabana de Torres.
- Provincia de Soto - municipalities: Bucaramanga*, Floridablanca, Girón, Piedecuesta, Lebrija, Rionegro, el Playón, Matanza, Suratá, California, Vetas, Tona, Los Santos, Charta, and Santa Bárbara.
- Provincia de Vélez - municipalities: Vélez*, Aguada, Albania, Barbosa, La Belleza, Florián, Puerto Parra, Bolívar, El Peñón, Sucre, La Paz, Puente Nacional, San Benito, Güepsa, Jesús María, Chipatá, Guavatá, Cimitarra, and Landázuri.
(*: provincial capital).
Carlos Thompson, 9 May 2003
There is a new political division in Santander,
Colombia. The new division adds two new provinces,
Metropolitana and Carare - Opón, and moves any municipalities to
- Vélez - Before, 20 municipalities, now 16; Cimitarra, Landázuri, Santa Helena del Opón and Puerto Parra moved to the new province of Carare - Opón.
It now consist of: Aguada, Albania, Barbosa, Bolívar, Chipatá,. El Peñón, Florián, Guavatá, Güepsa, Jesús María, La Belleza, La Paz, Puente Nacional, San Benito, Sucre, Vélez (Capital)
- Metropolitana - The municipalities of this province make part from old province of Soto. The lower lands of Rionegro were added to Mares Province.
It now consist of: Bucaramanga (Capital), Floridablanca, Girón, Lebrija, Los Santos, Piedecuesta, Rionegro, Santa Bárbara.
- Mares - No modifications.
- García Rovira - No modifications.
- Guanentá - No modifications.
- Comunera - no modifications, except the addition of the lower lands of Simacota to the Mares Province.
- Carare - Opón - This New Province took part of Vélez Province and cosist of: Cimitarra (Capital), Landázuri, Puerto Parra, Santa Helena del Opón.
- Soto Norte - Same as Soto Province, but with nine municipalities moved to the Metropolitana Province. It now consist of California, Charta, El Playón, Matanza (Capital), Suratá, Tona, Vetas.
Jairo Alonso Méndez Méndez, 8 December 2005
The provices were renamed Núcleos de Desarrollo
Departamental (Department Development Nuclei) Decree No.
0304 of December 6, 2005, at <www.gobernaciondesantander.gov.co>.
E.R., 6 may 2007