About the Venezuela flag

The flag of Venezuela dates from 1811, the beginning of that nation's struggle for independence. The basic design includes a horizontal tricolor of yellow, blue, and red. Further modifications have involved including a set of stars, multiple changes to the placement and number of stars and inclusion of an optional coat of arms at the upper-left corner.

In 2006 the President of Venezuela Hugo Chavez announced plans to add an eighth star to the flag of Venezuela to bring about a much belated fulfillment to Bolivar's 1817 decree. Although the new flag was approved by the Venezuelan government it has caused significant controversy, and at the time of its official unveiling, Oscar Perez, a spokesperson for the opposition group National Resistance Command, stated that the opposition would not use the new flag.

The opposition has complained about the significant cost involved in modifying not only all flags but all documents bearing the flag or coat of arms by the year 2011 as proposed by the government. However, the government says the 2011 proposal allows ample time for phasing in of the new flag as citizens, businesses, and other organizations are able to switch.

The changed direction of the horse on the coat of arms also caused a stir among the opposition, commentators, and comedians who have remarked that the horse's apparent "running to the left" is a not so subtle reflection of Chavez's left-leaning politics. The new law says the latter represents the horse running with "independence and freedom"; it includes no reference to the attributed political symbolism.

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