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Sunday, March 12, 2006

Venezuela unveils new flag

From bloomberg.com

Venezuela's Chavez Unveils New Flag to Honor Bolivar, Indians
March 12 (Bloomberg) -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez unfurled a new national flag and coat of arms today that he says will honor local indigenous people and the easternmost region of the country.

Chavez added an eighth star to the red, yellow and blue flag to represent the country's Guayana region, as he said Simon Bolivar, the country's independence leader, had wanted it. Upon taking office seven years ago, Chavez also changed the name of the country, adding the word ``Bolivarian'' to it to honor Bolivar.

``Now we will able to have a free, honorable and great country,'' Chavez, 51, said at an early morning service at the Pantheon, a former Catholic church in Caracas that now holds the remains of famous Venezuelans including those of Bolivar. Chavez unveiled the new flag on the 200th anniversary of Flag Day in Venezuela, the world's fifth-largest oil exporter...

Venezuela's coat of arms, which appears in the upper left corner of the government's official flag, also was redone. Chavez turned around a white horse on the coat of arms, having him gallop to the left -- an idea he said his daughter Rosines gave him. Previously, the horse was running to the right, with its head turned back to the left.

Chavez also added tropical fruits and flowers, a bow and arrows and a machete to the coat of arms, representing Venezuela's indigenous people. Native people holding miniatures of the new flag danced in a parade in Caracas. Soldiers with their faces painted in the flag's colors marched in front of Chavez and fighter planes flew overhead. complete article


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