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Guatemala - Indigenous Peoples Flags

Last modified: 2021-08-25 by rob raeside
Keywords: guatemala | maya |
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Maya Flag

[Guatemalan mayas]
image by Jan Oskar Engene, 5 December 1998

A colleague returned recently from an assignment in Guatemala and brought with him a photograph of a flag which was presented to him as the flag of the Mayas. The Maya flag is divided diagonally into four fields, the one closest to the hoist is white (for peace), the field in the fly end is yellow (for the sun), the top field is blue (for the sky) and the bottom field is red (for fire). The flag was fringed in light blue. The photographed flag also had a red stripe at the hoist, but this seems to be a sleeve for hoisting. My colleague was explained that these flags are not for sale in shops, so they are all home made. I don't know what the status of the flag is or anything about its history.
Jan Oskar Engene, 5 December 1998

Bandera de los Pueblos

[Guatemalan mayas]
image by Fred Drews, 5 November 2009

On 3 May 2008, A. Pérez and R. Quinto report in "El Periodico" the official hoisting of the "Bandera de Los Pueblos" together with the national flag of Guatemala in all events featuring President of the Republic Álvaro Colom.
The flag is divided in four parts, red, yellow, white and black, each colour representing a people, Xinca, Garífuna, Maya and Ladino, respectively. These colours are also part of the Q'anil, a Maya symbol in which each colour represents a point of the compass, an element of anture and a part of the human being.
The photography shown in the source seems to indicate that the flag is quartered per saltire blue-white-red-yellow with, in the middle,  a round emblem horizontally divided light blue-green surrounded by a white ring.
The symbol in the middle of the flag seems to be the Q'anil; Felipe Gómez, President of the organization Oxlajuj Ajpop, has questioned the relation between the flag and the Maya, since the colours of the Q'anil, light blue and green, do not appear on the flag. Aimed at promoting "interculturality" in Guatemala, the "Bandera de los Pueblos" was received with chiliness by the leaders of the peoples, who do not seem to have been consulted.
Q'anil is the Maya word for "seed", also used for one of the 20 days of the Maya calendar.
Ivan Sache, 6 May 2008

A better photo of the middle symbol on this flag can be seen at <> and you can see the flag flying next to the national flag (and to the Los Altos Republic flag ?)
The symbol in the middle of the flag looks like the glyph for earth (Kab'an) in the Tzolk'in table of named days. See image at wikipedia.
Olivier Touzeau, 8 May 2008