The Flag of Cusco - The True History Behind Cusco's Rainbow flag

Have you ever seen the colorful flag of Cusco flying in the wind? This flag, impressive in its vibrant colors and intricate design, represents Cusco's rich cultural heritage. But have you ever wondered about the true history behind it? This page will explore the mysterious history of Cusco's rainbow flag. From its origins to its symbolism and connection to Incan mythology, we will uncover the fascinating story behind this beloved piece of Peruvian culture.

Cusco province

Cusco, or Qosqo in Quechua, is a city in southeastern Peru that was once the capital of the Inca Empire. Today, it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country due to its well-preserved colonial architecture and proximity to Machu Picchu. Cusco province is divided into 13 districts.

History of the Flag of Cusco

The flag of Cusco is a rainbow flag with seven colors: red, orange, yellow, green, sky blue, blue, and purple. 

Chronology of the flag of Cusco

  • In 1973, Raúl Montesinos Espejo introduced this rainbow flag to Cusco to celebrate the 25th anniversary of his Tawantinsuyo Radio station.
  • In 1978, due to the popularity of the Rainbow flag, Cusco mayor Gilberto Muñiz Caparó adopted the flag.
  • In 2021, the official flag included Echenique's golden sun (Sol de Echenique).
The flag of Cusco with El Sol de Echenique simbol

Origin of the Rainbow flag of Cusco

Raul Montesinos Espejo created the Cusco flag inspired by the wiphala, which means "emblem" in Aymara. A square flag created in 1945 by indigenous peoples of Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, northeastern Argentina, and southern Colombia.

The controversy over the Rainbow flag

The flag has been a source of controversy in recent years. Some believe the flag symbolizes the LGTBIQ+ community flag and should be changed. Others think the flag represents Peruvian culture and should be proudly displayed.

The flag of Cusco is one of the most unique and recognizable in the world. The flag comprises seven colors representing Cusco's seven central regions. 

Difference between Cusco and LGTBIQ+ community flag

The rainbow flag of Cusco is a beautiful and colorful flag representing the Inca people of Cusco, Peru. The flag is made up of seven colors representing the human body's seven chakras, or energy centers. The flag's colors are also said to represent the seven elements of nature: earth, air, fire, water, and spirit. The flag symbolizes pride for the Inca people, and it is often seen flying in the streets of Cusco. It is also a famous flag to fly at Pride celebrations worldwide.

Flag of Cusco

The LGTBIQ+ community flag symbolizes pride and solidarity for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer communities. The flag was designed by Michael Page in 1998 and has since become a widely recognized symbol of the LGTBIQ+ community. The flag consists of six stripes of equal width, with each color representing a different aspect of the community:

  • Pink: Represents same-sex attraction-
  • Red: Representing life
  • Orange: Representing healing
  • Yellow: Representing the sun
  • Green: Representing nature
  • Turquoise: Representing magic and art
The LGTBIQ+ community flag

The symbolism of the colors on the Cusco flag

Cuzco's flag comprises seven horizontal stripes of seven colors that symbolize the rainbow. It was made official in 1978. It was changed in 2021 to include the Cuzco shield in the center.

Attempt to change the flag of Cusco

In recent years, there has been a movement among some residents of Cusco to change the city's flag. The current flag, which features the rainbow colors, is seen as a symbol of hope and unity. However, some people feel that it does not accurately represent the history or culture of Cusco.

The main arguments for changing the flag are that it does not include any symbols of the Inca Empire, which is an important part of Cusco's history. Additionally, many indigenous peoples see the rainbow as a symbol of colonialism and oppression. For these reasons, some believe that a new flag would be more representative of Cusco's past and present.

Ultimately, whether or not to change the flag is a complex issue with no easy answer. What is clear is that any decision will be highly controversial and will need to be made with careful consideration of all perspectives.

Juan Coronel

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