Flag of Cusco: The True Colors of the Region

While you are on your trip to Cusco you’ll see one of the most beautiful flags of the world: the flag of Cusco. Its characteristics are very colorful. It has seven horizontal red, orange, yellow, green, sky blue, blue and violet stripes.

Many confuse it with the LGBT flag, but now, more than ever it’s different. The main and first difference is the sky blue stripe that only the Cusco flag has.  Also, starting in 2021, the Echenique’s sun was added. 

Also, it is worth mentioning that the creation of the flag of Cusco was in 1973. Meanwhile, the LGBT flag was created in 1978. We will delve about this further.

In June, locals raise the flag of Cusco for the city’s celebrations. So, embrace the celebrations with the knowledge about symbolisms.

Flag of Cusco: The True Colors of the Region

Flag of Cusco Origins: Diving into the History

The current design of the flag of Cusco is closely related to the wiphala or Aymara flag. But the historian Maria Rostworowski said that there was no evidence of the use of this flag. Ancient cultures didn’t have a concept of a flag and this design didn’t have an historic context.

The first glimpse of the flag of Cusco was in 1973. The Radio Tawantinsuyo station (initially known as Radio Rural) was celebrating its 25th anniversary. So, the main broadcaster designed the flag of Cusco inspired by the wiphala flag. 

A beer company auspice the confection of the flag for the Cusco anniversary, then it was officialized. Despite the similarity of the LGBT flag, the Cusco flag was prior for a short period of time.

This controversy was enlightened with historical facts given by Maria Rostworoski and the National Academy of Peruvian History. They express the wrong use and error on the so-called “Tahuantinsuyo flag”. 

Added to the historical facts, the growing missconfusing with the LGBT flag, some changes need to be done. 

In 2007, the Cusco Tourism, Culture and Education Commission recommended changing the design. So, the Provincial Municipality of Cusco announced a public consultation to determine the flag’s destiny. 

Recently, the Provincial Municipality of Cusco modified the flag’s design. In 2021, the flag has the shield of Cuzco, or Sol de Echenique in the middle of the flag.

Flag of Cusco: The True Colors of the Region

The use of the Flag in Cusco

The main broadcaster in Radio Tawantinsuyo, Raúl Montesinos, presented this design in 1973. He said that it belonged to the Incas, but he was mistaken. Later, Montesinos didn’t provide the studies that support the suitability of this flag model. It was accepted de facto without further evidence.

Five years later, on June 9th of 1978 the authorities made it official. 

During the Cusco anniversary month (June), locals raise the flag outside their houses. The main streets are full of flags and celebrations. For example, the Plaza de Armas -stage for the celebrations- has it next to the Peruvian flag.

Also, the pride month -that uses the LGBT flag- happens in June too. That’s why so many tourists show themselves confused by the similarity.

But when you travel to Cusco, you must respect the differences and the traditions. 

Despite all the controversies, the flag acts and signifies a lot for the locals. They feel inspired and proud of their place of birth.

It may not represent the Inca Empire at its fullest, but the flag of Cusco showcases the plural culture. It represents and enhances the sense of belonging to this beautiful region.

Cusco Peru awaits you with its locals and its culture. Xtreme Tourbulencia has everything you need for your tour to Cusco or Machu Picchu.

Flag of Cusco: The True Colors of the Region