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August 3 – Day of the Flag of the Race

On the 3rd of August every year in Honduras, the day of the Flag of the Race or Flag of Hispanicity is celebrated, in memory of Christopher Columbus’ departure from Puerto Palos, in Huelva, Andalusia, Spain, in the year 1542, commanding his ship the Santa María along with his two caravels, La Niña and La Pinta.

Columbus would arrive three months later, on October 12th of the same year, discovering what is now known as America and initiating the Spanish conquest of the New World.

Discovery of Honduras by Christopher Columbus

Christopher Columbus discovered Honduras on his fourth and final voyage, arriving at the Island of Guanaja, and then to Trujillo on the mainland.

In Honduran schools, this day is celebrated by singing the lyrics of the song “Greeting to the Flag of the Race“.

August 3 - Day of the Flag of the Race
August 3 – Day of the Flag of the Race

Creation of the Flag of the Race

In 1932, a continental-level contest was organized by the Uruguayan poet Juana de Ibarbourou with the purpose of designing the flag to commemorate this historical event. The winner and creator was Ángel Camblor, a captain of the National Army of Uruguay. Camblor identified Justice, Peace, Unity, and Fraternity as the most representative values of Hispanic Americans.

It was not until the 7th Pan-American Conference in December 1933 that it was adopted by the countries of Latin America as a representative symbol.

In Honduras, it was adopted in the same year under decree number 518, establishing its celebration in educational institutions.

It was established that “the celebration will take place in order for schools to pay tribute to the immortal discoverer of America,” and it states that the idea is to keep the Hispanic-continental ideals alive among the students of the country.

Description of the Flag of the Race

The flag is white, the color of peace and light, and was the predominant color of the flags of the Spanish Empire and the early sovereign movements of America, such as the flags of Guayaquil, Hidalgo, Morelos, Belgrano, or San Martín.

The three concave crosses are Mexican or Mayan crosses that, due to their similarity, recall those carried on the sails of the two caravels and the ship with which Christopher Columbus discovered the New World (La Niña, La Pinta, and La Santa María). The Inca sun symbolizes the awakening of the American continent.

The Flag of the Race was first hoisted on Thursday, October 12, 1932, the Day of the Race, in the Plaza de la Independencia in Montevideo.