Official Honduras Symbols includes the history behind the country’s shield, national flag, tree, flower, and fauna.
NATIONAL SHIELD OF HONDURAS
Honduras, like all other countries that were Spanish colonies, used the shields (coat-of-arms) of Spain, but once the country became independent, these shields were no longer necessary. Dionisio de Herrera, as the Head of the State of Honduras, decreed the creation of a national shield on October 3, 1825.
Through this initiative, Honduras acquired its own national shield, one which represents Honduran history and the rich variety of national resources that it possesses and which should be protected and conserved. The National Congress thereby declared in its decree # 16 and article 142, designated the shield as a national symbol for all uses, in a clear and general manner. The National Congress approved this in Tegucigalpa on January 10, 1935.
NATIONAL FLAG OF HONDURAS
Three equally sized horizontal bands, one blue (top), white (center), and blue (bottom). In the white stripe there are five blue five-pointed stars. There are two stars, one on top of the other, on the left and right side and there is a solitary star in the middle of them. (Arranged in an X pattern, centered in the white band). The Honduran flag was designed after the flag of the United Provinces of Central America (which came to an end in the years 1838 to 1839), which was originally fashioned similar to the flag of Argentina. The stars represent the members of the former Federal Republic of Central America: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. The center star represents Honduras. The Honduran flag flys with the hope that the nations may once again form a union. The colors on the flag carry meaning also. White represents peace and honesty, and the blue represents vigilance, truth, loyalty, perseverance, and justice. The blue bands represent the sky and the sea, although it has been argued that the two bands of the flag represent the two coasts of Honduras, one along the Pacific Ocean and the other along the Caribbean Sea. The flag of Honduras, when flown horizontally, is to have the top point of the stars facing up. The flag ratio is described as 1:2 (length twice the height), and the blue of the flag is “turquoise blue”. The flag of Honduras was first etched into history by the Honduran congress through Decree No. 7 on February 16, 1866.
PINE – NATIONAL TREE OF HONDURAS
The government established the Pine tree as a national symbol through accord # 429 emitted in Tegucigalpa on May 14, 1926. This accord was designed to establish protective measures to conserve and improve the existing resources throughout the country. The pine tree (pinus oocarpa or pino ocote) exemplifies the national flora, and it is considered to be one of the resources known to Hondurans throughout the nation since it is abundant and its products are used in many ways.
The protection given to natural resources in general and particularly to pine trees, represents a necessary conservation measure that will foster civic pride amongst all Hondurans. Therefore, an accord was approved by the legislative decree # 48 dated February 4, 1927 to declare the Pine as the national tree of Honduras. Its use has also become regulated to avoid unnecessary destruction from logging or forest fires. Finally, to create national awareness through schools and other means, of correct forest usage through tree and forest management.
ORCHID – NATIONAL FLOWER OF HONDURAS
The rose was the National Flower during 1946-1969, but considering that roses were not native to Honduras, the Legislative Decree # 17 dated January 12, 1946 was replaced by the National Congress in Tegucigalpa on November 25, 1969. Considering that the Orchid (Brassavola Digbiana) is a flower native to Honduras with exceptional beauty, vigor and distinctive characteristics, it was decreed to declare the National Flower of the Republic of Honduras as the orchid. Also at the same time, the government implemented pertinent measures to ensure its conservation and to the areas in which it grows, and to control its commercialization, cultivation and to teach scientific knowledge regarding orchids in local schools.
WHITE TAILED DEER – NATIONAL FAUNA OF HONDURAS
As a measure designed to protect our national fauna, and above all to halt the ongoing uncontrolled depravation, the National Congress of the Republic of Honduras emitted Decree # 36-93, dated June 28, 1993, which instituted the national symbol of Honduran fauna as the White Tailed Deer (Odocoileus Virginianus).
This beautiful symbol of our fauna lives in plains and richly vegetated hills. It can be found where there are vast pine forests, remaining always faithful to the area that it first chose, and can be seen preferably at night and almost always lives a solitary life. This mammal reaches an average weight of 35-40 kilograms and reaches a height of 73 centimeters and 140 centimeter long including the tail, its diet is vegetarian and is based on herbs, leaves, fruits and other wild vegetation.
The males of the species possess antlers that fall off every year, they have a very sensitive sense of smell and are great swimmers. Of the two species found in Honduras, the white tailed deer is the largest, and its two biggest natural enemies include the puma and the jaguar, as well as humans. This deer, when it raises its unique tail, runs and gives the signal of danger to the rest of the pack. As Hondurans we are committed to protect and conserve our natural resources including our fauna which in its majority is in danger of extinction.