The National Academy of History of Venezuela (ANH) has condemned the decision of Chavismo-affected local authorities to impose a new flag, anthem and shield for the city of Caracas without consulting that institution, issued today.
“Venezuelan history has taught us, since the nineteenth century, that all the ceremonies, symbols and political histories imposed by the political prejudices of the time and their rulers, were, without exception, long lasting,” the organization explains. in the current situation.
For ANH, the deliberations declared by local authorities are a “non-reflective imposition”, with the body defending that a decision of this nature “should be submitted to the widest consultation”, namely to the National Academy of History itself, “for the sake of this that the institution be one who are authorized to issue a reasoned opinion on the matter, in accordance with the laws of the Republic.”
“Nation, state, or municipal symbols are representations of collective identity that reinforce belonging, which has been constructed and elaborated throughout its history as the result of a shared past, so it is not an accidental creation of political bias,” ANH explains.
According to the Academy, “only a poor and limited understanding of our historical heritage can lead to a cliched practice of modifying the symbols of a city institution, as if it were a perfectly understandable practice of revamping a brand logo.”
He stresses that “on the contrary, the symbolic representations of a city belonging to a collective heritage must be considered in themselves intangible”.
The Academy states that the coat of arms of the city of Santiago de Leon de Caracas was granted by King Philip II (King of Spain) in 1951, at the request of the Prosecutor before the Court, Simon Bolivar, direct ascendant of Simon Bolivar, recognized as liberator of many Latin American countries .
“If the symbol of the lion on the shield of the city of Santiago de Leon de Caracas belongs to the entire metropolitan area, and was previously requested by the direct predecessor of the liberator, its extirpation should be submitted to the public consultation with Greater Caracas. And not only from the municipality of Libertador,” says the entity.
On April 13, the Municipal Council of Libertador, the largest municipality in Caracas, approved the amendment of the flag, anthem and shield of the capital of Venezuela.
According to the decision, the image of a lion carrying a golden cross with Cruz de Santiago will not appear on the flag.
The new flag, by artists Victor Hernandez and Carolina Jimenez, has a red background under it the sky of Caracas and Mount Waraya Ribano, better known as Avila, which divides the capital from the Atlantic Ocean to the north.
The triangle, a white five-pointed star on a blue and red background, also present on the flag, according to local authorities, represents the passion and blood of citizens.
A new hymn, “Caracas Will Win” by Noel Marquez and Manuel Barrios, highlights the struggles of original characters such as Abaquana, Tina, and Carabaca.
The shield contains images of Cacique Guaicaipuro, an African-American woman and “Father of the Country,” editor Simon Bolivar, all looking left.
At the top, you can see the message “I followed the example I set by Caracas” and many of the natural elements that characterize the city, including leaves from the “Shot”, birds, country birds, and a parrot, such as Bolívar’s sword. A spear and a red five-pointed star, symbolizing the Bolivarian Revolution.
At the bottom end, on the left side, you can see the dates 1810 and 1811, the beginning of the struggle for independence in the country and the signing of the Independence Act, respectively.
On the right side shows the year 1989 a reference to “El Caracazo”, the violent 1989 protests against the economic measures implemented by the late President Carlos Andres Pérez (1974-1979 and 1989-1993).
Also in 2002, to commemorate the violent events that, in April of that year, temporarily removed then-President Hugo Chávez (1999-2013) from power.
The new symbols omitted the date of the founding of the city of Santiago de Leon Caracas in 1567 by the Spaniard Diego de Losada.