Thursday, November 04, 2010

¡Feliz Día de Bandera de Panamá!

It's Flag Day here in Panamá, which means another day off for the Lovely Mona and me. Yay! We wanna go watch the band march, but it looks like it's gonna pour, so we may chicken out and watch it on el televisor.

The first flag of Panamá was made by Philippe Bunau-Varilla, the Frenchman who "designed" the separation of Panamá from Colombia and "negotiated" the arrangement for the U.S. to build the Canal (he negotiated treaties to the benefit of the U.S. and not in Panamás favor). Bunau-Varilla had a secret meeting with Manuel Amador and present the flag of liberation that Madame Bunau-Varilla and Grace Bigelow had spent an entire Sunday stitching together "in the greatest secrecy." It was designed to look very much like the U.S. flag, but the white stripes were yellow and in place of the stars in a field of blue were two yellow suns (representing the two continents) joined by a yellow band (representing the Canal). When Amador returned to Panamá he presented the flage and the rest of Bunau-Varilla's "revolutionary paraphernailia" at Federico Boyd's home. Nobody liked the flag, which looked too much like the U.S. flag for anyones' tastes. A new flag was designed by Amador's son, Manuel, and was sewn by Señorita María Amelia de la Ossa, and quickly duplicated by the women of the Amador, Arango, and Arosemena households. So today we celebrate that we weren't stuck with the flag designed by that French fella.


Leonardo Ricardo said...


Anonymous said...

Glad you mentioned that Phillippe was french - everybody keeps fogetting that fact, along with the other fact that he was the liquidator for the French Canal Company's property. After the failure of the US-Colombia (Herran-Hay) treaty, no one else wanted to try and make a deal for what he had...
You got to give him credit, though: he WAS a great salesman... :)

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