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  • The national flag of Chile, consists of two unequal horizontal bands of white and red and a blue square, which bears a white five-pointed star in the center.

    The national flag of Chile, consists of two unequal horizontal bands of white and red and a blue square, which bears a white five-pointed star in the center. | Photo: WikiCommons

The law explains in detail how the flag must be hanged, maintaining that, as a national symbol, it has to be in a perfect condition. 

In Chile, it is mandatory to hang the national flag from every public and private building on Independence Day (Sept. 18,19) and for the upcoming celebration, authorities have said that people who don't follow the law may face fines of over US$300. 

Surprisingly this law does not comes from the dictatorship of the infamous Gen. Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990). It was enacted through a national decree by the ministry of home affairs, under the presidency of Eduardo Frei Montalva, a conservative lawyer who ran the country for six years, from 1964 to 1970.

The law explains in detail how the flag must be hanged. It highlights that, as a national symbol, it has to be in perfect condition, hung correctly from a white pole or from the building front. According to the 1967 constitution, flag hanging is only permitted on Sept. 18 and 19. Hanging a Chilean flag prior or after these dates will result in fines. 

However the measure has been amended over the years, not to made it softer, but to allow Chileans to be more nationalistic the entire year. In 2013, then President Sebastian Piñera decided to change the law and allow people to hang the flags as long as they want, but only if they meet the specifications. 

Every year the Carabineros (military police) of Chile fund advertising urging citizens to not forget to hang their flags. According to authorities, Chileans follow the law without any problem, however there are always some forgetful people who have to pay the fine. 


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