Guatemala, like the other four former members of the United Provinces of Central America, has retained the colours of the Federation's flag. The blue-white- blue vertical tricolour with the state emblem was introduced in 1871 and the form of the emblem was changed in 1968 and again in 1997. The blue stands for justice and steadfastness, and the white for purity and uprightness. The main device of the emblem is a quetzal, the national bird of Guatemala and a symbol of liberty The inscription on the scroll, "Liberty 15 September 1821", is the date when Central America broke with Spain. The rifles symbolize the will of the people to defend freedom, the swords stand for justice and sovereignty, and the wreath is a symbol of victory. The latest change involved the spelling of the date of independence. Since December 1997 the inscription reads " 15 de Septiembre instead of "15 de Setiembre".


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