What Flag Is That 04.27.2022

Estado Zulia. (The state of Zulia in Venezuela). It is one of 23 states, it is the most populated state in this South American Country. “Zulia State is in northwestern Venezuela, bordering Lake Maracaibo, the largest body of water of its kind in Latin America. Its basin covers one of the largest oil and gas reserves in the Western Hemisphere.Zulia is economically important to the country for its oil and mineral exploitation, but it is also one of the major agricultural areas of Venezuela, highlighting the region’s contribution in areas such as livestock, bananas, fruits, meat, and milk.” (Wikipedia)

“There are several competing theories about the origin of the state’s name. One is that Guaimaral, son of the cacique Mara, was on pilgrimage in the Pamplona region, where he fell in love with the beautiful Zulia, but she was killed in a battle against the conquerors. Gaimaral sadly returned to his father’s domains, naming rivers, towns and regions for his lost love there is little historical proof, but that is the most popular theory.” (Wikipedia)

Fauna variety is based on regions.

The flag was designed by Zulian artist Jose Antonio. In 1991 the state government held a contest to find a modern representation of their homeland. The flag consists of a blue stripe on the top, representing Lake Maracaibo and all of the rivers in Zulia. The black stripe on the bottom represents oil, the main source of income to the state. The sun in the middle stands for wealth and the motto of the city of Maracaibo: ‘City of the Beloved Sun’. The thing that first caught my attention was the lightning bolt.

A lightning bolt also appears in Zulia’s the coat of arms. Why would lightning be recognized by a state? When I lived in Denver, I was a member of the International Lightning Data Center. We studied lightning all over the world. We had a member who was hired by an energy company in Zulia to come and help with their serious lightning problems.
It turns out the lightning bolt on the flag and the coat of arms represents the Catatumbo Lightning Phenomenon.

“Catatumbo lightning (Spanish: Relámpago del Catatumbo) is an atmospheric phenomenon that occurs over the mouth of the Catatumbo River where it empties into Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela. Catatumbo means “House of Thunder” in the language of the Bari people. It originates from a mass of storm clouds at an altitude of more than 1 km (0.6 mi), and occurs during 140 to 160 nights a year, nine hours per day, and with lightning flashes from 16 to 40 times per minute.” (Wikipedia)

The Zulia flag is a thoroughly well designed flag. It is simple and meaningful. And, any flag with a lightning bolt is ‘way cool’ in my opinion.

And, we have fallen in love with the best food in Michigan: our wonderful neighbors who have the fantastic Papelon Arepa Bar. Amazing Venezuelan food.

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