March 18th is Flag Day in Aruba, celebrating the flag and the Aruba national anthem. It was on this date in 1948, a motion that called for the self-determination of the Aruban people was presented to her Majesty Queen Juliana during the round table conference in the Netherlands.
The Aruba flag, as it is today, was made official in 1976, with the guidance of Gilberto (Betico) Francois Croes. He was also a leading force in the movement for Aruba to become an independent partner within the Royal Dutch Kingdom that was achieved on January 1, 1985.
The first thing you will notice about the Aruba flag is its unique shade of blue background. This shade of blue is named "larkspur" after a flower of the same color, but on the national flag of Aruba, this bright, light blue color represents the great Caribbean Sea that surrounds the island.
There are two narrow parallel horizontal yellow stripes on the bottom half of the flag. According to the Aruba government's official website, yellow represents abundance, and the horizontal lines represent stability and reliability. It symbolizes the abundance of the current industry - tourism - as the most important source of income, as well as the gold and the aloe industries from the past. The particular shade, bunting yellow, comes from various trees and flowers of Aruba that bloom a bright, sunny yellow.
The red, four-pointed star issymbolic of a compass and the island's population coming from all corners of the world. It als represents the island itself, outlined in white (sandy beaches) and the blue (Caribbean water).
The blood red color of the star is a tribute to the many native Indian people who died during an invasion of Aruba by French pirates in the early 17th century at the "Rooi Frances" or "Frenchmen's Pass". For more history of Aruba click here.
The national anthem of Aruba is "Aruba Dushi Tera" (Aruba Blessed Country). It was written in the early 1950's by Juan Chabaya Lampe (Padu) and composed by Rufo Wever. Hubert Lio Booi added another verse in 1976, and the song became so popular among the people, that it was officially declared the national anthem of Aruba on March 18, 1976.