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National Flag of Costa Rica

Flag of Costa Rica
The national flag of Costa Rica features the country's national shield, or coat of arms. It is called the Pabellon Nacional and it is reserved for official use by government, schools, public offices, and ships.

The national shield is offset to the left side of the flag. It has "America Central" (Central America) written on the top blue ribbon. The coat of arms is closed in by myrtle branches that are connected by a white ribbon with the title "Republica de Costa Rica" written on it in gold letters.

Below the ribbons is a pictorial scene at the top of which are seven stars representing the seven Costa Rica provinces: Alajuela, Cartago, Guanacaste, Heredia, Limon, Puntarenas, and San Jose.

Below the stars are three prominent volcanoes that represent the three mountain ranges of Costa Rica. Between the volcanoes is a valley, which divides the country. The two oceans represent the Pacific and Atlantic, both of which feature merchant ships that are symbolic of the cultural and commercial interchange between Costa Rica and the world -- both are flying the national flag. In the background there is a rising sun that is meant to represent prosperity. On both of the golden sides of the national shield are small circles that are symbolic of the coffee beans, or "golden beans", which have played such a large part in the country's history.

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