Costa Rican National Symbols

September 16, 2019

Costa Ricans strongly value and honor their National Symbols such as their Flag, National Shield, Flower, Bird, and Hymn. Their National motto is “Pura Vida” and the oxcart strongly symbolizes Costa Rican Culture and Traditions.

The Flag

Designed by The First Lady, Pacífica Fernández Oreamuno in 1848, the flag was designed after the ideals of the French Revolution using the colors of the French national flag representing freedom, equality, and brotherhood.

Coat of arms

Costa Rica’s Coat of Arms (also called the National Shield) depicts its geography, the oceans, prosperity, the provinces and coffee.

National Bird

This bird is located throughout the country. and it represents earth’s fertility and is the symbol of rain. The Yigüirro sings to call the rain. and it generally sings at the beginning of the rainy season which starts in April.

National Tree

The “Arbol de Guanacaste” is the symbol of growth and equilibrium. It was designated as Costa Rica’s national tree on August, 1959.

National Flower

La Guaria Morada” is an orchid that was chosen as Costa Rica’s national flower on June 15, 1939. Costa Rican prize the flower and associate it with the beauty of Costa Rican ladies.

National Hymn

The National anthem is one of the important national symbols of Costa Rica as it expresses a sense of patriotism amongst the people. The music of the National anthem was composed by Manuel María Gutiérrez in 1852 and the lyrics were by José María Zeledón Brenes.

National Motto

“Pura Vida” the country’s does not actually have an official national motto. However, if you want a phrase that describes ticos “pura vida” will be the most exact one. Meaning “pure life” it is used by most ticos to show or demonstrate approval or happiness toward certain situations, and they also use it as a greeting and way to say good bye.


The oxcart was designated National Labor Symbol on March 22, 1988, is a rustic strong vehicle with two compact wheels moved by two oxen. Oxcarts are driven by people known as “Boyeros” in Costa Rica. The carts have been used for years as a major means of transportation of goods, especially coffee.

National Instrument – La Marimba

The Marimba was declared the National Instrument in 1996 and many traditional Costa Rican songs are played on the Marimba with the intention to preserve national culture and folklore.