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Vessels sailing under Guatemala Country Flag are required to have on board this flag as part of flag state requirements that derive from maritime regulations in the International Code of Signals and the International Safety Management (ISM) Code. These codes are published by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) as an ongoing effort to reinforce maritime safety procedures and communications to the international maritime community. Fleet management companies and ship owners are responsible to ensure that each vessel in their respective fleets have the appropriate flag signage onboard to be in compliance. This flag is used to identify the flag state a vessel is sailing under and to communicate with other vessels under the provisions of the International Code of Signals.
The Flag of Guatemala, formally adopted in 1997, is represented by three equal horizontal bars of light blue, white and light blue, respectively from the pole. When used for civil purposes, the flag does not contain the National Emblem of Guatemala. For all other uses, the emblem sits centered on the flag. The Emblem consists of a wreath of bay laurel branches. Within the wreath is the National Bird of Guatemala, the Resplendent Quetzal, who sits atop a scroll reading, "LIBERTAD 15 DE SEPTIEMBRE DE 1821". Two crossed swords and two crossed Remington rifles stand behind the scene. The flag should never be flown if it is damaged, and should be replaced if it is. It should never touch the ground and must be treated with reverence. The Guatemala Country Flag should be hoisted quickly and lowered with reverence. It may be hoisted full away, then lowered to half mast during times of mourning. Flying it upside down denotes severe distress, but it should never be flown in a way other than upright and fully raised unless specific conditions exist.
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