Vessels sailing under the Ecuador 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 Ecuador is made up of three colors in the background. The top half of the flag is yellow. The bottom half of the flag is made up of two colors of equal size. The top portion, which touches the yellow half, is blue, and the bottom portion is red. In the middle of the flag is the coat of arms of Ecuador.
The coat of arms is an oval shield, with the Chimborazo mountain in the background with a river running towards the mountain. There is a steamboat in the river with the name Guaya on it. This was the first steamship ever built in all of South America. There is a gold sun above the mountain with the Zodiac astrological signs of Aries, Taurus, Gemini and Cancer surrounding it. Perched on the top of the coat of arms is a condor and, surrounding the coat of arms are the colors red, blue and then yellow.
The flag was officially adopted in 1860, although the ratio as it is now seen was accepted in November of 2009.