Aruba History

By | November 13, 2021

Located in Central America according to, Aruba is an island of the Lesser Antilles, the westernmost of the Sotavento group 25 km north of the Paraguaná peninsula, northwest of Venezuela and south of the Caribbean Sea, just west of the island of Curaçao. He was part of the Netherlands Antilles, although from the 1 of January of 1986 is an autonomous country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, separately to the Netherlands Antilles. Aruba is not part of the European Union like other territories of European sovereignty that share this status Greenland (Denmark), French Polynesia (France) and Cayman Islands (United Kingdom).


Spain colonized Aruba from 1499 for a period of about a century. Likewise, one of the oldest references to the name of the island is found in the archive of the Main Public Registry of the city of Caracas (Venezuela). A royal certificate decreed in November 1525, grants Juan Martínez de Ampués, factor of Española, the right to repopulate the useless islands of Oroba, Islas de los Gigantes and Buon Aire. In 1588 the work “Elegías de Varones illustres de Indias”, by Juan de Castellanos(Alanís (Seville)), appears in Madrid, March 9, 1522 – † Santiago de Tunja, Colombia, Of November 27 of 1607), poet, writer and Spanish priest who mentions Juan Martinez de Ampués and the three islands. A document dated December 9, 1595 specifies that Francisco Montesinos, Cura y Vicario of “the Islands of Curasao, Aruba and Bonaire ” conferred a power of attorney on Pedro Gutiérrez de Lugo, a shelf in Caracas, to collect from the Royal Cajas de His Catholic Majesty Don Felipe II, the salary that corresponded to him for his office as priest and vicar of the islands. In 1678, in Exquemelin’s work it is found that the Indians in Aruba speak Spanish and that once a year a father from Coro comes.

The island of Aruba was conquered by the Netherlands, by the Dutch West India Company, in 1636; and it maintained its control, for almost two centuries. The political pioneer and initiator of revolutions in Latin America, General In 1805, during the Napoleonic Wars, the English briefly maintained control of the island until 1816, when it was returned to the Netherlands. Francisco de Miranda in 1806 arrives in Aruba with 200 to 300 men and prints on his ship a proclamation addressed to the residents of Aruba, in which he mentions Willem van Oranje, Washington and Pelopidas and Dion.

In 1828 it passed to the control of the Danish West Indies, and in 1848 it became part of the Netherlands Antilles. During the nineteenth century there was a gold rush, and this prosperity was added, the opening of a Standard Oil refinery in 1924, in the port of San Nicolás, the largest in the world for its time. In 1927, the APM (“Eagle Refinery Company”) was established in the “Druif” area, very close to the port of Oranjestad, an oil company belonging to the “SHELL” oil company, which imports crude oil from Venezuela. During World War II, they were two important ports for supplying fuel for the Allied forces operating in Europe. Which exposed those two ports to Nazi Germany’s submarine siege.

Patriotic symbols

The Aruba coat of arms has been in use since November 15, 1955. It was designed by “Atelier voor Heraldische Kunst” of Amsterdam, Holland, but was later modified to reflect the symbols of Aruba.

The following are the components of the shield:

  • Aloe: Symbolizes the first most important resource of Aruba’s prosperity.
  • Mount Hooiberg: (the second highest point in Aruba and the most recognizable landmark) symbolizes the rise of Aruba from the sea.
  • Handshake: Symbolizes the friendly relations that Aruba maintains with other nations and peoples.
  • Gear: Symbolizes industry as the main source of progress for the island.
  • Cross in the center: Represents devotion and faith.
  • Lion lying on the shield: Represents power and generosity.
  • Bay leaves: They symbolize peace and friendship.

The flag of Aruba was officially adopted on March 18 of 1976 with the official national anthem “Aruba Dushi Tera” (was elected on March 18 because on this date in 1948, the Netherlands accepted the right of Aruba to opt for autonomy in the Dutch Kingdom).

The Aruba flag has four colors: yellow, blue, and a red and white star. Each color has its meaning. Blue represents the sea that surrounds Aruba; yellow is the color of abundance, representing the past of the island and its gold, aloe and oil industries; red represents the love that each Arubian has for their country and the ancient wood industry of Brazil ; the white symbolizes the white sands of its beaches and the purity of the hearts of the Aruban people who always strive for justice, order and freedom.

The symbols on the flag are a red star and two yellow bands. The red star represents the four cardinal points from where all the ethnic groups on the island migrated. The star also represents the island surrounded by the beauty of the blue sea. The horizontal yellow bands mark a free and separate position that Aruba enjoys in relation to the Dutch Kingdom.

Aruba continues to celebrate all that its flag and National Anthem stand for through a public holiday every March 18.

Aruba History