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Updated: Sep 19, 2022

Home> Countries> North America> Panama

Country Name

Panama or officially the Republic of Panama.


Panama is a transcontinental country in Central America and South America. It is bordered by Costa Rica to the west, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the south.


Panama City.

Reason for Naming the country

The definite origin of the name Panama is unknown.

There are several theories. One states that the country was named after a commonly found species of tree (the Panama tree).

Another states that the first settlers arrived in Panama in August when butterflies are abundant and that the name means "many butterflies" in one or several indigenous Amerindian languages that were spoken in the territory prior to Spanish colonization. The most scientifically corroborated theory by Panamanian linguists, states that the word is a hispanicization of the Kuna language word "bannaba" which means "distant" or "far away".


The current Panamanian flag was adopted on December 20, 1903. The flag of Panama is sectioned into four quarters, the top left and bottom right quarters are white. The top right section is red and the bottom left is blue. In the top left white section, there is a blue, five-point star and in the bottom right white section, there is a red, five-point star. The Red and Blue colors represent the two political parties of Panama, the Liberals (red) and the Conservatives (blue). The white represents peace between them and the equal division of the colors states that they both govern the country at different times.