For Timbers players Diego Chara, Hanyer Mosquera, Sebastián Rincón and Jose Adolfo Valencia, today marks the 102nd anniversary of their native Colombia’s independence. To get us all in the spirit of celebration, here are a few facts about Colombia’s independence and the flower vase that helped to start it all:
- Formerly called New Granada, Colombia was under Spanish rule – then under Joseph Bonaparte after his brother, Napoleon Bonaparte invaded Spain in 1808.
- Bogota, New Granada’s capital, was the stronghold of Spanish power. Smaller surrounding cities and towns had announced their independence as early as April 1810.
- To incite the riot, Bogota patriots asked a well-known Spanish merchant to borrow a flower vase to decorate the table of a patriot sympathizer. The merchant, known for his quickness to anger, would be sure to lose his temper and begin the riot. Accounts to his reaction are mixed and unclear, though the patriots ran throughout town shouting about his rudeness, regardless.
- Simultaneously, another patriot appealed to Viceroy Antonio José Amar y Borbón for an open council regarding independence. This request was denied, and the Bogota residents took to the streets, openly protesting the Spanish rule.
- Patriot leaders once again approached the viceroy, but with a different solution: they asked for a town meeting to elect a governing council, of which Viceroy Antonio José Amar y Borbón would be a part of. He agreed after some hesitation (and the prodding by the mob outside his front door), and signed the act that eventually secured Colombia’s independence.
Today, Colombians celebrate their independence day with feasts, parades and festivals. Learn more about Colombian culture and traditions in this segment of Verdado o Falso from FutbolMLS.com with Hanyer Mosquera and Diego Chara (In Espanol).