Explanition of Philippine Flag

Blue over red bicolour with white equilateral triangle by hoist containing yellow sun and three yellow five-pointed stars.
Željko Heimer, 8 November 2002

The symbols on the white triangle of the Philippine flag are an eight rayed sun and three stars in gold. The sun represents the dawning of a new era of self determination that was desired in 1897 (when the flag was first designed) after the Spanish-American war and the US promise of independence, which was granted in 1946. The 8 rays on the sun stand for the 8 provinces that rose in revolt against Spanish rule in the late 19th century. The 3 stars stand for the 3 principal geographic areas of the country, Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao. To complete the symbolism of the flag, the red stripe represents courage and bravery and the blue stripe is for noble ideals. The white triangle stands for the Katipunan, a revolutionary organization that led the revolt against Spain and the color white represents peace and purity. This flag is unique in that in peacetime, the blue stripe is uppermost but during wartime, the red stripe is on top. Ref: Smith 1976
Dave Martucci, 7 January 1998

The flag was first designed by General Aguinaldo in 1897 during his exile in Hong Kong. It was adopted on 19 May 1898 (Kindersley, 1997). Aguinaldo’s army defeated the Spaniards at the Battle of Alapan on 28 May 1898. The flag saw it’s first action that day. 28 May is recognized as Flag Day in the Philippines. On 12 June 1898 the Philippines declared independence from Spain and so began the First Philippine Republic. Based on Melchor (1998) and Kindersley (1997). On 14 Oct 1943 the flag was re-established Smith (1975). This was the date the Second Philippine Republic began (a puppet government under the Japanese). Just like the U.S., the Japanese had outlawed the flag during the earlier period of their occupation.
Gene ‘Duke’ Duque, 25 September 1999

General Provisions, Section I, Article XVI:

The flag of the Philippines shall be red, white and blue, with a sun and three stars as consecrated and honored by the people and recognized by law.

The idea of coming up with a new flag was reached during the preparation of the second phase of the Philippine Revolution. It was personally conceived by General Emilio Aguinaldo, then President of the Revolutionary Government and sewn at 535 Morrison Hill, Hong Kong by Mrs. Marcela Marino Agoncillo – wife of the first Filipino Diplomat, Felipe Agoncillo, with the help of her daughter Lorenza and Mrs. Delfina Herbosa Natividad, niece of Dr. Jose P. Rizal and wife of Gen. Salvador Natividad.

The flag was made within five days and handed over by Mrs. Agoncillo to Gen. Aguinaldo before the latter boarded the American dispatch boat, McCulloch on May 17, 1898 on his way to the Philippines.

The revolutionists originally planned the hostility against the Spanish forces on May 30, 1898 but a bloody encounter ensued between the Filipino Forces and Spanish marines on May 28 at Bo. Alapan, Imus, Cavite where the Philippine flag received its baptism of fire and blood. Gen. Aguinaldo hoisted the flag as a sign of victory against Spain.

On June 12, 1898, the Philippine Flag brought from Hong Kong was unfurled for the first time at the historic window of the Aguinaldo Mansion in Kawit, Cavite as the country’s Independence was being proclaimed before the Filipino people.

During the American regime, the display of the Philippine Flag in any place was prohibited and it provided severe punishment for violators. The prohibition was lifted eleven years later and reverence to the Philippine flag was allowed by virtue of an Executive Order which declared October 30, 1919 as “Philippine Flag Day.” Though authorized and venerated during this historic occasion, the flag, however, had minor discrepancies.

On March 25, 1936, then President Manuel L. Quezon issued E.O. No. 23 prescribing the technical description and specification of the Filipino Flag. It was followed by other directives assigning the National Historical Institute as the authority in Philippine Vexillaries and Heraldry.

* The white triangle with equal sides of the flag is symbolic of equality among men.
* The sun represents the gigantic strides that have been made by the Sons of this land on the road to progress and civilization.
* The eight rays of the sun in the triangle represent the first eight united provinces that revolted for our independence.
* The three stars in the triangle stand for the three major geographical divisions of the country – Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
* The red field symbolizes the willingness of the Filipino people to shed blood in defense of their country.
* The blue field stands for common unity and the noble aspirations of the Filipino people.
* The white field stands for purity.

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