Flag of the Philippines
Tatlong Bituin at Isang Araw
("Three Stars and a Sun")
|Use||National flag and ensign|
|Adopted||June 12, 1898|
|Design||A horizontal bicolor of blue over red, with a white equilateral triangle at the hoist containing three, 5-pointed gold stars at its vertices, and an 8-rayed gold sun at its center.|
|Designed by||Emilio Aguinaldo|
|Variant flag of the Philippines|
|Use||State and war flag|
|Design||As above, with the blue and red stripes switched to indicate a state of war.|
|Designed by||Executive Order No. 321 of Elpidio Quirino and Executive Order No. 23 of Manuel L. Quezon in 1936|
|Part of a series on the|
The National Flag of the Philippines (Filipino: Pambansang Watawat ng Pilipinas) commonly known as the Three Stars and a Sun is a horizontal flag bicolor with equal bands of royal blue and scarlet red, and with a white equilateral triangle at the hoist; in the center of the triangle is a golden yellow sun with eight primary rays, which represent the country's first group of provinces that started the 1896 Philippine Revolution against Spain; and at each vertex of the triangle is a five-pointed golden yellow star, each of which represents one of the country's three main island groups - Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. This flag can indicate a state of war if it is displayed with the red side on top.
- 1 Design
- 2 History
- 3 Chronology
- 4 Proposals
- 5 Usage
- 6 Pledge
- 7 Flag anthem
- 8 Similar flags
- 9 National Flag Day
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 External links
The flag's length is twice its width, which translates into an aspect ratio of 1:2. The length of all the sides of the white triangle are equal to the width of the flag. Each star is oriented in such manner that one of its tips points towards the vertex at which it is located. Moreover the gap-angle between two neighbours of the 8 ray-bundles is as large as the angle of one ray-bundle (so 22.5°), and its major ray is twice as "thick" as its two minor rays. The golden sun is not exactly in the center of the triangle but shifted slightly to the right.
The shade of blue used in the flag has varied over time, beginning with the original color azul oscuro. The exact nature of this shade is uncertain, but a likely candidate is the blue of the Cuban flag, which a theory says influenced the flag's design. Specifications for the flag's colors with shades matching those used in the American flag were adopted by the National Historical Institute in 1955. President Ferdinand Marcos ordered the colors restored to the original light blue and red of the Cuban flag in 1985, but this was immediately rescinded after the 1986 People Power Revolution that removed him from power. For the 1998 independence centennial celebrations, the Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines (RA 8491) was passed, designating royal blue as the official variant.
The flag's colors are specified by Republic Act 8491 in terms of their cable number in the system developed by the Color Association of the United States. The official colors and their approximations in other color spaces are listed below:.
Usage as war ensign
The Philippines does not utilize a separate war flag; instead, the national flag itself is used for this purpose. To indicate a state of war, the red field is flown upwards and is placed on the right if it is in a hanging position. In times of peace, however, the blue area is the superior field. The orientation of the flag was used during the Philippine-American War from 1899 to 1901, World War II by the Philippine Commonwealth from 1941 to 1945 and by the Japanese-sponsored Philippine Republic when declaring war to Britain and the United States in 1944, the Coup attempts during President Corazon Aquino's administration, and EDSA III. The only time that the flag was not oriented in a state of war was during the Battle of Alapan in 1898, 15 days after it was unfured in Kawit, Cavite.
The Philippine national flag has a rectangular design that consists of a white equilateral triangle, symbolizing equality and fraternity; a horizontal blue stripe for peace, truth, and justice; and a horizontal red stripe for patriotism and valor. In the center of the white triangle is an eight-rayed golden sun symbolizing unity, freedom, people's democracy, and sovereignty. Each ray represents one of the first eight provinces that started the 1896 Philippine Revolution against Spain. Ambrosio Rianzares Bautista, who wrote the Philippine Declaration of Independence and who read it on the occasion of its proclamation on June 12, 1898, has listed the eight provinces as Manila, Cavite, Bulacan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Laguna, and Batangas. Three five-pointed stars, one for each of the triangle's points, stand for the three major islands where the revolution started: Luzon, Panay Island and Mindanao, as mentioned in the 1898 Declaration of Independence.
The symbolism given in the 1898 Proclamation of Philippine Independence differs from the current official explanation. According to the document the white triangle signifies the emblem of the Katipunan, the secret society that opposed Spanish rule. It says the flag's colors commemorate the flag of the United States as a manifestation of gratitude for American protection against the Spanish during the Philippine Revolution. It also says that one of the three stars represents the island of Panay, rather than the entire Visayan islands. The proclamation also declares that the sun represents the gigantic steps made by the sons of the country along the path of Progress and Civilization, and lists Bataan instead of Tarlac among the eight provinces symbolized by the sun's rays.
Historical flags of the Philippine Revolution
It has been common since the 1960s to trace the development of the Philippine flag to the various war standards of the individual leaders of the Katipunan, a pseudo-masonic revolutionary movement that opposed Spanish rule in the Philippines and led the Philippine Revolution. However, while some symbols common to the Katipunan flags would be adopted into the iconography of the Revolution, it is inconclusive whether these war standards can be considered precursors to the present Philippine flag.
The first flag of the Katipunan was a red rectangular flag with a horizontal alignment of three white Ks (an acronym for the Katipunan's full name, Kataas-taasang Kagalang-galangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan - Supreme and Venerable Society of the Sons of the Nation). The flag's red field symbolized blood, as members of the Katipunan signed their membership papers in their own blood.
The various leaders of the Katipunan, such as Andrés Bonifacio, Mariano Llanera, and Pío del Pilar, also had individual war standards. The organization was represented in Cavite province by two factions: the Magdiwang faction and the Magdalo faction, with each adopting a flag. Both used a white sun. Instead of the letter K the flags bore the symbol for the syllable ka in the pre-Hispanic baybayin writing system.
The Katipunan adopted a new flag in 1897 during an assembly at Naic, Cavite. This new flag was red and depicted a white sun with a face. The sun had eight rays, representing the eight provinces that Spain had placed under martial law.
The earlier design of the current Philippine flag was conceptualized by President Emilio Aguinaldo during his exile in Hong Kong in 1897. The first flag was sewn by Marcela Marino de Agoncillo with the help of her daughter Lorenza and Delfina Herbosa de Natividad (a niece of Propagandista José Rizal). It was displayed in battle on May 28, 1898.
The flag was formally unfurled during the proclamation of independence on June 12, 1898 in Kawit, Cavite. However, a Manila Times article by Augusto de Viana, Chief History Researcher, National Historical Institute, mentions assertions in history textbooks and commemorative rites that the flag was first raised in Alapan, Imus, Cavite, on May 28, 1898, citing Presidential Proclamation No. 374, issued by then-President Diosdado Macapagal on March 6, 1965. The article goes on to claim that historical records indicate that the first display of the Philippine flag took place in Cavite City, when General Aguinaldo displayed it during the first fight of the Philippine Revolution.
The flag's original symbolism was enumerated in the text of the independence proclamation, which makes reference to an attached drawing, though no record of the drawing has surfaced. The original design of the flag adopted a mythical sun with a face, a symbol common to several former Spanish colonies. The particular shade of blue of the original flag has been a source of controversy. Based on anecdotal evidence and the few surviving flags from the era, historians argue that the colors of the original flag were the same blue and red as found on the flag of Cuba.
Hostilities broke out between the Philippines and the United States in 1899. The flag was first flown with the red field up on February 4, 1899 to show that a state of war existed. Aguinaldo was captured by the Americans two years later, and swore allegiance to the United States.
With the defeat of the Philippine Republic, the Philippines was placed under American colonial rule and the display of the Philippine flag was declared illegal by the Sedition Act of 1907. This law was repealed on October 24, 1919. With the legalization of display of the Philippine flag, the cloth available in most stores was the red and blue of the flag of the United States, so the flag from 1919 onwards adopted the "National Flag blue" color. On March 26, 1920, the Philippine Legislature passed Act. No 2928 on March 26, 1920, which legally adopted the Philippine flag as the official flag of the Philippine Islands. Up until the eve of World War II, Flag Day was celebrated on annually on October 30, commemorating the date the ban on the flag was lifted.
The Commonwealth of the Philippines was inaugurated in 1935. On March 25, 1936, President Manuel L. Quezon issued Executive Order No. 23 which provided for the technical description and specifications of the flag. Among the provisions of the order was the definition of the triangle at the hoist as an equilateral triangle, the definition of the aspect ratio at 1:2, the precise angles of the stars, the geometric and aesthetic design of the sun, and the formal elimination of the mythical face on the sun. The exact shades of colors, however, were not precisely defined. These specifications have remained unchanged and in effect to the present. In 1941, Flag Day was officially moved to June 12, commemorating the date that Philippine independence was proclaimed in 1898.
The flag was once again banned with the Japanese invasion and occupation of the Philippines beginning December 1941, to be hoisted again with the establishment of the Japanese-sponsored Second Republic of the Philippines. In ceremonies held in October 1943, Emilio Aguinaldo hoisted the flag with the original Cuban blue and red colors restored. The flag was initially flown with the blue stripe up, until President Jose P. Laurel proclaimed the existence of a state of war with the Allied Powers in 1944. The Commonwealth government-in-exile in Washington, D.C. continued to use the flag with the American colors, and had flown it with the red stripe up since the initial invasion of the Japanese. With the combined forces of the Filipino & American soldiers and the liberation of the Philippines in 1944 to 1945, the flag with the American colors was restored, and it was this flag that was hoisted upon the granting of Philippine independence from the United States on July 4, 1946.
|The Spanish East Indies (1535–1898)|
||1535–1730||Flag used when the Philippine Islands were a part of New Spain.||The Cross of Burgundy: a red saltire resembling two crossed, roughly-pruned branches, on a white field.|
||1730-1761||Used during Spanish East Indies period.||Flag of Spain under the reign of King Felipe V.|
||1761-1785||Used during Spanish East Indies period.||Flag of Spain under the reign of King Felipe V's grandson, King Carlos III|
||1762–1764||Flag during the British occupation of the Philippines, as used in occupied Manila and Cavite||The flag of the British East India Company before 1810: A flag with red and white stripes with the Kingdom of Great Britain's Union Flag as a canton. The Union flag bears red cross on a white field, commonly called St George's Cross, superimposed on a white saltire on a blue field, known as St Andrew's Cross. Also known as the "King's Colours."|
||1785–1873||Used during Spanish East Indies period.||Three horizontal stripes of red, weld-yellow and red, the centre stripe being twice as wide as each red stripe with arms in the first third of the weld-yellow stripe. The arms are crowned and vertically divided, the left red field with a tower representing Castille, the right white field with a lion representing León.|
||1873–1874||Used by the Spanish East Indies under the First Spanish Republic.||Three horizontal stripes: red, weld-yellow and red, the yellow strip being twice as wide as each red stripe with arms in the first third of the yellow stripe. Royal crown removed from arms.|
||1874-1898||Used during Spanish East Indies after the restoration of the Spanish monarchy.||The flag of the Kingdom of Spain used prior to the First Spanish Republic was reinstated.|
|Philippine Revolution - First Phiilippine Republic|
||1897–1898||First official flag of the Phliipine republic and used during the Philippine Revolution||The flag was created in Naic, Cavite and first displayed in 1897. It features an eight-rayed white sun with a mythical face on a field of red.|
||1898–1901||The Three Stars and a Sun was a design that conceived by President Emilio Aguinaldo. The exact shade of blue is debated; three variants were used by subsequent governments.||Sewn by Doña Marcela Marino de Agoncillo, Lorenza Agoncillo, and Delfina Herbosa de Natividad in Hong Kong and first flown in battle on May 28, 1898. It was formally unfurled during the Proclamation of Philippine Independence and the flag of the First Philippine Republic, on June 12, 1898 by President Aguinaldo. It contains a mythical sun (with a face) common to many former Spanish colonies; the triangle of Masonry; the eight rays representing the provinces that first revolted and were placed under Martial Law by the Spanish at the start of the 1896 Revolution. The flag was initially unfurled with the blue stripe above, but was flown with the red stripe above at the outbreak of the Philippine-American War in 1899.|
|American and Commonwealth Period (1898–1946)|
||1898–1908||Used while under direct administration from the United States of America.||Thirteen horizontal stripes of alternating red and white representing the original Thirteen Colonies; in the canton, white stars on a blue field, the number of stars increased as the United States expanded its territory.|
||1908–1912||Variant after Oklahoma became a state|
||1912–1919||Variant after Arizona and New Mexico achieved statehood|
||1919–1936||From 1919, two flags were flown in the Philippines, the American flag and the flag conceived by Emilio Aguinaldo which was made the national flag of the Philippines||The American flag remained unchanged since 1919. For the Philippine flag, the design conceived by Emilio Aguinaldo remained but the shades of blue and red were adopted from the American flag. The sun's face was removed, but its stylised rays were retained. It should be noted that there existed many versions of the flag as no official design had been codified.|
||1936–1946||Specifications codified; Defined under Executive Order No. 23, s. 1936. The shade of blue used was Navy Blue, following suit from the American Flag. The triangle was made equilateral and the sun was also further simplified, achieving its present form. Also used by the Commonwealth government-in-exile from 1942-1945|
|Japanese Period (1942–1945)|
||1942–1943||Used during the Japanese Occupation.||The Hinomaru as it appeared until 1999: a red sun-disc, shifted 1% left of centre, on a white field.|
||October 14, 1943||Used during the inauguration of the Second Republic.||Emilio Aguinaldo's flag was hoisted upon proclamation of the Second Republic. However, the design as used by the commonwealth remained.|
||1946–1985||Following independence, the 1936 design specifications codified by Manuel Quezon remains but the shades of blue and red varied through the years. In 1998, the flag gained its present definitive shades.||Defined under Executive Order No. 23, s. 1936. The shade of blue used here is Navy Blue, following suit from the American Flag.|
||1985–1986||Altered by Executive Order No. 1010, s. 1985. The shade of blue was changed from Navy Blue to Light Blue, amidst debate on the shade used in the original flag. A pale Sky Blue was the actual colour used since it was more available at that time and not due to any specific historical precedent.|
||1986–1998||1936 version of the flag restored after the 1986 People Power Revolution.|
||1998–present||The Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines specifies the colours for the blue field Cable No. 80173; the white field, Cable No. 80001; the red field, Cable No. 80108; and the golden-yellow Stars and Sun, Cable No. 80068. Colours introduced for the Centennial celebrations.|
Prior to the 1998 independence centennial celebrations, the provincial government of Zambales lobbied that the sunburst design accommodate a ninth ray, reasoning that their province was also in a state of rebellion in 1896. The Centennial Commission however refuted this change, based on research by the National Historical Institute. In 2009, a Senate Bill was introduced to add an additional ray to represent the Moro people in Mindanao who also fought the Spanish and was never occupied by the Spanish colonial government. As of September 24, 2009, it is in the process of bill reconciliation in Congress.
There have been numerous proposals as to how the crescent moon should be incorporated into the flag, including one such proposal from former President Fidel V. Ramos. To this day, the issue remains unresolved.
The flag should be displayed in all government buildings, official residences, public plazas, and schools every day throughout the year. The days of the 28th of May (National Flag Day) and the 12th of June (Independence Day) are designated as flag days, during which all offices, agencies and instrumentalities of government, business establishments, institutions of learning and private homes are enjoined to display the flag. But in recent years, the flag days are now from May 28 to June 30 yearly to promote patriotism and to celebrate the nation's independence.
By law, the Philippine flag must be permanently hoisted and illuminated at night at the following locations:
- Malacañan Palace, the official residence of the President of the Philippines
- Congress of the Philippines buildings:
- Supreme Court of the Philippines building
- Rizal Monument in Luneta, Manila
- Aguinaldo Shrine in Kawit, Cavite
- Barasoain Shrine in Malolos, Bulacan
- Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
- Libingan ng mga Bayani
- Mausoleo de los Veteranos de la Revolución
- All international ports of entry
- All other places as may be designated by the National Historical Institute as such.
The flag may be flown at half-mast as a sign of mourning. Upon the official announcement of the death of the President or a former President, the flag should be flown at half-mast for ten days. The flag should be flown at half-mast for seven days following the death of the Vice President, the Chief Justice, the President of the Senate or the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
The flag may also be required to fly at half-mast upon the death of other persons to be determined by the National Historical Institute, for a period less than seven days. The flag shall be flown at half-mast on all the buildings and places where the decedent was holding office, on the day of death until the day of interment of an incumbent member of the Supreme Court, the Cabinet, the Senate or the House of Representatives, and such other persons as may be determined by the National Historical Institute.
When flown at half-mast, the flag should be first hoisted to the peak for a moment then lowered to the half-mast position. It should be raised to the peak again before it is lowered for the day.
The flag may also be used to cover the caskets of the dead of the military, veterans of previous wars, national artists, and outstanding civilians as determined by the local government. In such cases, the flag must be placed such that the white triangle is at the head and the blue portion covers the right side of the casket. The flag should not be lowered to the grave or allowed to touch the ground, but should be solemnly folded and handed to the heirs of the deceased.
According to Republic Act 8491 itself, it shall be prohibited:
- a) To mutilate, deface, defile, trample on or cast contempt or commit any act or omission casting dishonor or ridicule upon the flag or over its surface;
- b) To dip the flag to any person or object by way of compliment or salute;
- c) To use the flag:
- 1) As a drapery, festoon, tablecloth;
- 2) As covering for ceilings, walls, statues or other objects;
- 3) As a pennant in the hood, side, back and top of motor vehicles;
- 4) As a staff or whip;
- 5) For unveiling monuments or statues; and
- 6) As trademarks, or for industrial, commercial or agricultural labels or designs.
- d) To display the flag:
- 1) Under any painting or picture;
- 2) Horizontally face-up. It shall always be hoisted aloft and be allowed to fall freely;
- 3) Below any platform; or
- 4) In discotheques, cockpits, night and day clubs, casinos, gambling joints and places of vice or where frivolity prevails.
- e) To wear the flag in whole or in part as a costume or uniform;
- f) To add any word, figure, mark, picture, design, drawings, advertisement, or imprint of any nature on the flag;
- g) To print, paint or attach representation of the flag on handkerchiefs, napkins, cushions, and other articles of merchandise;
- h) To display in public any foreign flag, except in embassies and other diplomatic establishments, and in offices of international organizations;
- i) To use, display or be part of any advertisement or infomercial; and
- j) To display the flag in front of buildings or offices occupied by aliens.
The Act mandates that violators shall, upon conviction, be punished by fine or imprisonment.
The Pledge of Allegiance to the Philippine flag (distinct from the Patriotic Oath of Allegiance) should be recited while standing with the right hand with palm open raised shoulder high. Individuals whose faith or religious beliefs prohibit them from making such pledge are permitted to excuse themselves, but are required by law to show full respect when the pledge is being rendered by standing at attention.
The law makes no statement regarding the language in which the pledge must be recited, but the pledge is written (and therefore recited) in the Filipino language.
The following Spanish, Tagalog/Filipino and English versions of the national anthem have been given official status throughout Philippine history. However, only the most recent and current Filipino version is officially recognised by law. The Flag and Heraldic Code, approved on 12 February 1998 specifies, Lupang Hinirang, "The National Anthem shall always be sung in the national language within or without the country"; violation of the law is punishable by a fine and imprisonment .
National Flag Day
The National Flag Day in the Philippines is celebrated every 28 May. The National Flag week starts from May 28 and ends on June 12 every year.
- Flags of the Philippine provinces
- Flags of the Philippine Revolution
- Naval Jack of the Philippines
- List of flags of the Philippines
- RP flag blooper in New York not intentional—US embassy - INQUIRER.net, Philippine News for Filipinos
- "Republic Act No. 8491". Government of the Philippines. February 12, 1998. (archived from the original on 2007-12-05).
- Executive Order No. 23, s. 1936 | Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines
- "The Philippine National Flag". Monuments and Heraldry division, National Historical institute. National Commission for Culture and the Arts.
- Quezon III, Manuel L. (2002-04-12). "Philippines: the shade of blue". Flags of the World. Archived from the original on 2011-08-18. Retrieved 2007-12-22.
- "Dictionary of Vexillology:C". Flags of the World. Retrieved 2007-06-06.
- "Philippines". Vexilla Mundi. Retrieved 2007-06-06.
- http://www.gov.ph/1950/06/12/executive-order-no-321-s-1950/ Section 1, Paragraph 4: The Flag, if flown from a flagpole, should have its blue field on top in time of peace and the red field on top in time of war; if in a hanging position, the blue field should be to the right (left of the observer) in time of peace, and the red field to the right (left of observer) in time of war.
- http://www.gov.ph/1998/02/12/republic-act-no-8491/ Republic Act No. 8491 Chapter 1, Section 10: The flag, if flown from a flagpole, shall have its blue field on top in time of peace and the red field on top in time of war; if in a hanging position, the blue field shall be to the right (left of the observer) in rime of peace, and the red field to the right (left of the observer) in time of war.
- E.A. Baja, Our Country's Flag and Heritage, 1930, Manila, p. 52
- Manuel Quezon III, 10 November 2002
- "Philippine Declaration of Independence". Retrieved 2009-06-12.
- Quezon, Manuel L. III (2002-04-02). "History of the Philippines Flag". Flags of the World. Archived from the original on 2008-02-05. Retrieved 2007-06-06.
- Renato Perdon (2010). Footnotes to Philippine History. Universal-Publishers. p. 38. ISBN 978-1-59942-842-0.
- Augusto de Viana (May 28, 2008). "Where was the Filipino Flag first unfurled?". the Manila Times. Archived from the original on 2008-06-24. Retrieved 2008-05-28.
- "The Declining Reverence for the Philippine Flag". National Historical Commission of the Philippines. Retrieved February 25, 2013..
- "Adjusting the rays of the flag?". Flags of the World. 1998-03-09. Retrieved 2008-06-15.
- Michael Lim Ubac, RP flag to have 9th ray to the sun, Philippine Daily Inquirer, September 24, 2009.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Flags of the Philippines.|
- The Controversial Philippine National Flag. National Historical Institute of the Philippines. May 14, 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-30.
- The Official Website of the Republic of the Philippines
- Philippine at Flags of the World
- Flags & Heraldic Items (NHI)
- Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines at Flags of the World
-     History of the Philippine Flag