The Filipino Flags and Colonialism: 1890`s

The Filipino Flags and
Colonialism: 1890’s-Present
Reece T.
Flags are used as a symbol to represent the
beliefs, values, and history of a nation. They
can represent a country’s identity and unite a
group of people during times of despair. As
these things change, so will a flag and its
symbolic meaning. The flags raised in the
Philippines have followed this pattern since the
Philippine Revolution in 1896 and continued to
change until February 12, 1998 when Republic
Act 8491 was approved, establishing the
specifications of the flag of the Philippines as we
know it today.
The Flags of the Philippine Revolution:
• The first flag of the Katipunan was a red rectangular flag
with three K’s lined up horizontally. The red field in
which the K’s laid represented blood, as the members
had signed their member ship with their own blood
Other Variations of The Katipunan
The red flag with the K’s organized in a triangle represent the
three branches of the Kapitunan. It is said they are organized in a
n isosceles triangle to represent the equality of importance
amongst the three branches (Katipon, Kawal, Bayani) when
fighting the revolution.
Various leaders of the Katipunan also displayed their own flags in
Katipunan Flag 1897
• The red flag displaying a sun with a face, also known as the sun of
liberty, was adopted by the Katipunan in 1897 in order to unite the
people under one symbol. They replaced the K’s with the sun of
liberty, which had eight rays representing the first 8 provinces that
revolted against the Spanish and were put under martial law. They
were Manila, Cavite, Bulacan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac,
Laguna, and Batangas.
Flags Risen After the Revolution
• Following the Philippine Revolution with
Spain multiple variations of the current
Philippine flag were raised along with the
flags of the U.S and Spain during their
occupation of the Philippines.
Flag of the Philippines 1898
The current design of the Philippine flag was conceptualized by President
Emilio Aguinaldo during his exile in Hong Kong in 1897. The flag was
formally unfurled during the proclomation of independence on June 12,
1898 in Kawit, Cavite. The white triangle stands for equality and fraternity;
the blue field for peace, truth, and justice; and the red field for patriotism
and valor The eight primary rays of the sun represent the eight provinces
which declared a state of war as soon as the first revolt was initiated in the
1896 Revolution of independence from Spain, and placed under martial law
by the colonial government, which was borrowed from the Katipunan flag of
Something to think about!!
Some say Aguinaldo designed the Flag of the Philippines in honor of Cuba
since the Philippine Revolution followed in the steps of Cuba and their war
with Spain for their independence.
The flag of Cuba was adopted on May 20, 1902. It contains a field with
three blue stripes and two white stripes, and a red equilateral triangle at the
hoist with a white 5-pointed star. The flag of Cuba was designed in 1848 for
the liberation movement, which sought independence from Spain. The flag
was briefly hoisted in 1850 at Cardenas but was not officially adopted until
1902, when independence was granted by the United States
U.S and the Philippines: Flag during
war time
• The Flag of the Philippines is unique in the sense that it can indicate
a state of war when the red field is displayed on top, or on the
observer's left when the flag is displayed vertically
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
American Flag Risen
• 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. From 19071919, three different United States Flags would be raised.
Navy Blue Philippine Flag
• The Sedition Act of 1907 was repealed on October 30, 1919. With
the legalization 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 navy blue color. 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. October 30 was declared Flag Day in the Philippines.
Japan in the Philippines
• The Filipino flag was banned again when the Japanese invaded
and occupied the Philippines beginning December 1941. The
Japanese flag was hoisted with the establishment of the Japanesesponsored Second Republic of the Philippines
Filipino Flag with Cuban sky blue
• In October 1943, Emilio Aguinaldo hoisted the flag with the original
Cuban blue and red colors restored. The flag was originally hung
with the blue stripe on top until the President proclaimed that the
Philippines was in a state of war in 1944
People Power
• When the Philippines finally won its
independence in 1945, the original flag designed
by Aguinaldo was flown with the navy blue stripe
similar to the blue of the United States flag. But
in 1985, President Ferdinand Marcos ordered
the colors of the flag of the Philippines be
restored to the original blue and red of the
Cuban flag. The Act was soon reversed after the
People Power Revolution removed Marcos from
The Flag Today
Because of the controversy of the shade of blue displayed on the Flag of
the Philippines, the 1998 centennial of the proclamation of Philippine
independence, the Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines (RA 8491)
was passed, changing the shade of blue to royal blue. This is the flag the
Philippines flies today.
NOTE: In 2009, a senate bill was introduced to add an additional ray to
represent the Moro. As of September 24, 2009, it is in the process of bill
reconciliation in Congress.
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