Flag of the Philippines

Flag of the Philippines

Infobox flag
Name = Philippines
Nickname = "Pambansang bandila" ("National Flag")
Article = the

Use = 111111
Symbol =
Proportion = 1:2
Adoption = 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.
Designer = Emilio Aguinaldo
Type = National

Use2 = 111111
Symbol =
Proportion2 = 1:2
Design2 = As above, with the blue and red stripes switched to indicate a state of war.
Designer2 = Executive Order No. 321 of Elpidio Quirino
Type2 = National
The national flag of the Philippines is a horizontal bicolor with equal bands of blue and red, and with a white equilateral triangle based at the hoist side; in the center of the triangle is a golden yellow sun with eight primary rays, each containing three individual rays; and at each corner of the triangle is a five-pointed golden yellow star. The flag is displayed with the blue field on top in times of peace, and with the red field on top in times of war.

The flag was first conceptualized by Philippine Revolution General Emilio Aguinaldo in 1897 during his exile in Hong Kong, incorporating some symbols common to the flags used by the Katipunan. The first flag was sewn by Marcela Agoncillo, her daughter Lorenza, and Doña Delfina Herbosa de Natividad, niece of José Rizal, the Philippines' national hero. Legislation was passed in 1920 which legally adopted the design as the official flag of the Philippines.



The flag is horizontally divided into two fundamental colors, royal blue and scarlet red, with a white equilateral triangle based at the hoist side. At the center of the triangle is a golden yellow sun with eight primary rays, each containing three individual rays, and at each corner of the triangle is a five-pointed golden yellow star. The flag is displayed with the blue field on top in time of peace, and with the red field on top in time of war.

The flag's length is twice its width, which translates into an aspect ratio of 1:2. The sides of the white triangle are equal to the width of the flag. Each star is oriented such that it points towards the tip of the vertex at which it is located.cite web |url=http://www.gov.ph/aboutphil/RA8491.asp |title=Republic Act No. 8491 |accessdate=2007-06-06]

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. [cite web |url=http://www.crwflags.com/fotw/flags/vxt-dv-c.html#cablenumber |title=Dictionary of Vexillology:C |accessdate=2007-06-06 |publisher=Flags of the World] The official colors and their approximations in other color spaces are listed below:cite web |url=http://www.vexilla-mundi.com/philippines_flag.html|title=Philippines |publisher=Vexilla Mundi |accessdate=2007-06-06]

The Philippine flag 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, with the white equilateral triangle at the top end.


According to official sources, the white triangle stands for equality and fraternity; the blue field for peace, truth and justice; and the red field for patriotism and valor.cite web |url=http://www.gov.ph/aboutphil/flagnanthem.asp |title=Flag and Anthem |accessdate=2007-06-06 |publisher=The Official Website of the Republic of the Philippines] The eight primary rays of the sun represent the first eight provinces (Batangas, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Manila, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, and Tarlac) that sought independence from Spain and were placed under martial law by the Spaniards at the start of the Philippine Revolution in 1896.cite web |url=https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/flags/rp-flag.html |title=Flag of Philippines |accessdate=2007-06-06 |publisher=CIA World Factbook] The three stars represent the three major geographical divisions of the country: Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao.

However, the symbolism given in the 1898 Proclamation of Philippine Independence differs from the current official explanation. It says that 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 Visayas.cite web |url=http://www.msc.edu.ph/centennial/declaration.html |title=Declaration of Philippine Independence |accessdate=2007-06-06]


Historical flags

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 url=http://www.fotw.net/flags/ph-hist.html#desc |title=History of the Philippines Flag |accessdate=2007-06-06 |last=Quezon |first=Manuel L. III |date=2002-04-02 |publisher=Flags of the World] 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 Kaga _ga. 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.Citation
title=Where was the Filipino Flag first unfurled?
author=Augusto de Viana
publiaher=the Manila Times
date=May 28, 2008
] 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.

The flag of Cuba influenced the design of the flag of the Philippines as Cuba's revolution against Spain inspired, to some degree, the Philippine Revolution.

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 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. 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. These specifications have remained unchanged and in effect to the present. The exact shades of colors, however, were not precisely defined. 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 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 DC 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 return of the Filipino & American forces and the liberation of the Philippines in 1944, 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.

Design changes


A specification of color was adopted by the National Historical Institute in the 1955, with the colors of the American flag. In 1985, President Ferdinand Marcos ordered the colors of the flag restored to the original blue and red of the Cuban flag. However, this act was reversed after the People Power Revolution removed Marcos from power. For 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. [ cite web|url=http://www.fotw.net/flags/ph-blue.html |title=Philippines: the shade of blue |accessdate=2007-12-22 |last=Quezon III |first=Manuel L. |date=2002-04-12 |work=Flags of the World ]

uns Rays

Prior to the 1998 Centennial celebrations the provincial government of Zambales lobbied that the sun's rays be adjusted to add a ninth ray reflecting that their province was also in a state of rebellion in 1896. However, the Centennial Commission denied this changed based on research done by the National Historical Institute. [cite web|url=http://www.fotw.us/flags/ph-hist2.html#rays|title=Adjusting the rays of the flag?|accessdate=2008-06-15|date=1998-03-09|work=Flags of the World]

Flags used

First Wagayway Festival marking Imus, as Philippines flag capital

On May 28, 2008, Imus witnessed the reenactment of the historic Battle of Alapan in 1898 at battle—amid explosions of gunpowder and intermittent cries of "Fuego! (Fire!)" and "Sugod, mga kapatid! (Charge, brothers!)," by 400 natives. Mayor Manny Maliksi with Cesar E. A. Virata, a grandnephew of Emilio Aguinaldo, inter alia, led the launching of the festival during the program for National Flag Day: "The core of the celebration is sincere love and respect for our flag. Let us love the flag which symbolizes our freedom. For whoever loves the flag, loves our country," he said during the program for National Flag Day. [ [http://globalnation.inquirer.net/philippineexplorer/philippineexplorer/view/20080602-140294/First-Wagayway-Festival-marks-Imus-as-RP-flag-capital globalnation.inquirer.net/philippineexplorer, First Wagayway Festival marks Imus as RP flag capital] ]


Flag protocol

The flag should be displayed in all government buildings, official residences, public plazas, and schools every day throughout the year. The days from May 28 (National Flag Day) to June 12 (Independence Day) are designated as flag days, during which all government offices, business establishments, and private homes are also encouraged to display the flag.

By law, the Philippine flag must be permanently hoisted and illuminated at night at the following locations:fact|date=July 2008
*Malacañang Palace, the Presidential Residence
*The Upper and Lower houses of Congress
*Supreme Court of the Philippines
*Rizal Park
*Aguinaldo Shrine
*Barasoain Church
*Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
*Mausoleo de los Veteranos de la Revolución
*All international ports of entry
*All other places as may be designated by the National Historical Institute.


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.

Prohibited acts

It is prohibited to deface or ridicule the flag, to dip the flag as a salute, or to add additional marks of any nature on the flag. It may not be used as a drapery, festoon, tablecloth, as a covering for objects, or as part as a costume or uniform.

Several commercial uses of the flag are prohibited, including using the flag as a trademark or for commercial labels or designs. It is forbidden to use the image of the flag on merchandise, or in any advertisement. It also may not be used as a pennant in the hood, side, back and top of motor vehicles;

The flag may not be displayed horizontally face-up, or under any painting, picture or platform. It may not be displayed in "places of frivolity", defined in the Flag Code as marked by "boisterous merriment or recreation".


The Pledge of Allegiance to the Philippine flag 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 should nonetheless show full respect when the pledge is being rendered by standing at attention.

:Ako ay Pilipino:Buong katapatang nanunumpa:Sa watawat ng Pilipinas:At sa bansang kanyang sinasagisag:Na may dangal, katarungan at kalayaan:Na pinakikilos ng sambayanang:Maka-Diyos:Maka-tao:Makakalikasan at:Makabansa.

English translation
:I am a Filipino:I pledge my allegiance:To the flag of the Philippines:And to the country it represents:With honor, justice and freedom:Put in motion by one people:For God:for the People,:for Nature and:for the Country.

The law makes no statement of what language the pledge must be recited in, but the pledge is written (and therefore recited) in Filipino.

Biggest flag

Filipino Grace Galindez Gupana (CEO, ABS GEN Herbs International) broke 2 world records as certified by Andrea Banfi, Guinness World Records - upon instruction from God - for making the flag of Israel (18,847 square meters); and the 777 Yahveh’s Banner (combination of Israel, the Philippines, North Korea, South Korea flags, and 180 smaller flags of 180 other nations, measuring 54,451 square meters). [ [http://www.inquirer.net/specialfeatures/thegoodnews/view.php?db=1&article=20080124-114529 newsinfo.inquirer.net, Filipina breaks 2 world records] ] [ [http://www.gmanews.tv/largevideo/home/17189/QTV-Pinay-snags-Guinness-world-record gmanews.tv/largevideo, QTV: Pinay snags Guinness world record] ]

The largest Philippine flag (180 meters x 92 meters, or 16,560 sq.m., 3.8 tons; worth P 30 million) was first unfurled on June 12, 2008, Philippine Declaration of Independence Day, at the Baguio Athletic Bowl. The Hallelujah Prophetic Global Foundation of Galindez Gupana made it from 14,000 yards of taffeta nylon and 1,250 yards of satin (for the stars and sun). [ [http://www.gmanews.tv/story/100831/Largest-Philippine-flag-unfurled-in-Baguio gmanews.tv, Largest Philippine flag unfurled in Baguio] ] This is the third largest flag in the world, next to Gupana’s flag (largest according to the Guinness Institution) in Masada, Israel, which is 66,000 sq.m. and the Palestine flag (laid in Damascus, Syria), which is 27,000 sq.m.

ee also

*Flags of the Philippine provinces
*Naval Jack of the Philippines


External links

title=The Controversial Philippine National Flag
date=May 14, 2008
publisher=National Historical Institute of the Philippines

* [http://www.gov.ph The Official Website of the Republic of the Philippines]

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