|Name||Pambansang Watawat |
|Use||National flag and ensign|
|Adopted||June 12, 1898 (original version used by the First Philippine Republic)|
February 12, 1998 (current version reaffirmed by Republic Act No. 8491)
|Design||A horizontal bicolour of blue and red; with a white equilateral triangle based at the hoist containing three, 5-pointed gold stars at its vertices, and an 8-rayed gold sun at its center.[a]|
|Designed by||Emilio Aguinaldo|
Variant flag of the Republic 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|
The National Flag of the Philippines (Filipino: Pambansang Watawat ng Pilipinas) is a horizontal flag bicolor with equal bands of royal blue and crimson red, with a white, equilateral triangle at the hoist. In the center of the triangle is a golden-yellow sun with eight primary rays, each representing a Philippine province.[a] At each vertex of the triangle is a five-pointed, golden-yellow star, each of which representing one of the country's three main island groups--Luzon, Visayas (though originally referring to Panay) and Mindanao. The white triangle at the flag represents liberty, equality, and fraternity. A unique feature of this flag is its usage to indicate a state of war if it is displayed with the red side on top, which is effectively achieved by flipping the flag upside-down.
The flag's length is twice its width, giving it 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°), with each major ray having double the thickness of 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 lazuli Rosco. 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:
The Philippine national flag has a rectangular design that consists of a white equilateral triangle, symbolizing liberty, 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 a province with significant involvement in the 1896 Philippine Revolution against Spain; these provinces are Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Pampanga, Morong, Laguna, Batangas and Nueva Ecija (some sources specify other provinces as alternatives to some of these[a]). However, according to the Declaration of Independence and a research by UP Professor Ambeth Ocampo, the rays of the sun symbolized the first eight provinces of the Philippines which was declared under martial law during the First Philippine Revolution. Three five-pointed stars, one at each of the triangle's points, stand for the three major island groups: Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
The flag's original symbolism is enumerated in the text of the independence proclamation, which makes reference to an attached drawing, though no record of the drawing has surfaced. The proclamation explains the flag as follows:
" And finally it was resolved unanimously that this Nation, already independent from today should use the same flag which it has used, whose shape and colors are described in the attached drawing rendering realistically the three aforementioned forces representing the white triangle as the distinctive symbol of the famed Society of the Katipunan, which through the blood compact impelled the masses to rise in revolt; the three stars representing the three principal islands of this Archipelago -- Luzon, Mindanao, and Panay (Visayas) in which the revolutionary movement broke out; the sun indicating the gigantic steps taken by the children of this country on the road to progress and civilization; the eight rays symbolizing the eight provinces of the Philippines,[a] and the colors of blue, red and white commemorating the flag of the United States of North America as a manifestation of our profound gratitude towards this Great Nation for its disinterested protection which it lends us, and continues to lend us. And, carrying this flag, I unfurl it before the gentlemen assembled here--[List of names of the delegates]--and we all solemnly swear to acknowledge and defend it to the last drop of our blood. "
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 aid 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. Panay, which recent interpretations call as "as representative of the entire Visayas region". 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.
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.
Official flag of the Republic of Negros.
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 Baybayin, the pre-Hispanic writing script of the Tagalogs.
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 eight provinces of the Philippines.[a]
The earlier design of the current Philippine flag was conceptualized by Emilio Aguinaldo during his exile in British Hong Kong in 1897. The first flag was sewn by Marcela Mariño Agoncillo, with the help of her daughter Lorenza and Delfina Herbosa Natividad (a niece of Propagandista José Rizal). It was first displayed in the Battle of Alapan 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 original design of the flag adopted a mythical sun with a face influenced by The Republics of the Rio de la Plata, Argentina and Uruguay; a triangle, representing the Katipunan which inspired by the Eye of Providence in the Great Seal of the United States and the Masonic Triangle and which enshrined Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité; the stripes and colors derived from the American flag. 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 was influenced by the flags of Cuba and Puerto Rico.
The Flag bears three colors, three stars, and a sun, the meaning of which are as follows: the red is symbolic of Filipino courage which is second to none, and was the color used during the war in the province of Cavite since the 31st of August 1896, until the Peace of Biak-na-Bato [in 1897]; the blue carries an allegorical meaning that all Filipinos will prefer to die before submitting ourselves to the invader, whoever he may be; the white conveys the idea that, like other nations, the Filipinos know how to govern themselves, and that they do not recede from observation of foreign powers. The sun and its rays stirred up Filipinos and spread the light over their world, piercing the clouds that enshrouded it; it is now the light which brightens every spot in the Philippine islands, and under its influence the Itas, Igorots, Manguians, and Moros, all of whom I believe were made in the image of God, and whom I recognize as our brethren, now come down from the mountains to join with us
The original flag that was first hoisted on May 28, 1898 and unfurled during the Declaration of independence on June 12, 1898 is being preserved at the Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo Museum in Baguio City. There were plans to restore the flag by replacing the worn-out portion but the idea was abandoned because matching threads could not be found. The flag is more elaborate than the flag which is currently in use. It bears the embroidered words, Libertad, Justicia and Ygualidad (Liberty, Justice and Equality) on one side of the flag and Fuerzas Expedicionarias del Norte de Luzon (Expeditionary forces of Northern Luzon) on the other
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 in December 1941, to be hoisted again with the establishment of the Second Republic of the Philippines, a client state of Japan. 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 José 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 (1565-1898)|
|1565-1730, 1764-1821||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.|
|1762-1764||Flag during the brief British occupation of Manila, 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".|
|1821-1873||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 Philippine Republic|
|1897-1898||First official flag of the Philippine 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 flag design was conceived by President Emilio Aguinaldo. The exact shade of blue is debated; three variants were used by subsequent governments.||Sewn by 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) similar to the Sun of May in other former Spanish colonies; the triangle of Freemasonry; the eight rays representing eight rebellious provinces of the Philippines first placed under martial law by the Governor-General.[a] The flag carries the text in Spanish Fuerzas Expedicionarias del Norte de Luzon on its obverse and Libertad Justicia e Ygualdad on its reverse.|
|American and Commonwealth Period (1898-1946)|
|1898-1908||Used while under direct administration from the United States of America.||The Philippine Commission, passed Act No. 1697 or the Flag Law of 1907, which outlawed the display of the Philippine flag and replaced the country's flag to the stars and stripes of the United States of America. The same law prohibited the playing of the national anthem. 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 October 30, 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 with the repealing of Act No. 1697.||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 stylized rays were retained. 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 which was signed on March 25, 1936. The shade of blue used was navy blue, following suit from the American Flag. The triangle was made equilateral and the sun's rays were 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 Japanese flag as it appeared until 1999: a red sun-disc, shifted 1% left of centre, on a white field.|
|1943-1945||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 dated March 25, 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 signed on February 25, 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. President Corazon C. Aquino restored the pre-Fourth Republic specifications of the National flag through Executive Order No. 292, s. 1987 which was signed on July 25, 1986.|
|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 August 2003, then Foreign Affairs Secretary Blas Ople also lobbied for a ninth ray, saying that Quezon province should be added. He reasons that the first uprising against the Spaniards happened at the foot of Mount Banahaw which was led by Hermano Pule in 1841.
As of June 2018Moro people or Filipino Muslims, as well as other indigenous groups as well for their role against colonization. Senator Richard Gordon filed Senate Bill No. 2590 which aimed to amend Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines in 2008. This measure was later substituted by Senate Bill No. 3307 which was sponsored by Senator Francis Escudero which was approved in September 2009. The bill was sent to the House of Representatives for concurrence which came up with House Bill 6424. Both S.B. No. 3307 and H.B. 6424 was reconciled by the Bicameral Conference Committee in September 2009. In June 2018, Gordon renewed his campaign to get his proposal passed into law., there is a proposal to add a ninth ray to the Philippine flag's sun to represent the
As of 2014, the Ninth Ray movement is among the prominent groups pushing for the addition of a ninth ray to the flag's sun. Proponents of the movement believe that a ninth ray should be added to represent the Muslim and indigenous people of the country who kept colonizers away from their lands.
Emmanuel L. Osorio, one of the founders of the Ninth Ray movement, came up with a proposal adding not only a ninth ray to the flag's sun but also adding a fourth star to the flag representing North Borneo (present-day Sabah), a territory claimed by the Philippines but currently under Malaysian sovereignty. The flag's triangle is changed into a rectangle to accommodate a fourth star. According to Osorio, the star representing Sabah in his proposed flag was added "in principle" and said the flag proposal seeks to express the Ninth Ray movement's view that "if we get Sabah, then it could be represented by the star".
The flag should be displayed in all government buildings, official residences, public plazas, and schools every day throughout the year. All other places as may be designated by the National Historical Commission as such. 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:
Senate of the Philippines building
Supreme Court of the Philippines building
All international ports of entry
All other places as maybe designated by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines
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 Commission.
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.
A bill was filed on 2014, to mandate the flying of the flag at half-mast as a tribute to public school teachers. Under the proposal the flag shall be flown at half-mast for at least five days at the school or district office the deceased teacher was assigned.
The flag may also be used to cover the caskets of the dead of the military and civil uniformed services, 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.
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 (i.e., the observer's left) when hung vertically. 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 it declared war against the United Kingdom and the United States in 1944, the attempted coups d'états during President Corazon Aquino's administration, and EDSA III.
The only instance that the flag was not oriented with red as superior in a state of war was at its debut during the Battle of Alapan in 1898, 15 days before the Philippine Declaration of Independence in Kawit, Cavite.
The Philippine Flag itself is not eligible to be trademarked according to the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHIL) since the flag is "owned by the public" in line with prohibitions on the flag's usage stated in Republic Act 8491. The Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, which the Philippines is a member of, also prohibits the registration of the state flags of its members as trademark. However both small and large businesses in the Philippines have used elements of the Philippine flag for their intellectual property. When it comes to this concern, the IPOPHIL has allowed businesses to use elements of the flag to invoke the national symbol as long as the intellectual property is neither a "true representation" of the Philippine flag nor a "modification that would amount to defacement of the flag".
According to Republic Act 8491 itself, it shall be prohibited:
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.
Spanish, Tagalog 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 recognized by law. The Flag and Heraldic Code, approved on February 12, 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.
The National Flag Day in the Philippines is celebrated every May 28, the very day of the 1898 Battle of Alapan. The official National Flag flying period starts from May 28 and ends on Independence Day, June 12, every year, although the flying period for the flag in homes, businesses and public establishments may start on a specified day of May (to be given by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines) and may last until June 30.
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. However, the red should be on the left (of observer) in time of war.
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 time of peace, and the red field to the right (left of the observer) in time of war.