World Facts

What Does the Cuban Flag Look Like?

The national flag of Cuba was adopted on May 20, 1849.

What Does the Cuban Flag Look Like?

The official flag of Cuba has a red triangle, which takes up less than half of the flag and is situated on its left side. The point of this triangle extends into a field of stripes, 3 of which are blue and 2 of which are white. A white star sits in the middle of the red triangle.

The size of the national flag of Cuba must follow a 1 to 2 width to length ratio. This size specification means that if the side with the red triangle measures 20 inches, then the length of the flag must measure 40 inches. Additionally, the other 2 sides of the triangle must also measure 20 inches, forming an equilateral shape. Each stripe has the same width, which is equal to the flag width divided by 5.

Meaning of the Cuban Flag

Each of the shapes and colors on the Cuban flag has a specific meaning. The 3 blue stripes, for example, are meant to represent the original political departments that the country was divided into during its colonial period. The 2 white stripes are supposed to symbolize the purity and strength of the fight for independence from Spain. The red color of the triangle symbolizes the blood lost by the individuals who fought for independence. Each side of the triangle stands for liberty, equality, and fraternity. The star was originally included in the flag design as a way of showing the intention of becoming one of the states of the US. Today, the star is said to represent solidarity and independence.

History of the Cuban Flag

The Cuban flag was designed by Miguel Teurbe Tolón, a Cuban poet living in New York City. He developed the design with the help of Narciso López, a Venezuelan military general who had been exiled from Cuba due to his involvement in the anti-colonial movement. Emilia Teurbe Tolón sewed the first Cuban flag.

López later took the flag to Cuba, when he attempted a coup d’etat against Spanish forces in 1850. The flag was first put on display in the town of Cardenas on May 19th of the same year. The anti-colonialist rebels were able to gain control of the town, although the attempt to overthrow the Spanish was ultimately unsuccessful.

In 1868, Cuba once again engaged in a war against the colonial crown in an attempt to win its independence. This year marked the beginning of the Great War, also known as the Ten Years’ War. During this war, the Constituent Assembly of Cuba held a meeting to determine which flag would be used to represent the country after independence. The constituents ultimately chose the flag designed by Teurbe and López, due to López’s early involvement in the Cuban independence movement.

Cuba finally gained independence on May 20, 1902. On this date Máximo Gómez, a military general, raised the Cuban flag at the Tres Reyes del Morro castle in Havana to mark the important moment in Cuban history. In 1906, the first president of Cuba officially declared this flag design to be the country's national flag.

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