The current flag which represents the southeastern Asian country of the Philippines is formally known as The National Flag and was officially adopted on Feb. 12, 1998. The flag features several colors including blue, red, white, and yellow. The main portion of the flag is made up of equal horizontal bands of royal blue on top and scarlet red on the bottom. Positioned on the hoist side is a large white triangle composed of equal sides. This geometric feature is positioned with its base covering the entire hoist side and its other two sides jutting out to intersect the middle of the red and blue bands of the flag. Set inside the triangle are three yellow stars; one in each corner, as well as a larger sun symbol set in the center.
Sun and Stars Design
The large sun featured on the flag includes eight rays jutting out from it. The eight rays protruding from the sun are representative of the provinces of Nueva Ecija, Manila, Pampanga, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, and Bataan.The three five pointed stars are in reference to the nation’s trio of island groups: Visayas, Luzon, and Mindanao.
Although interpretations of the symbolism of the national flag have changed over the years it is now currently accepted that the blue on the flag represents traits such as justice, peace, sacrifice, and truth while the red symbolizes valor, courage, and patriotism. The large white triangle stands for fraternity, liberty, and equality. The large yellow sun feature is symbolic of freedom, unity, democracy, and sovereignty.
Interestingly the shade of blue on the flag has been changed several times throughout its history. During the time of Ferdinand Marcos’s reign as President the authoritarian regime ordered that the dark blue on the flag be changed to a lighter hue to better reflect earlier versions of the flag. Later, in 1997, during Corazon Aquino’s government that color change was reversed until September 16, 1997 when the shade of blue was lightened once again in recognition of the centennial of the original Philippine flag.
History of the National Flag of Philippines
The original design of the official flag of the Philippines was adopted in 1898. The current version was reaffirmed by government on Feb. 12, 1998. The actual history of the flag of the Philippines has a long and storied history. It’s initial design was created by Emilio Aguinaldo (1869-1964) who served as a soldier and politician. During his 1897 exile to British Hong Kong he designed the Philippine flag. This early version was influenced by the Latin nations of Argentina, Uruguay, and Peru as well as aspects of the American flag. Some historians have noted that the Philippine flag’s colors were influenced by those found on the flags representing Cuba and Puerto Rico.
Modern Usage of the Flag of Philippines
The flag of the Philippines serves many functions. It is flown at all government owned buildings such as the President’s official palace, Supreme Court building, Senate, as well as at all international entrance points.
The people of the Philippines celebrate Flag Day each year on May 28th which also marks the anniversary of their victory during the Battle of Alapan.