World Facts

What Do The Colors And Symbols Of The Flag Of Puerto Rico Mean?

The flag of Puerto Rico was adopted in 1952.

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Puerto Rico is a region belonging to the United States located within the Caribbean Sea. Puerto Rico fell under the control of Spain which significantly altered the territory's history as the Spaniards contributed to the decline in the number of the original inhabitants particularly the Taino. The Spaniards introduced modern institutions in Puerto Rico in a bid to colonize and modernize the island. The Spaniards also introduced flags in Puerto Rico during their conquest. The Puerto Rican flag is of great significance to the citizens as it symbolizes their values and their history.

Flags In Puerto Rico’s History

The first time a flag was used in Puerto Rico’s territory was when Christopher Columbus arrived in the region, and he hoisted the Spanish Royal Flag. Flags were also flown continuously during the Spanish conquest of the area as Juan León's forces flew the Spanish Expedition Flag. When the entirety of Puerto Rico fell under Spanish control, the Spanish government hoisted the national flag in the territory.

Flags were also vital to the native Puerto Ricans who agitated for independence with notable leaders, for example, Ramón Emeterio convinced of the importance of an original flag. Mariana Bracetti, drawing inspiration from the Dominican flag, designed and knit a flag used during the revolution. Bracetti's design was an essential part of Puerto Rico's history as it was chosen as the first flag.

The Present-day Puerto Rican Flag

The modern flag of Puerto Rico was officially adopted in 1952 under the rule of Governor Luis Marín. Several Puerto Ricans are credited with the creation of the design although most sources attribute the design to Francisco Marín. The Puerto Rican Revolutionary Committee used the flag in their quest to liberate Puerto Rico. The original meaning of the flag was described in a letter written by Maria Manuela who was the daughter of Manuel Besosa, a revolutionary committee member.

The flag contained three red stripes which stood for the blood shed by brave Puerto Ricans in their quest for freedom. The flag also had two white lines that stood for the Puerto Rican triumph in their quest for independence as well as the peace they hoped to attain. The blue triangle on the flag's hoist side symbolized the three branches of government while the blue represented the sky and the ocean. The triangle contains a white five-pointed star to signify the Puerto Rican territory.

When Puerto Rico became an American territory, the Puerto Rican flag was outlawed until 1952. When the flag was formally adopted, the symbolism behind some of the colors was altered to distance the flag from its history. The meaning behind the white bars was changed to represent the new republican system of government while the blue was changed to a darker tone to make it similar to the American flag.

Importance of the Flag to Puerto Ricans

The flag has been an important source of pride to the Puerto Rican people, and one of the most significant instances in its history was in 1952 when it was flown in South Korea during the Korean War. The flag represents a considerable portion of Puerto Rico's history. Florencio Ramos, a folk singer from Puerto Rico, popularized a song praising the flag.

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