Fun facts on the Philippine national flag

Published May 28, 2022, 8:00 AM

by Manila Bulletin

The most important symbol of any country, the national flag is an emblem for freedom, patriotism, and nationhood. For Filipinos, especially, it is the greatest symbol of the people’s unrelenting quest for independence and love for the Philippines.

As a show of respect toward the national coat of arms, Presidential Proclamation No. 374 was issued on March 6, 1965 declaring that May 28 is National Flag Day, an event that honors the Philippine flag’s first unfurling in 1898.

Executive Order No. 79 was issued on May 23, 1994, extending the period of National Flag Day’s observance from May 28 to June 12. Filipinos are encouraged to “display the Philippine flag in offices, agencies and instruments of government, business establishments, schools, and private homes throughout this period.”

In line with National Flag Day, here are ten interesting facts about the Philippine flag.

1. Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo was the first to wave the Philippine flag in Kawit, Cavite on June 12, 1898. Some historians, however, argue that the flag was first unfurled after the Philippine Revolutionary Army won against Spain in the Battle at Alapan, Imus, Cavite.

2. The three women who sewed the national flag in Hong Kong were Marcela Agoncillo, the wife of the first Filipino diplomat Felipe Agoncillo, their daughter Lorenza, and a niece of Dr. Jose Rizal, Delfina Herbosa de Natividad.

3. When hung from a flagpole, the Philippine flag should have its blue field on top in times of peace. The red, meanwhile, should only be flown upward during war.

As a show of respect toward the national coat of arms, Presidential Proclamation No. 374 was issued on March 6, 1965 declaring that May 28 is National Flag Day, an event that honors the Philippine flag’s first unfurling in 1898.

4. It was illegal to display the Philippine flag during the American and Japanese colonization era.

5. The eight rays of the sun featured in the flag represent the first eight provinces that fought against the Spaniards namely, Manila, Cavite, Bulacan, Pampanga, Tarlac, Batangas, Laguna, and Nueva Ecija.

6. In 1985, former President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. had the color blue changed to a lighter shade. His successor, the late President Corazon Aquino, had the blue changed into its final shade, as approved by the Philippine Congress in 1998.

7. The Philippine flag was originally designed by Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo during his exile in Hong Kong in 1897.

Post-war photo of Emilio Aguinaldo with his favorite flag in his home in Kawit, Cavite. The same flag is recognized as the first version of the Philippine flag, now in the museum set up by his great-grandson in Baguio City

8. Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo originally wanted the Philippine flag’s sun to have a face, as inspired by other countries in South America that had gained independence from Spain.

9. The original Philippine flag is currently preserved at the Aguinaldo Museum in Baguio City.

10. Contrary to popular belief, Visayas is not represented in the three stars of the flag. The three stars in the flag embody Luzon, Panay, and Mindanao.

 
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