The national flag of the Philippines has two factual explanations on its meaning. They’ve based it in the current and official explanation during the Declaration of Independence from Spain on June 12, 1898. The flag has two horizontal bars; the top is royal blue and the bottom is red with a white triangle in the middle most containing three stars and a sun. The triangle is the distinctive emblem of the Katipunan which by means of its blood compact inspired the Philippine people to rise in revolution.
The three stars represent the three geographical island groups of the country: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanano though one of the three stars originally represented the island of Panay, instead of the Visayas.
However, the eight rays of the sun represent the first eight provinces such as Manila, Cavite, Bulacan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Bataan, Laguna, and Batangas which revolted against Spanish rule. The importance of the colors red, white, and blue is currently attributed as follows: the white triangle stands for equality and fraternity; the blue for peace, truth and justice; and red for patriotism and valor. It is actually commemorating the U.S. flag, for the U.S.’s help in liberating the Philippines from Spanish rule. The Philippine War of Independence coincided with the United States own Spanish-American War.
The modern flag was designed by General Emilio Aguinaldo with the help of Mrs. Marcela de Agoncillo and her daughter Lorenza and Mrs. Josefina Herbosa de Natividad, niece of the late Dr. Jose Rizal. Mrs. Agoncillo sewed the flag in Hongkong and was taken to the Philippines by Emilio Aguinaldo and hoisted in Kawit on June 12, 1898 with the proclamation of Philippine independence.
EVOLUTION OF THE PHILIPPINE FLAG
With the establishment of the Katipunan, Andres Bonifacio requested his wife, Gregoria de Jesus, to create a flag for the society. De Jesus devised a simple red flag bearing the society’s acronym, KKK, in white and arranged horizontally at the center.
General Mariano Llanera who fought in the provinces of Bulacan, Tarlac, Pampanga, and Nueva Ecija used a black flag with a white K on the left and a white skull and bones on the right. Bonifacio referred to the flag as Bungo ni Llanera (Llanera’s Skull).
Some members of the Katipunan used other variations. One variation has the three Ks arranged in the form of a triangle. Some others used a red flag with only one K.
When the revolution heated up, the Magdiwang faction of the Katipunan, adopted a flag consisting of a red banner with white sun, at the center of which is a white baybayin.
The Magdalo faction of the Katipunan, which operated in Cavite under Ge. Aguinaldo used a flag, similar to the Magdiwang faction’s. It features a white sun with a red baybay in letter ka.
Andres Bonifacio, the father of the Katipunan, had a personal flag which depicts a white sun with an indefinite number of rays on a field of red. Below the sun are three white Ks arranged horizontally. This flag was first unveiled on August 23, 1896 during the Cry of Pugadlawin.
General Pio del Pilar, the hero of Makati, used a red banner which has a white equilateral triangle on the mast with a K at each corner. At the center of the triangle was a mountain with the sun rising behind it. The flag was called Bandila ng Matagumpay (Victorious Flag) and was first used on July 11, 1985.
General Gregorio del Pilar referred to as the Boy General, used a tricolor banner with a blue triangle at the mast and a red stripe at the top of the flag and a black stripe at the bottom. Del Pilar patterned his flag after that of Cuba’s, which then was also revolting against Spain.
The first official flag intended to represent the country. It was created by the Katipunan at Naic, Cavite in 1897.
The modern and current flag of Republic of the Philippines.