Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Today is Philippine National Flag Day

The flag of the Republic of the Philippines was adopted on May 19, 1898. The Philippine flag has two equal horizontal bands (blue on the top and red on the bottom during peacetime; red on the top during war); a white equilateral triangle is based on the hoist side - in the center of the triangle is a yellow sun with eight protruding rays and three yellow, five-pointed stars (one in each corner of the triangle). The ratio of the height to width is usually 1:2.

In the flag, the red color represents blood, courage and bravery, the blue color stands for unity and noble ideas, and the white color stands for peace and purity. The white triangle originally stood for the Katipunan, a revolutionary organization that led the revolt against Spanish rule in the late 1800s - it now stands for equality among men. The sun represents the dawning of a new era of self determination. The 8 rays of the sun stand for the first 8 provinces that revolted against Spain. The 3 stars stand for the 3 main geographic areas of the Philippines: Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao.

This flag was designed in 1897 by General Emilio Aguinaldo, the President of the Revolutionary Government, when he was in exile in Hong Kong during the Philippine Revolution against Spain. The first flag was sewn by Doña Marcela Marino Agoncillo, the wife of the first Filipino Diplomat (Don Felipe Agoncillo). This flag was banned by the Americans during the Philippine-American war and by the Japanese during World War 2.

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