The Philippine Flag and Its Symbols

The Philippine National Flag

The Philippine flag evolves in different designs as the time went on. Since in the Spanish era, some Filipino secret societies already use flags during their revolution. Their flags are usually a red rectangular shape with symbols of a sun in it. In 1897, another flag was born in the design concept of Emilio Aguinaldo. This is now the very basis of the design of the present Philippine National Flag as proclaimed in 1998.

The official Philippine Flag is rectangular in form with an aspect ratio of 1:2, meaning the length of the flag is twice longer than its width. It has a horizontal band of two colours of equal size, having on top is the royal blue and red at the bottom. The left end (viewer’s left) of the flag has a white equilateral triangle (3-sides equal to the width of the flag) which inside has symbols of 3-stars at each corner and a sun having 8-rays is in the center of the triangle.

The Flag Symbols and Meaning

The blue colour of the Philippine flag is the symbol for peace, truth, and justice. The red is the symbol for patriotism and valour. The white triangle is the symbol for equality and fraternity. It is also symbolize the Katipunan, the secret Filipino society who stands against the Spanish rule. The three golden stars in the corners of the triangle, represent the three major group of island in the Philippines, namely the Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. The golden sun at the center of the triangle is the symbol for unity, freedom, people's democracy, and sovereignty. The sun has eight rays around it. Each ray represents one of the first eight provinces that started the 1896 Philippine revolution against Spanish colony. These provinces are Manila, Cavite, Bulacan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Laguna and Batangas.

The Philippine Flag in vertical position

Placing The Flag

The Philippine National Flag has its specific orientation and placing it otherwise will create a different meaning. The orientation explained here is in reference from the observer’s view. In horizontal position the blue stripe should be over the red and the white triangle to the left end of the flag. In vertical position, the blue stripe should be at the left and the red to the right while the white triangle must be on top. These are the normal orientations of the flag in either horizontal or vertical position during peace time. However, during the state of war, the flag orientation will change having the red stripe to be positioned above the blue stripe. The white triangle however, will always stay the same on its normal orientation.

Design Layout

The Philippine flag is proportioned into 1:2, where “1” stands for the width (shorter side) and “2” stands for the length (longer side). So for example, if the width of the flag is 1.2 meters, the corresponding length should be 2.4 meters, you can say 1.2 x 2.4 meters. The white triangle is equilateral, having three sides equal and also the three angles are equal (all 60 deg.). Each side of this triangle is proportionally equal to the width of the entire Philippine flag. Inside this triangle are the symbols of the 3 stars and the sun. The shape of the star symbol is a pentagram, having 5 points connected with a straight line and with an outer diameter of 11.11% of the flag’s width (W). These are located in each corner of the triangle with the distance of 15.5% W from the corner towards the center of the triangle. The stars are oriented in a manner that one of its points is pointing to the nearest corner of the triangle. The last symbol is the eight-ray sun. This must be the most complicated figure in the Philippine flag. It has a solid inner circle with a diameter of 20% W. Its eight rays are spaced equally at 45 degrees from each other and spread out from the center solid circle up to the diameter of 42.2% W. The entire symbol of the golden sun is exactly positioned in the center of the white triangle of the Philippine flag.

Construction Drawing Of The Philippine Flag

Philippine Flag Construction Drawing

The Philippine Flags In The 18th Century
Used By The Secret Filipino Society During The Revolution Against The Spanish Colony

Katipunan Flag in 1897

Magdiwang Flag

Magdalo Flag

1st Katipunan Flag

KKK stands for Kataas-taasang Kagalang-galangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan (Supreme and Venerable Society of the Sons of the Nation)

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