Sunday, June 24, 2012

History of the Philippines based on Flag Colors

Said to be the first official flag of the underground-society-turned-revolutionary government Katipunan (KKK), led by Supreme President Andres Bonifacio y de Castro. The three letter Ks in white centered on a red cloth stood for Kataastasang Kagalanggalangang Katipunan ng Manga Anak nang Bayan (loosely translates into "Most High & Most Sacred Society of the Children of the Land").

An early version of the flag of the Katipunan  It has the three (3) white letter Ks arranged in an equilateral triangle on a red cloth. It should be noted that leaders of the KKK had their differing war standards.

Flown from August 1896 until possibly the Fil-Am War
Arguably the first official flag of the Philippines-in-revolution. This flag was Bonifacio's war standard that was raised during the Cry of Pugadlawin when revolutionaries tore their cedulas (residence certificates), signalling the call to sever colonial ties with Spain. The Katipunan transformed into a revolutionary government on August 24, 1896 with Bonifacio as President and forming a military arm organized to forcibly attain independence from Spain through the Himagsikan. The Katipunan flag was unfurled two days later in Balintawak, shortly before the launching of the general uprising.

Supposedly the first official revision of the Katipunan flag when military leaders at the 1897 Naic Assembly adopted a design of mythological sun having eight rays but retaining the white-and-red colors.

Flown from 1898 to about 1907; possibly 1919 to about 1936
Design of the flag adopted by Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo (although the exact shade of blue is contested). The blue, red, yellow and white flag has an equilateral triangle on the left that encases the Sun and three stars. First raised during the June 12, 1898 proclamation of Philippine Independence. Note the mythological sun of the Naic Assembly flag is retained.

Flown from about 1904-1907
Flag of the Republika ng Katagalugan, a government established and led by Gen. Macario Sakay during the protracted Philippine-American War (1899-1914), with areas of influence covering Southern Luzon. The Republika ng Katagalugan was largely based on the original Katipunan, with Sakay being a Katipunero who worked under Bonifacio, and as such, reflected in the design of this flag that incorporated the letter K and the simple sun design of Bonifacio's war standard, also in red and white colors. 


American Colonial Era

Flown from 1899 (Philippine-American War) -  about 1946
  • The flag of the United States was taught to be the flag of the Filipinos during the American colonial rule. Captured officers of the Philippine Republic and other freedom fighters were made to swear by it. In class, Filipino children were taught the the Bald Eagle flag was their flag. After the imperialist U.S. government tricked Sakay into surrendering and had him executed, it passed the Flag Law of 1907, Act No. 1696, outlawed the display or unfurling of Filipino flags, including that of the Malolos (Philippine) Republic and flags, banners, emblems, and symbols of the KKK. When the flag law was lifted in 1919, the U.S. (Star Spangled) banner was flown side by side with the Philippine flag until 1946. 

Flown from about 1936* - Present
This is largely the present design of the flag as decreed by Manuel L. Quezon, President of the American-sponsored Commonwealth government, with the issuance of Executive Order No. 23 in 1936. Note that the mythological sun was replaced with a "solid golden sunburst without any markings." This flag was first used by the Philippines as a sovereign nation when the U.S. "granted" independence on July 4, 1946. 

According to section 4 of Republic Act No. 8491 issued in 1998,  The flag of the Philippines shall be blue, white and red with an eight-rayed golden-yellow sun and three five-pointed stars, as consecrated and honored by the people. Earlier in 1997, the blue in the national flag was changed from navy blue to royal blue, according to Flag Bulletin No. 180. Except for the exact shade of blue, the present flag has retained all specifications found in the 1936 flag decree. 

*The Philippine Flag was flown side by side with the American flag from 1936 to 1946 during the U.S.-sponsored Commonwealth government



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