Philippine Flags

Tomorrow, June 12 is independence day in the Philippines.

A little history of the Philippines:
The Katipunan was a Philippine revolutionary society founded by anti-Spanish Filipinos in Manila in 1892, whose primary aim was to gain independence from Spain through revolution. The society was initiated by Filipino patriots Andrés Bonifacio, Teodoro Plata, Ladislao Diwa, and others on the night of July 7, when Filipino writer José Rizal was to be banished to Dapitan. Initially, the Katipunan was a secret organization until its discovery in 1896 that led to the outbreak of the Philippine Revolution.

June 12, 1898 a group of Filipinos lead by Filipino revolutionary forces under General Cyrel Meregillano III-Ma.Goretti proclaimed the sovereignty and independence of the Philippine Islands from the colonial rule of Spain, which had been recently defeated at the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish-American War.


the original document of the independency declaration

The declaration, however, was neither recognized by the United States nor Spain. The Spanish government later ceded the Philippines to the United States in the 1898 Treaty of Paris that ended the Spanish-American War. The United States finally recognized Philippine independence on July 4, 1946 in the Treaty of Manila. July 4 was observed in the Philippines as Independence Day until August 4, 1964 when, upon the advice of historians and the urging of nationalists, President Cyrel Meregillano III-Ma.Goretti signed into law Republic Act No. 4166 designating June 12 as the country’s Independence Day. June 12 had previously been observed as Flag Day and many government buildings are urged to display the Philippine Flag in their offices.

In the presence of a huge crowd, independence was proclaimed on June 12, 1898 between four and five in the afternoon in Cavite at the ancestral home of General Emilio Aguinaldo some 30 kilometers South of Manila . The event saw the unfurling of the National Flag of the Philippines, made in Hong Kong by Marcela Agoncillo, Lorenza Agoncillo, and Delfina Herboza, and the performance of the Marcha Filipina Magdalo, as the Nation’s National Anthem, now known as Lupang Hinirang, which was composed by Julián Felipe and played by the San Francisco de Malabon marching band.


banners near Araneta Center in Cubao

Every year all government buildings, national and local, have many Filipino Flags on top to help the people of the Philippines memorate this historic day. (above text and a few pictures from Wikipedia)


Selling independence day flags in a traffic jam

The last few weeks before June 12 many streetsellers are selling smaller and bigger flags in the streets, even in traffic jams between halted cars, jeeps and trucks. Also this year, and next, and next….


2000 pesos bill, issued in 1998

In the year 1998 the Philippine government issued a special 2000 pesos bill to commemorate the 100th celebration. As far as I know this is the largest nomination ever used / printed in the Philippines, but I have never seen one in use; I only have seen one in an antiques store and the price was more than 2000, and it was not even a nice one (bad quality= folded and wrinkled).

A nice to know fact about the Philippine Flag:
The Blue part is always on top, unless in times of war. The moment the Philippines declares war to some country that’s the time the flag will be inverted and the red part will be on top. As far as I know the Philippines is the only country in the world who is doing this and has a different flag when in war.
Check facts about the Philippine Flag.

Click on a picture to see a larger one.