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National Flag Day in the Philippines – May 28, 2023

National Flag Day (Philippines) is celebrated every year on May 28. It is observed as a national holiday in the Philippines in celebration of their independence from the Spanish. It was on this day in 1898, that the flag was hoisted for the first time and the nation came together to form the country’s first republic. The flag remains a symbol of patriotism and nationalism, and in the Philippines, it was a beacon of hope during the tyrannous times of the colonial era.

History of National Flag Day in the Philippines

The Philippines national flag is not just a piece of cloth with three different colors. It has a rich history behind it. The white triangle represents equality and the union of the people, the blue patch represents peace and justice, and the red patch stands for bravery and patriotism.

The Philippines is an island nation in the East Indies. The country was a colony of Western powers for more than 400 years, most of which was spent under Spanish rule before being taken over by the Americans at the start of the 20th century. The country went through major changes in its lifestyles, ethnicity, language, and cultural identity during the colonial era. The country continued to serve the Spanish until 1872 when all of a sudden influences from Mexico and other Latin American countries led to a state of revolution in the country.

In the 1896 War of Independence, the Spanish were finally defeated by the Filipinos with external help from the U.S. The national flag of the Philippines was hoisted for the first time during this war. The first Philippine Republic was formed but soon it was taken over by the Americans who installed their own government in the country. For the next thirty years, expressing nationalism was banned and the U.S. flag was used.

In 1936, for the first time, the flag of the Philippines was hoisted alongside the American flag as a hope for the Filipino people but it was suppressed again as the Japanese invaded the country in 1942 during the Second World War. In 1945, as Japan surrendered, the country gained independence from all the colonists and announced its republic with the same flag being hoisted which was raised in 1898.

National Flag Day in the Philippines timeline

1821
Part of the Kingdom of Spain

As a colony of New Spain, the flag of the Kingdom of Spain is used as a flag in the Philippines.

1898
The Defeat of the Spanish

The Philippines Revolutionary Army defeats the Spanish and declares its independence from Spain.

1936
The U.S. Executive Order No. 23

According to U.S. Executive Order No. 23, the first official flag of the Philippines is designed and hoisted.

1965
The Presidential Proclamation

In a Presidential proclamation, May 28 is announced as National Flag Day.

National Flag Day in the Philippines FAQs

What do the three stars of the Philippine flag mean?

The three stars of the flag of the Philippines stand for three of its big islands — Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

Who designed the Philippines’ flag?

Emilio Aguinaldo, a revolutionary, designed the flag of the Philippines.

Why did the shade of blue of the Philippines’ flag change with time?

The intention was to incorporate all the original colors of the flag which were in use before the occupation. So in different periods, the color changed from lighter to darker shades before the flag finally adopted the royal blue color.

National Flag Day in the Philippines Activities

  1. Hoist the flag

    National Flag Day (Philippines) is the day that commemorates the first time this national emblem was unfurled after defeating the Spanish colonialists. If you can find one, fly the flag wherever you are.

  2. Wear the national colors with pride

    Each color of the national flag day stands for a special meaning. Wear blue, white, red, and golden to flaunt your patriotic side.

  3. Revisit the nation’s history

    Read up on the history of the Philippines, especially about its struggle against its colonial oppressors. Learning about the country’s tumultuous past makes one appreciate its independence even more.

5 Important Facts About National Flag Day

  1. Several shades of blue

    The official flag has adopted more than five variants of blue on different occasions.

  2. It is also a war flag

    The Philippines does not have a separate war flag; during times of war, the red area is the superior field, while the blue patch is placed above during peace.

  3. Inspired by the U.S.

    The Filipino flag is heavily inspired by the American flag.

  4. The flag was once banned

    In 1902, under the U.S. administration, the native Filipino flag was banned and replaced by the U.S. flag.

  5. Similarities with other former Spanish colonies

    There are huge similarities between the flags of Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines, which is most likely because they were all Spanish colonies once.

Why We Love National Flag Day in the Philippines

  1. It’s a symbol of unity

    The national flag of the Philippines stands for the unity of its people. A common flag has the power to bring together people of various ethnicities under one nationality as they work together for the betterment of their nation with pride.

  2. It’s a day to renew one’s nationalism

    The Philippines had been under colonial rule for centuries, and its people’s revolution and the struggle for independence are admirable. For every Filipino, this day serves as a reminder of their journey and rekindles their love for their country.

  3. It’s a national holiday for all

    National Flag Day is also observed as a national holiday in the Philippines. It allows citizens and residents of the country to spend some quality time with their loved ones.

National Flag Day in the Philippines dates

YearDateDay
2023May 28Sunday
2024May 28Tuesday
2025May 28Wednesday
2026May 28Thursday
2027May 28Friday

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