Do the colors of our flag actually signify what we're told
they signify? Apparently not. From the historian Sonia M.
During his exile . . . Aguinaldo
designed the flag as it looks today. . . . It was made of silk with a
white triangle at the left containing a sunburst of eight rays at the center, a
five pointed star at each angle of the triangle, an upper stripe of
dark blue, and a lower stripe of red. The white triangle stands for equality;
the upper blue stripe for peace, truth and justice; and the lower red stripe for
patriotism and valor.
This is the fiction
virtually all our textbooks repeat. Now for the facts: Aguinaldo in his memoirs
tells us that at the time he designed the flag shortly before he returned to
Manila to resume his stalled rebellion, he was already persuaded that the United
States' sole interest was to help Fili- pinos gain independence. On June 12,
1898, in Kawit, Cavite, he authorized Ambrosio Bautista to read the "Declaration
of Philippine Independence," which Bautista had prepared under his [Aguinaldo's]
careful guidance. Excerpts:
Before me, Ambrosio
Rianzares Bautista, War Counselor and Special delegate designated to proclaim
and solemnize this Declaration of Independence by the Dictatorial Government of
the Philippines, pursuant to, and by virtue of, a Decree issued by the Egregious
Dictator Don Emi- lio Aguinaldo y Famy . . . [L]astly, it was resolved . . .
that this Nation . . . must use the same flag . . . the white triangle
signifying the distinctive emblem of the famous Society of the "Ka- tipunan" . .
. and the colors of Blue, Red, and White, commemorating the flag of the United
States of America, as a manifestation of our profound gratitude towards this
Great Nation for its disinterested protection which it lent us and continues
So there it is: we copied the colors of
the Stars and Stripes "as a manifestation of our profound gratitude" to America.
It turns out that not only did we borrow our country's name from one
colonizer; we also borrowed the colors of
our banner from another. Since the day I learned that the rays of the sun in
that standard stood exclusively for the Tagalog and Pampango provinces that
rebelled against Spain in Luzon --- effectively ignoring the
separate sacrifice of our other nations --- I never really
identified with that flag. That was my only reason. Now I have