Monday, April 8, 2013

Philippine Flag History

"Ang kislap ng watawat mo'y tagumpay na nagniningning. Ang bituin at araw niya kailan pa ma'y di magdidilim."

These are the translated words of Jose Palma, a poet and soldier, to be rendered in accordance with the musical composition of Julian Felipe. The verse talks about the symbols of the Philippine Flag, and what it should represent for every Filipino. Should.

Our nation's flag tells everyone a story, which has been a part of our school's curriculum since the primary education stages. We've grown so used to it that many might have taken it for granted, thus forgotten or just became out of mind. What the Philippine Flag meant for our ancestors just don't mean as much to many Filipinos anymore. Like the flag's evolution, its meaning too might have evolved.

It all started with the idea of the Katipunan. (Credits to National Historical Commission for images and texts on Flags).

The three Ks stood for Kataastasang Kakagalanggalangang Katipunan or Most High & Most Sacred Society.

An early version of the Katipunan Flag.  It has the 3 Ks arranged in an equilateral traingle.

Flag with only one “K” at the center.  All versions had a red background to denote the revolutionary character of the Katipunan.

Bonifacio’s Flag.  First used at the Cry of Pugadlawin on August 23, 1896.

Magdiwang Flag.  Magdiwang chapter used this flag up to the time the Pact of Biak-na-Bato was signed.

First Official Revision.  The first official revision of the flag took place after the 1897 Naic conference presided by Aguinaldo.

Llanera’s Flag. Design was derived from the Katipunan initiation rite using a black hat, white triangle & the letters Z,Ll, B.

Gregorio del Pilar’s Flag.  The design was patterned after the flag of Cuba, then in revolt against Spain.

Pio Del Pilar’s Flag. Bandila ng Matagumpay.

The present flag came from Hongkong, made by Marcela Marino Agoncillo, before Aguinaldo set sail for the Philippines. After a bloody battle between Filipino and Spanish forces on May 28, 1898, our flag was hoisted for the first time in celebration of victory over Spain.

While some may argue that our independence during the declaration wasn't a real one, freedom is a state of mind, and during the time of declaration at Kawit, Cavite, independence was ours because we claimed it. Though the emotions evoked by the national flag is not as powerful as it was before, our nation's symbol can still stir patriotism in the hearts of every Filipino. 

Try this. Every time the national anthem is sung in front of the Philippine flag, feel the words and the music with your heart. You're bound to find out something really interesting.