Flag of Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico.svg
Adopted August 3, 1995 [1]
Designed by Manuel Besosa (?) [2]
Proportions 2:3 [3]

The flag of Puerto Rico, a US commonwealth, consists of a blue equilateral triangle pile on the hoist of the flag, with a white five-pointed star in the center of the pile. Outside the pile are five horizontal stripes of equal height, alternating red and white from the top of the flag.


Red, white, and blue are the colors of the flag of the United States. The star represents the island of Puerto Rico, and the five-pointed star is also a symbol of the United States, which Puerto Rico is a territory of. The three sides of the triangle represent the three brances of the government of the United States. The red represents people who have fought for Puerto Rico's independence, and the white represents freedom and human rights. The design is the same as the flag of Cuba, but with the colors red and blue reversed.[4]


Colonial flag of Puerto Rico

The first flag of Puerto Rico appeared at least in 1873 when the island remained under Spanish rule [5].

In the late 19th century, as pro-independence sentiment grew in the Caribbean islands under Spanish dominion, many activists in Cuba and Puerto Rico were exiled to the United States or elsewhere. In New York City a flag was chosen in exile by the Puerto Rican section of the Cuban Revolutionary Party on December 22, 1895. The design was simply the Cuban flag with a reversal of the red and blue colours. In turn the Cuban flag had been derived from the United States flag in its choice of colours, use of stripes, and emphasis on a white star against a distinctive colored background.[6]

The original design used a sky blue tone of the triangle. But when the flag was adopted officially by the Commonwealth on July 25, 1952 it featured a dark blue very similar to that of the US flag. This fact has raised many issues whether to use a sky blue tone or a dark blue tone in the flag. Recently, with the celebration of the flag's 100 anniversary in 1995 the current administration displayed a flag with the original sky blue tone. Some historians concluded that the reason why a dark blue was used in the 1952 flag was related to the origins of the flag and its relationship with a revolutionary independence movement. Currently the shade of blue is a matter of political controversy: supporters of independence prefer very light shade, while supporters of US statehood prefer darker shade of blue.[7]

Soon after the Cuban Revolution (1950's) US officials in the island became suspicious of those who displayed the flag, considering them subversives. Police used to arrest anyone displaying the flag on charges of insubordination against the United States.[8]


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