We all know – and celebrate – June 12 as Independence Day, the day President Emilio Aguinaldo proclaimed Philippine independence from Spain in 1898. But aside from the proclamation itself, the country actually celebrates two more anniversaries on June 12: The anniversary of the Philippine flag and the anniversary of our National Anthem.
And while every Filipino is familiar with the Philippine flag and Lupang Hinirang, very few people know a few significant things about the symbolisms and history of the country's flag and anthem. As we marked the 117th anniversary of the Philippine Independence Day, here are some facts you're not probably aware of about our national emblem and hymn:
• Aguinaldo himself made the sketch of the flag that he personally submitted to Doña Marcela Agoncillo who was living in Hong Kong at the time.
• It took Agoncillo and her two assistants five days of hard work to finish the flag which, as described by the maker herself, was "made from fine silk with a white triangle at the left containing a sunburst with 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 three stars represent Luzon, Panay, and Mindanao — not Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Panay was part of what the Proclamation of Independence in Kawit, Cavite referred to as "the archipelago's three principal islands."
• In 1907, the Philippine flag and any nationalist flags, banners, emblems or symbols, particularly those identified with the Katipunan, were once outlawed in the country under the Flag Law of 1907 or Act No. 1696. With the country under American rule, the three stars and a sun was then replaced by the stars and stripes of the U.S. It took the Philippines 11 years before the law was repealed and the country's flag to be raised anew.
• The original Philippine flag hoisted in Kawit on June 12, 1898 was lost somewhere in Tayug, Pangasinan when Aguinaldo retreated to Northern Luzon during the Filipino-American war. Aguinaldo himself mentioned this incident in his letter to Captain Baja dated June 11, 1925.
Until now, the whereabouts of the original flag of 1898 remains a mystery.
Source: CNN News