The freely associated state of Puerto Rico is dependent on the United States. The national flag was not officially adopted until the middle of the 20th century.
This is what the modern flag of Puerto Rico looks like:
History of the flag
Puerto Rico was colonially dependent on Spain for several centuries.
On September 23, 1868, Puerto Rico had a rebellion in the city of Lares, known as “El Grito de Lares”, which means “the cry of Lares”. The symbol of the uprising was a rectangular cloth divided by white horizontal and vertical stripes into 4 rectangles. The upper ones are blue and the lower ones are red. In the upper left rectangle was a white five-pointed star. The uprising was suppressed. This day is now celebrated as a national holiday.
This day is now celebrated as a national holiday.
The flag of colonial Spain in 1793-1873 and 1875-1898 was a rectangle divided into three horizontal stripes. The upper and lower ones are red. The middle, wider one is yellow. On the yellow stripe, closer to the mast, was an emblem, which was an oval divided vertically into two equal parts. The left part was red with a yellow castle, and the right was white with a red lion. The emblem is topped by a crown.
The Spanish colonial flag in 1873-1875 was a rectangle divided by yellow horizontal and vertical stripes into 4 equal red rectangles. At the intersection of the stripes is a colonial shield of green color, topped with a crown.
In 1895, representatives of the Puerto Rican branch of the Cuban Revolutionary Party, which fought the colonizers, created a flag resembling the Cuban flag, swapping the red and blue colors. This is how the modern flag of Puerto Rico came into being.
In July 1898, during the Spanish-American War, American troops invaded Puerto Rico. Spain was forced to cede its colony to the United States. From 1899 to 1952, the only official flag was the U.S. flag.
After an assassination attempt on U.S. President Truman by Puerto Rican separatists in 1950, the latter agreed to hold a referendum in Puerto Rico to adopt its own constitution. The constitution was adopted in 1952. On July 24, the national flag of 1895 was approved.
A rectangle with a width to length ratio of 2:3.
Horizontally divided into five equally spaced strips. The top, center and bottom stripes are red, with two white stripes between them.
At the stem is a blue equilateral triangle with a side length equal to the width of the flag.
In the center of the triangle is a five-pointed white star.
Tints are not legally regulated. There are different tones of blue and red.
Meaning of colors and flag symbol
In 1895, the creators of the flag took the banner of the Cuban revolutionaries as the basis, rearranging the colors. They specified the symbolism of each element and color.
- The red stripes symbolize the blood spilled for the country’s independence.
- White stripes are peace and harmony.
- The star symbolizes the island of Puerto Rico.
- The blue triangle is the blue waters washing over the country and the vast clear sky overhead.
The standard of the governor is a rectangular white cloth with the coat of arms of Puerto Rico.
The coat of arms is a green shield with a white lamb, a flag and a book with seven seals. The frame of the shield is in the form of alternating symbols of the kingdoms subject to the Spanish crown.
The letter F on the right and a bunch of tied arrows point to Ferdinand II. The letter Y and the yoke on the right indicate Isabella of Castile.
At the bottom on the developing ribbon is a motto in Spanish, which translates as “John his name” (a quote from the Gospel). The motto points to John the Baptist and reminds us that the island was formerly called San Juan Bautista.
The coat of arms is the oldest of all the coats of arms of the New World. It was granted to Puerto Rico by the Spanish crown as early as 1511.
Interesting facts about the flag
In 2016, a Russian TV channel, reporting on the death of Cuban leader Fidel Castro, showed his portrait against a Puerto Rican flag.
In 2013, the president of Venezuela mixed up these flags. The popular Puerto Rican singer Ricky Martin mocked the Venezuelan leader’s gaffe on Twitter. But Martin soon apologized for the mockery and wrote that he loved Venezuela. President Maduro responded to the singer: “Venezuela loves you too. Long live Puerto Rico!”. The incident was thus settled.
General information about Puerto Rico