Flags of the Philippine Revolution

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The evolution of the flags of the Philippine revolution.

There were various flags used during the Philippine Revolution. The Katipunan and its factions used different flags to be identified.

Three flags were used by the Katipunan, all of them were believed to have been sewn by the wife of Andres Bonifacio, Gregoria de Jesus with the aid of Benita Rodriguez. The flag was a red rectangle with three white Ks in horizontal alignment. Some of the members of the movement used variant flags in which one of the Ks was put above the two others, forming a triangle. A third variant of the movement flag had a single K on it.

The red signified the war and the three K stood for the "Kataastaasang, Kagalanggalangang Katipunan ng Mga Anak ng Bayan" (Highest and Most Respectable Society of the Sons of People).

There were different factions in the Katipunan. The Magdiwang faction in Cavite province used a flag with a red banner with white sun and at the center was a white baybayin (the ancient Tagalog script) letter ka. The sun has eight rays which represent the eight provinces that Spain placed under martial law including Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Bulacan, Pampanga, Tarlac, and Nueva Ecija. On the other hand, the Magdalo faction of the Katipunan, which was also operated in Cavite, used a similar flag to that of the Magdiwang faction. A red banner with the sun and in the middle is a red baybayin letter ka. The sun on this flag looks a bit different from that of the Magdiwang and the rays are indefinite in number.


Personal flags

Some leaders of the Katipunan have their own personal flags. Andres Bonifacio, who was the supremo of the Katipunan, had a personal flag. It is a bar of red with a white sun that has an indefinite number of rays. Below the sun are three white Ks. It was first unveiled during the Cry of Pugadlawin on 23 August 1896, where the Katipuneros tore their cedulas as a sign of negating the Spanish authorities. It was also used during the Battle of San Juan del Monte, the first major battle of the Philippine revolution on 20 August 1896.

General Mariano Llanera, leader of the armies in the provinces of Bulacan, Tarlac, Pampanga, and Nueva Ecija used a personal flag. It was a black banner with a white K on the left and a skull-and-bones on the right. It was referred to as the "Bungo ni Llanera" (Llanera's Skull) by Bonifacio.

The hero of Makati, General Pio del Pilar, used a flag with a red field and a white equilateral triangle on the left side wit a K at each corner. In the middle of the triangle is a mountain with the sun rising behind it. The flag was first used on 11 July 1895 and was called the "Bandila ng Matagumpay" (Victorious Flag).

General Gregorio del Pilar, often referred to as the "Young General" because of his age, used a tricolor flag with a blue triangle at the mast, a red stripe on top and a black stripe at the bottom. The flag was patterned after that of Cuba, which was also revolting against Spain at that time.

Official Flag

The Katipunan leaders decided to adopt a flag with a new design during the Naic Assembly of 17 March 1897. The new flag is a red banner wit a white sun with eight rays and a face. It became the first official flag of the Filipinos but was only used for less than a year because of a truce signed between the Filipinos and Spanish authorities (Pact of Biak-na-Bato) on 14 to 15 December 1897.




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