Puerto Rico Flag

The Puerto Rico flag is in use and valid from 1995 to the present day. Its design contains five equal horizontal bands of red (top and bottom) in alternation with white. A blue isosceles triangle is based on the hoist side which has a large white five-pointed star in the middle. In spite of the specific nuances of red and blue used to create the puerto rico flag, some flag makers come with slight alterations of their own.

For example the shade of blue used in making it may be chosen as to correspond to the political beliefs of the flag flyer. Thus you can see flags made by and for pro-independence groups which use light blue, whereas the pro-commonwealth and pro-statehood groups utilize darker nuances like that used on the US flag. The 1952 version of the Puerto Rico flag used dark blue actually.

To talk about the beginnings of the Puerto Rico flag, we have to go back to the times of Cristopher Columbus and his landing on the shores of the island with the flag appointed to him by the Spanish Crown to claim the island. At the time the island was called San Juan Bautista. The description of the flags brought to the island by Columbus and his companions appear in his logbook. After the conquer and colonization of the island the official flag for the colony was that representing Spain. During the events, rebellions and mutinies that occurred under the Spanish occupation, the puerto rico flag used suffered changes and, actually, different flags were used.

After a time, in 1873, the Spanish crown came up with a new colonial puerto rico flag. The new flag looked like the Spanish flag but it had the coat of arms of Puerto Rico in the middle of it. This second official colonial Puerto Rico flag was in use until the year 1898 when the island came under the protection and possession of the US. This changed occurred after the Treaty of Paris (1898) in the aftermath of the Spanish – American war.

According to some sources, Francisco Gonzalo Marin is the one who presented a puerto rico flag prototype for adoption, to the Perto Rican Revolutionary Committee in New York in 1895; since then, Marin is credited with the design of the puerto rico flag. Yet, Antonio Velez Alvarado deserves the credit since, on the 2nd of June 1892, while in his Manhattan apartment, looking at the Cuban flag, he had an optical illusion in which he perceived the picture of the Puerto Rico flag.

Immediately he got colored paper and created a crude prototype which he later displayed in a dinner meeting at a neighbour’s where Jose Martin was also invited. Jose Martin liked it and wrote an article about it in the Cuban revolutionary paper „Patria”. Slowly but steadily the new flag was accepted; it was also presented in New York’s „Chimney Corner Hall” – a gathering place for independence advocates. Soon after this, the flag got to symbolize the ideals of the Puerto Rican independence movement.

The 45-star flag was the first American flag flown in Puerto Rico. From 1898 to 1952 it was a felony displaying the Puerto Rico flag in public. In 1948 Puerto Ricans were allowed to elect a governor. Governor Luis Munoz Marin and his administration agreed with and adopted the Marin version of the Puerto Rico flag in 1952, proclaiming it the official national flag.

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