The symbolism of the Puerto Rican flag has changed through history. The following is an explanation of its meaning through time.
The original Puerto Rican flag
The meeting of 1895
According to Welcome.topuertorico.org and Flagspot.net, the first Puerto Rican flag was issued on December 22, 1895.
Under the directive of Dr. Julio J. Henna, a group of 59 Puerto Ricans met at the “Chimney Corner Hall” in Manhattan, New York.
The objective was the organisation of a political faction, related to the Cuban Revolutionary Party, which demanded the independence of Puerto Rico and Cuba from the Spanish monarchy. This group designed a flag in order to gain support in favour of independence. Original symbolism The flag had the same colours of the Cuban flag but reversed, which symbolised the strong ties between the two islands wanting independence from Spain.
The original Puerto Rican flag had a different symbolism from present-day flag. According to the 1895 meeting, the red stripes symbolised the blood from brave warriors and the white stripes meant victory and peace after acquiring independence from Spain.
The white lone star symbolised the beautiful island of Puerto Rico, and the sky blue triangle represented its sky and coastal water National symbol The flag turned into a national symbol of resistance against the United States invasion of 1898. The Nationalist Party adopted it as its official flag during the 1930's.
The new flag of Puerto Rico, a U.S. Commonwealth
July 15, 1952
The meaning of the symbolism of the Puerto Rican flag and the colour of its triangle changed when Puerto Rico became a Commonwealth in July 25, 1952. The authentic Puerto Rican flag represented Puerto Rico’s strong ties with Cuba, which went through Fidel Castro’s revolution during the 1950s.
As a result, the United States’ government prohibited the display of Puerto Rico’s original flag. Those who displayed the original flag instead of the new one were considered subversives against the United States. New symbolism The symbolism of the Puerto Rican flag changed as follows.
From then on, the three red strips symbolised the blood that sustains the executive, legislative and judicial branches of the government.
The two white stripes symbolised the rights of man and the freedom of the people and served as a reminder of the need to maintain the balance between the government and the people in a democratic government. The white star turned to symbolise the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Meanwhile, the three sides of the equilateral and dark blue triangle represented the three branches of the Republican government.
Additionally, the Puerto Rican flag could not fly without the company of the United States flag.