Original puerto rican flag: Puerto Rico — US Flags [dot] Design
Puerto Rico — US Flags [dot] Design
U.S. territory since April 11, 1899
The Revolutionary Flag of Lares (Puerto Rico’s first flag) was knitted in 1868 by independence leader Mariana Bracetti. It flew that same year during El Grito de Lares, the first major revolt against Spanish colonial rule.
The current design is credited to Antonio Vélez Alvarado who took inspiration from the flag of Cuba and inversed the colors, using a light sky blue. This version flew during Intentona de Yauco, the second major revolt in 1897.
The flag became and has remained a symbol of pride and resistance for Puerto Rico. So much so, in 1948 a law was passed making it illegal to fly the flag in an attempt to stifle rebellion. It wasn’t repealed until 1957.
Despite the Gag Law still in effect, the flag (with a darker blue and newly defined symbolism) was officially adopted in 1952 when Puerto Rico established its own constitution.
The Puerto Rico flag features five equally-sized, horizontal alternating stripes, three red and two white.
An equilateral triangle of blue fills the width of the hoist and extends toward the center.
Upon the blue triangle, a white five-pointed star is charged.
In the 2001 North American Vexillological Association (NAVA) flag survey of United States and Canada flags, the flag of Puerto Rico was ranked 7th out of 72.
The meaning of the flag’s colors and imagery was redefined in 1952. The original symbolism is also included here.
three branches of government, republic
Original: sky, sea
The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
Original: the island of Puerto Rico
nourishment of government
Original: blood of revolution
individual liberty, rights
Original: victory and peace through independence
Puerto Rico statute does not specify color values for the flag. Flags are manufactured in a variety of blues, including the dark blue and sky blue versions.
The Flags and Anthems Manual for the London 2012 Olympic Games does provide Pantone colors for the Puerto Rico flag, as specified here.
The colors of the flag hold special original meaning. This color symbolism was redefined in 1952. Both are described above in the Iconography section.
Puerto Rico statute does not specify dimensions or proportion for the flag.
It is commonly produced with a proportion of 2:3.
All the stripes should be equal width and the each side of the blue triangle should be equal.
The Revolutionary Flag of Lares, flown during rebellion against Spain. Based on the flag of the Dominican Republic.
Design by Alvarado based on the flag of Cuba, but featuring a sky blue triangle and red/white stripes.
The blue is darkened to better match the blue of the U.S. flag.
- Laws of Puerto Rico Annotated. Title One. The Commonwealth. Chapter 3. Flag; Coat of Arms; Great Seal; Anthem; and Instruments. Section § 31. Flag of the Commonwealth.
- Flags and Anthems Manual London 2012. London: London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Ltd. 2012.
- United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico
- Islands of Puerto Rico
- Mother Jones
- Encyclopedia Britannica
- Flag of Puerto Rico — Wikipedia
Puerto Rico Flag (History, Design, & Facts)
When in Puerto Rico, you’ll come across the Puerto Rico flag everywhere you go.
The flag of Puerto Rico is a strong cultural symbol and is so popular that you’ll inevitably see it as you visit the popular spots in Puerto Rico.
As a Puerto Rican myself, there is nothing that makes me prouder than my flag and its amazing history of resistance and revolution. Whether you find the Puerto Rico flag on a mural, on the beach, or on a rock, here’s what you need to know about it.
Table of Contents
- Puerto Rican Flag Design & Meaning
- Puerto Rico Flag History
- Puerto Rico Flag Fun Facts
- Puerto Rico’s Flag is Young
- A Painter is Painting One Flag Per Municipality
- There is Black Puerto Rican Flag
- There are Two Different Versions of The Flag
- The Spanish Military Had Its Own Flag
- The Flag Has Its Own Celebration
- The Origin of the Flag is Unknown
- A Commonwealth With its Flag
- Find the Flag on the Beaches
- The First Puerto Rico Flag is a Town’s Flag
- FAQs About Puerto Rico Flag
- Why do Cuba and Puerto Rico have the same flag?
- Why does Puerto Rico have two flags?
- Did Puerto Rico copy the Cuban flag?
- What does the Puerto Rican flag symbolize?
Disclosure: Travel Lemming is an independent reader-supported blog. You can support us by purchasing via the affiliate links on this page, which may earn us commissions. Thank you!
Puerto Rican Flag Design & Meaning
Puerto Rico’s flag features a navy blue triangle on the left side with a single white star. It also has five horizontal stripes, three red and two white alternated.
The current official meaning behind the Puerto Rican flag is the following: the triangle symbolizes the government’s three branches: the executive, legislative and judicial branches.
The single star represents the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The red stripes symbolize the blood that nourishes the three government branches, and the white stripes stand for the liberty and rights of individuals.
The present-day meaning came to be in 1952. This change imposed by the government distanced the flag of Puerto Rico from its revolutionary symbolism and history.
In the original flag’s design, the white star represents the island and the blue represents the sea and the sky. The red stripes represent the spilled blood of the patriots fighting during the revolution. The white stripes symbolize victory and peace after obtaining independence.
In the original design, the color of the triangle was celestial blue. The color changed to a dark blue (similar to the American flag) after Puerto Rico became a Commonwealth of the United States.
Puerto Rico Flag History
The first Puerto Rican flag was created by the pro-independence political group known as the Revolutionary Committee of Puerto Rico. The rebel group had the goal to reach independence from Spain and declare a Republican government.
In 1868, the group leader Dr. Emeterio Betances asked Mariana Bracceti to sew The Revolutionary Flag inspired by the Dominican Republic Flag. During this time, the group believed in an Antillean Confederation with other Caribbean islands. The flag had a white cross, a white lone star, and two blue and red corners.
The Town Square of Lares (photo: Euri Rivera / Shutterstock)
On the revolt of September 23, 1868, rebels took over the catholic church of the town of Lares. Placing the Revolutionary Flag on the altar, they proclaimed the start of the Republic of Puerto Rico with Francisco Ramírez Medina as the president. Although the revolution wasn’t successful, revolutionaries continued using the flag to advocate for independence. [Source]
In 1895, the Puerto Rico Revolutionary Committee called “Club Borinquen” composed of revolutionary Puerto Rican exiles in New York adopted a new flag. It had the same design as the Cuban flag, but with the colors inverted. This showed the political affiliation between both countries’ revolutionaries. [Source]
After Puerto Rico became a United States territory in 1898, any display of the Puerto Rican flag was deemed a felony. In 1948, Law 53, known as Ley de la Mordaza, prohibited any display of the flag.
In 1952, the government officially adopted the Puerto Rican National Flag as the official flag with changes in its meaning and colors to distance it from its revolutionary origins.
Puerto Rico Flag Fun Facts
Puerto Rico’s Flag is Young
Up to 1952, Puerto Rico didn’t have an official flag. After Cristopher Columbus colonized Puerto Rico, then called San Juan Bautista, the island used the Spanish government flag. After the Spanish American War, the only flag permitted was the United States Flag.
In 1952, the government officially adopted the current flag of Puerto Rico, and theoretically speaking, it is the only one Puerto Rico ever had of its own.
A Painter is Painting One Flag Per Municipality
Nowadays it’s common to find Puerto Rico’s flag painted in murals, doors, and abandoned buildings.
Hector Collazo is a Puerto Rican artist that created the project 78 Pueblos: 1 Bandera, intending to paint the flag of Puerto Rico in every single one of the municipalities. Up to this date, Hector has painted 75 flags. [Source]
There is Black Puerto Rican Flag
Puerto Rico’s flag is a symbol of revolution and defiance, which is why during its history it changed to represent different battles and causes. The most popular altered Puerto Rico flag is the black flag. The black Puerto Rico flag was born during the protests against the PROMESA law that established a Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico imposed by the United States. [Source]
Artists painted the first black flag in Old San Juan which is of the most popular things to do while visiting San Juan.
There are Two Different Versions of The Flag
The blue isosceles triangle on the original Puerto Rican flag was celestial blue and it represented the sky and sea. The single star inside the triangle represented the freedom and the ideal of Puerto Rican independence. After 1952, the triangle’s color changed to a dark blue, becoming similar to the flag of the United States.
Now, it represents the government branches and the commonwealth status, distanced from the original meaning. Still, both flags are frequently used around the island.
The Spanish Military Had Its Own Flag
During the Spanish dominion of Puerto Rico, the Spanish flag was the main representation of the empire. But, you could also find the Cross of Burgundy Flag wherever there was a Spanish military base.
You can still find this flag while exploring San Juan’s historical forts like San Felipe del Morro and Castillo San Cristóbal. [Source]
The Flag Has Its Own Celebration
The 22nd of December is the day of La Bandera de Puerto Rico or the day of the Flag of Puerto Rico. The celebration is the anniversary of the day in 1895 that a group of 59 Puerto Ricans (led by Jose Julio Henna) got together in the Chimney Corner Hall in New York and raised the Puerto Rican flag for the first time.
This is only one of the many Puerto Rican festivities with cultural and historical meaning.
The Origin of the Flag is Unknown
It’s believed the flag was designed by Francisco Gonzalo Marín. A letter from Juan de Mata Terreforte, vice-president of the Puerto Rican Revolutionary Committee in New York City, points to Marín as the designer.
But, other sources state Antonio Velez Alvarado created a prototype of the flag first, and José Martí, a Cuban journalist and poet, wrote about it in the newspaper Patria. [Source]
A Commonwealth With its Flag
Although Puerto Rico is a Commonwealth of the United States, the country participates in many sports events, festivals, and international events using its name and Puerto Rican flag.
Besides the country itself, for locals, the flag of Puerto Rico represents Puerto Rican culture.
📚 Continue Reading: Interesting Puerto Rico Facts
Find the Flag on the Beaches
One of the most unique places to find the flag of Puerto Rico is on the beach. The flag is often displayed on a pole over a rock formation either on the sand or the water.
Arecibo, Domes Beach, and Survival Beach are some of the popular beaches in Puerto Rico where you can find it. You can also find it painted in buildings or rocks by the coast.
The First Puerto Rico Flag is a Town’s Flag
The first unofficial Puerto Rico flag was crafted by the Revolutionary Committee of Puerto Rico and used during “El Grito de Lares”, a rebellion in 1868 against the Spanish Government. While the revolution failed, the flag now identifies the town of Lares.
The flag also keeps its original meaning, with the red representing the blood spilled by the brave warriors of the rebellion, and the white start combined with the blue standing for freedom.
FAQs About Puerto Rico Flag
Why do Cuba and Puerto Rico have the same flag?
The flag of Puerto Rico was designed based on the Cuban flag with inverted colors by the Puerto Rican Revolutionary Committee during the 19th century. The Puerto Rico committee and the Cuban Revolutionary Party were politically affiliated and united in advocating for independence from Spanish rule.
Why does Puerto Rico have two flags?
Travelers will notice two Puerto Rico flags with different tones of blue on the triangle. The most modern version of the Puerto Rico flag has a navy blue triangle, and it was changed after Puerto Rico became a Commonwealth of the United States. But, the original color of the triangle in the flag is celestial/sky blue. Visitors can see both colors in flags when visiting the island.
Did Puerto Rico copy the Cuban flag?
The current Puerto Rico flag was created in the 19th century by the Puerto Rican section of the Cuban Revolutionary Party in New York. The flag had the same design as the Cuban flag with inverted colors. At the time both Puerto Rico and Cuba shared political ideals and advocated independence from the Spanish Empire.
What does the Puerto Rican flag symbolize?
The star in the original Puerto Rican flag symbolizes the island. The triangle’s color represents the sky and the sea that surround the island.
The white stripes represent the victory and peace after obtaining independence, and the red one represents the blood spilled by revolutionaries. Although the meaning of the flag was officially changed by the government in 1952, many Puerto Ricans stand by the original meaning.
Now that you know the importance of the Puerto Rico flag for Puerto Ricans! Before you go, check out these amazing things to do in Puerto Rico, including some perfect spots to take a picture with the flag of Puerto Rico.
Have fun spotting the Puerto Rican flag!
How useful was this post?
Click on a star to rate (you can leave feedback after clicking submit)
Help us help you travel better!
Your feedback really helps …
What did you like about this post? Or how can we improve it to help you travel better?
Flag of Puerto Rico | it’s.
.. What is the Flag of Puerto Rico?
Flag of Puerto Rico is the official symbol of the freely associated state of Puerto Rico.
The modern flag of Puerto Rico was created in 1895  based on the Cuban flag, with the color of the triangle and stripes reversed, and was used as the flag of the Puerto Rican section of the Cuban Revolutionary Party, which fought for the liberation of Cuba and Puerto Rico from Spanish rule. Rico. 
On July 25, 1898, during the Spanish-American War, American troops invaded Puerto Rico, landing in the municipality of Guánica (Spanish: Guánica ). As a result of the war, Spain was forced to cede to the United States of America Puerto Rico, as well as Cuba, the Philippines and the island of Guam under the Treaty of Paris in 1898. 
From January 1, 1899 until 1952, the only official flag of Puerto Rico was the flag of the United States.
On July 24, 1952, the 1895 flag was officially proclaimed the state and national flag of Puerto Rico, which can only be flown simultaneously with the US flag.
In 1995, the government of Puerto Rico approved the regulations for the flag of Puerto Rico. «Reglamento sobre el Uso en Puerto Rico de la Bandera del Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico»  , which lists the colors of the flag without specifying the color tone, so flags with different color shades of blue and red can be found.
Flags of municipalities
- ↑ World Statesmen. org — Puerto Rico.
- ↑ Vokrug sveta magazine. Heraldic album. Sheet 25.
- ↑ Treaty of Paris (1898) (Spanish).
- ↑ Reglamento sobre el Uso en Puerto Rico de la Bandera del Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico (Spanish).
Flag of Puerto Rico: photo, colors, meaning, history
Author Alexander To read 4 min Views 1.5k. Posted by Updated
The Freely Associated State of Puerto Rico is a dependency of the United States. The national flag was officially approved only in the middle of the 20th century.
This is what the modern flag of Puerto Rico looks like:
Flag of the freely associated state of Puerto Rico
- History of the flag
- Flag colors0036
- The meaning of the colors and symbol of the flag
- Other flags
- Interesting facts about the flag
- General information about Puerto Rico
- Map of Puerto Rico
History of the flag
Puerto Rico was in colonial dependence on Spain for several centuries.
September 23, 1868 in Puerto Rico there was an uprising 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 panel, divided by white horizontal and vertical stripes into 4 rectangles. Top is blue, bottom is red. In the upper left rectangle is a five-pointed white star. The uprising was put down. This day is now celebrated as a national holiday.
Flag of the rebellion in Lares
Today this day is celebrated as a national holiday.
Flag of colonial Spain in 1793-1873 and 1875-1898. It was a rectangle divided into three horizontal stripes. The top and bottom are red. Medium, wider, yellow. On the yellow strip, closer to the hoist, there was an emblem, which was an oval divided vertically into two equal parts. The left one is red with a yellow castle, the right one is white with a red lion. The emblem is topped with a crown.
Flag of Spain 1785-1873 and 1875-1898
Spanish colonial flag 1873-1875 It was a rectangle divided by yellow horizontal and vertical stripes into 4 equal red rectangles. At the intersection of the stripes there is a green colonial shield topped with a crown.
Flag of the province of Puerto Rico 1873 — 1898
In 1895, the Puerto Rican branch of the Cuban Revolutionary Party, which fought against the colonialists, created a flag reminiscent of the Cuban one, swapping red and blue colors. This is how the modern flag of Puerto Rico was born.
In July 1898, during the Spanish-American War, American troops invaded Puerto Rico. Spain was forced to cede its colony to the United States. Between 1899 and 1952, the only official flag was the US flag.
After the 1950 attempt on the life of US President Truman by Puerto Rican separatists, 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 state flag of sample 189 was approved5 years old
Flag of Puerto Rico (1952-1995)
Rectangle with a width to length ratio of 2:3.
Divided horizontally into 5 equal stripes. The upper, central and lower are red, between them are two white stripes.
A blue equilateral triangle with a side equal to the width of the flag is located near the flagpole.
In the center of the triangle is a five-pointed white star.
Shades are not legally regulated. There are different shades of blue and red.
Meaning of the colors and symbol of the flag
In 1895, the creators of the flag took the banner of the Cuban revolutionaries as a basis, rearranging the colors. They indicated the symbolism of each element and color.
- The red stripes symbolize the blood shed for the independence of the country.
- White stripes — peace and harmony.
- The star symbolizes the island of Puerto Rico.
- Blue triangle — blue waters washing the country and the boundless clear sky above.
The Governor’s standard is a white rectangular panel with the coat of arms of Puerto Rico.
Flag of the Governor of Puerto Rico
The coat of arms is a green shield with a white lamb on it, a flag and a book with seven seals. Framing the shield in the form of alternating symbols of the kingdoms subject to the Spanish crown.
The letter F depicted on the right and a bunch of tied arrows point to Ferdinand II. The letter Y and the yoke on the right is Isabella of Castile.
At the bottom of the developing ribbon — the motto in Spanish, which translates as «John his name» (quote from the Gospel). The motto refers to John the Baptist and recalls that the island was previously called San Juan Bautista.
The coat of arms is the oldest of all coats of arms of the states 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, one of the Russian TV channels, reporting on the death of Cuban leader Fidel Castro, showed his portrait against the background of the Puerto Rican banner.