Filipinos celebrate National Flag Day

Filipinos celebrate National Flag Day

By Glen S. Ramos

MANILA — The two-week-long celebration of the “National Flag Day” is on.

The commemoration of the Philippine flag was made by virtue of Republic Act No. 8491 duly approved during the 10th Congress and signed by President Fidel V. Ramos on the 28th of July 1997.

It prescribes the Code of the heraldic items and devices in the Philippines, which is intended to invigorate the love of the country and underscore the importance of complying with standard expressions of respect for our national symbols.

Reverence to our flag is very important which is why Section 34 of the Republic Act, stated prohibitions including “mutilating, defacing, defiling, trampling on or casting contempt or committing any act or omission casting dishonor or ridicule upon the flag or over its surface”.

Among the penalties that may be imposed on an individual for violation of the flag, the law is as follows: 1) after proper notice and hearing, “public censure,” which shall be published at least once in a newspaper of general circulation; and 2) upon conviction by the proper trial court, a fine of P5,000 to P20,000 or imprisonment for not more than one year, or both fine and imprisonment at the discretion of the court.

It also states that the DepEd and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), “upon recommendation of the National Historical Institute and after proper notice and hearing, shall cause the cancellation of the recognition of permit of any private educational institution which fails or refuses to observe the provisions of the flag law for the second time.”

WHY MAY 28?

The date also commemorates the victory at the Battle of Alapan, where the Filipino flag was unfurled for the first time. May 28, 1898, was the first military victory of the Filipino Revolutionaries led by Emilio Aguinaldo, thus, “Flag Day” is celebrated on this date in honor of this battle.

The duration of Flag day was extended until June 12 by Executive Order No. 179, s. 1994, designating May 28 to June 12 as National Flag Days.

SYMBOLS IN THE FLAG

The three stars embedded in the flag represent the three main archipelagos of the country – Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. The rays of the sun were supposed to represent the first eight provinces that began the Philippine Revolution against Spain – Batangas, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Manila, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, and Tarlac.

The white triangle stands for equality and fraternity; the blue field for peace, truth, and justice; and the red field for patriotism and valor. (EGR/ai/mtvn)

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