Unveiling the True Symbolism of the 3 Stars in the Philippine Flag


The 1898 Proclamation of Independence linked the stars in the Philippine flag to the islands where the revolution began.

PNA photo by Jess M. Escaros Jr./ Wikimedia Creative Commons

The Philippine flag, a cherished national symbol, holds profound significance for the Filipino people. However, a common misconception surrounds the three stars, which are often believed to represent Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

Historical records, however, tell a different story.

The stars actually symbolize Luzon, Panay, and Mindanao.

The 1898 Proclamation of Independence linked these stars to the islands where the revolution began, rather than the main island groupings.

During the Philippine Revolution, Panay was a hub of revolutionary activity in the Visayas region.

The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) clarifies this in a public document titled “Symbolisms/Meanings in the Philippine Flag.” Section 4 states, “…the three stars, signifying the three principal Islands of this Archipelago – Luzon, Mindanao, and Panay where this revolutionary movement started.”

These details add depth to the rich symbolism of the Philippine flag, reminding that national identity extends beyond mere geography as it embodies the collective struggle and unity of the Filipino people.

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