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History & Symbolism of the Puerto Rican Flag
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History & Symbolism of the Puerto Rican Flag

There is nothing so indestructible as a symbol; but nothing is capable of so many interpretations.
-Goblet d Alviella
A flag is generally a piece of fabric, usually of rectangular shape, which may exhibit designs or colors as symbols representing nations, municipalities, societies, groups and institutions of various types. It is usually raised and displayed on a flag-pole in order to make it wave freely in the air. Flags generally identify the moral and historical personalities of the entities, which they represent. For these reasons, all flags, especially national ones, deserve our respect.
History of the Puerto Rican Flag
In the late 19th century, as pro-independence sentiment grew in the Caribbean islands under Spanish dominion, many activists in Cuba and Puerto Rico were exiled to the United States or elsewhere. In 1892 some Puerto Ricans residing in New York City organized the Club Borinquen ('Borinquen Club'). In the summer of 1895, the Puerto Rican Section of the Cuban Revolutionary Party was organized. The Cuban Revolutionary Party advocated for and fomented Cuban independence as well as that of Puerto Rico. At the time both islands were under Spanish domination.
Don Antonio Vélez Alvarado (1864-1948)
designer of the Puerto Rican flag
Don Antonio Vélez Alvarado, Vice-President of the Club Borinquen in New York, conceived the design for the Puerto Rican flag on June 11of 1891. It is said thaton that night, while he observed the Cuban flag, after shifting his sight, he experienced some sort of optical illusion where he saw the red and bleu colors of the Cuban flag inverted and he took this vision as a revelation. He immediately bought materials and asked Doña Micaela Dalmau to sew the new flag based on his design, which he had previously sent to Don Ramón Emeterio Betances for his approval. Betances, who had designed the earlier flag flag used for the failed Lares insurrection ("El Grito de Lares"), and was at the time exiled in Paris, is said to have responded: "Let us make the republic that afterwards any rag can serve as a flag."
The flag was first used on December 22, 1895, when a group of 59 Puerto Ricans gathered at "Chimney Corner Hall", at 57 West 25th Street, to officially form the Puerto Rican Section of the Cuban Revolutionary Party. As part of their activities, Don José de la Matta Terraforte, a survivor of the Grito de Lares, presented the new flag in order to rally support for independence movement from Spain. In that general assembly in New York City, the members of the Puerto Rican Section of the Cuban Revolutionary Party decided to adopt the flag created by Don Antonio Vélez Alvarado for Puerto Rico.The flag was soon adopted as a national symbol. The new flag became popular among the exiled Puerto Ricans in New York City it was eagerly accepted. The flag symbolized the fraternity in the revolutionary struggle of the Puerto Rican and Cuban people. This is why the Puerto Rican flag is very similar to the Cuban flag.
Records of the meeting read as follows:
"Terraforte, uno de los supervivientes del grito de Lares, presentó la nueva bandera que es de la misma forma de la cubana, con la diferencia de haber sido invertidos los colores: franjas blancas y triángulo azul en vez de rojo, con la misma estrella blanca solitaria en el centro".
"Terraforte, one of the survivors of the Grito de Lares, presented the new flag, which is of the same form of the Cuban one, with the difference of having inverted the colors; white stripes and blue triangle instead of red, with the same lone white star in the center".
The following is the further symbolism accorded to during the same 1895 meeting:
Red Stripes - The blood of the brave warriors.
White Stripes - Victory and Peace after obtaining independence.
Blue Triangle - Our sky and coastal waters.
White Lone Star - Our Island.
Important Historic Facts
Even though the Cuban Revolutionary Party was dissolved after the US invasion of Cuba and Puerto Rico in 1898, the flag adopted by the Puerto Rican Section, was kept by Puerto Ricans as a symbol of resistance and national identity.
The flag was used during the failed insurrection known as the El Grito de Yauco ('The Cry of Yauco') or La Intentona de Yauco ('The Yauco attempt'), which took place on March 24 of 1897.
The earliest known published photograph showing the monoestrellada ('single stared flag') Puerto Rican flag on Puerto Rican soil is one of José Maldonado, better known as Águila Blanca (White Eagle) and his band, who landed with and confronted the invading US troops in 1898, displaying the flag.

Following the US invasion, many political parties advocating Puerto Rican independence were formed. But it wasnt until the creation of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party on September 22 of 1922, that the Puerto Rican flag was officially used again as a symbol of the struggle for independence. Even though in the beginning the Nationalist Party used the U.S. flag together with the Puerto Rican flag, when Don Pedro Albizu Campos was elected Vice-President of the party he denounced the practice and it was discontinued. As a consequence, the use of the Puerto Rican flag by itself was banned because of its association to Nationalism. For many years, up until quite recently, the use of the Puerto Rican flag in any way or by itself (without the U.S. flag next to it), was forbidden by the colonial government, being considered an anti-American symbol.

During this period, the colonial government of Puerto Rico tried to approve several projects to adopt the flag as its official emblem, but the opposition of the Nationalist Party prevented it. On April 16 of 1932, the Legislature of Puerto Rico was going to consider one of these projects and a group of Nationalists who were commemorating the Puerto Rican patriot José de Diego's birthday rushed to the Capitol to prevent it. During the incident, the railing of the stairs collapsed and many nationalists fell to the ground, Manuel Rafael Suárez Díaz, a young Nationalist died. Since then, the Nationalist Party has celebrated that day as Día de los Héroes y Mártires (Day of the Heroes and Martyrs) and Día de la Consagración de la Bandera (Day of the Consecration of the Flag).

On March 21 of 1937, when the Nationalists were about to begin a march demanding the release of Puerto Rican political prisoners, the police opened fire on the unarmed participants, killing over 21 innocent people and injuring over 150. During that ten minute shooting at what is known as the Masacre de Ponce (Ponce Massacre), the flag-bearer of the Cadets of the Republic was killed. A woman by the name of Carmen Fernández tried to take the flag herself when she saw the flag-bearer of the Cadets fall, she was shot and gravely injured.

At that point, Dominga Cruz Bacerril, a lady from Mayagüez who had already taken cover, saw the flag fall on the pavement. She ran up to the flag, picked it up, waved it and then ran with it towards a close by hospital without being harmed. When asked why she exposed herself to such danger, she calmly answered: El Maestro (The Teacher) has told us that the flag must always be raised up high. The Teacher she referred to was Don Pedro Albizu Campos.
On October 30th of 1950, during the failed insurrection against the US colonial government known as El Grito de Jayuya ('The Cry of Jayuya'), Nationalist heroin Blanca Canales lead the revolution and declared the Republic of Puerto Rico in the mountain town of Jayuya raising the Puerto Rican flag.
In 1954, Nationalist heroin Lolita Lebrón displayed the flag during a symbolic attack lead by her on the US Congress.
The Design of the Puerto Rican Flag
The design of the Puerto Rican flag is exactly the same as that of the Cuban flag, but with the colors red and bleu inverted, with a sky-bleu triangle instead of red, and three red stripes instead of bleu ones. We must assume that the originators of the Puerto Rican flag kept the same symbolic meanings of the Cuban flag. The only obvious difference being the particular significance of the individual star, which in our flag represents the liberated and independent Puerto Rican Nation. The star was originally placed so that one of its arms points towards the free angle of the triangle, in such a way that the star only points upwards when hung vertically.
Cuban Flag
modern design
The modern Cuban flag was created in New York City in the year 1849 by Venezuelan General Narciso Lopez. The flag was designed for the liberation movement. It has been the official Cuban flag since the year 1902. This flag was modeled on the same symbolism found in the US flag.
The Cuban flag is composed of five horizontal stripes, three blue ones and two white ones and a red triangle in which features a single white five-pointed star. The three colors (red, sky-bleu and white) and the three points of the triangle represent the Republican ideals of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity, which were proclaimed during the French Revolution and are known as the Republican Tri-Color. The three blue stripes are said to represent Science, Virtue, and Beauty. The two white ones to represent Justice and Purity. The red color of the triangle represents the blood of the Patriots. The lone white star within the equilateral red triangle represents the unity of the Cuban people and the Independent Cuban Nation upon the blood spilled by the revolutionary heroes. The width is twice the height.
Symbolism of the Puerto Rican Flag
Puerto Rican Flag
original design adopted in 1895
Even though during colonial administration of Puerto Rico following the US invassion of the island during the Spanish-American War of 1898, the flag was consistantly viewed and repressed as a revolutionary symbol. The sentimental attachment of Puerto Ricans to the design influenced its official recognition by the colonial government. In 1952, as part of the establishment of the Estado Libre Asociado (Free Associated State, Commonwealth or simply 'colony') of Puerto Rico, the Legislative Assembly of the colonial government of Puerto Rico adopted the Puerto Rican flag as the official flag of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. In the year 1960, this was put into effect by the colonial government. Since then, we are "officially" told, among other erroneous information, that the three colors and red stripes on our flag are supposed to represent the three branches of government: executive, legislative and judicial.
Colonial Puerto Rican Flag
as adopted by the colonil govt. in 1952
The truth remains that our flag corresponds to the design of the Cuban flag with the red and blue colors inverted and the blue often lightened. While the Cuban flag has three blue stripes, two white ones and a red triangle with a single white five-pointed star, ours has three red stripes, two white ones and a sky blue triangle with a single white five-pointed star. The Cuban flag was designed by Narciso López, and the concept behind the design of the flag is based on that of a Masonic apron. López was a well-known Freemason, adventurer and soldier, famous for his attempts to liberate Cuba from Spain in the 1850s.
"Freemasonry Instructing the People", 1875
by Charles Mercereau
Freemasons have supported the cause of independence as far back as the French Revolution. "Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité" was their motto. They supported the American Revolution, and and many of its founding fathers including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and others, were Masons. Many of the early Latin American and Puerto Rican Patriots for freedom from Spain were Freemasons, including Betances (creator of the Lares flag), Benítez, Juárez, and many others. In theory, Masons, could be of any religious faith, but must believe in freedom and independence. The designer of the Statue of Liberty, Auguste Bartholdi, was a Mason and the torch, the book in her left hand, the seven-pointed diadem around her head are all Masonic symbols.
Original Design of the Puerto Rican Flag
based on Masonic Apron
If we place the Puerto Rican flag on our waist, with the triangle pointing downward, we can clearly see the representation of a Masonic apron, where the triangle rests on top, over the square rectangle.
Masonic Apron
The Masonic apron has been called the "one and only" badge of Masonry. It is part of the symbolic apparel worn by all Freemasons. The most basic ones are made of white lambskin. That same apron is worn in the many different degrees of The Craft with added adornments according to each. The Masonic apron has its symbolic origins in the biblical reconstruction of King Solomon's Temple. It is indeed an essential emblem of Masonic symbolism and its use is traced back to the Essenes, who provided a white apron to all their neophytes (initiates). In its plain form, the Masonic apron is the union of the rectangular square and the triangle and thus symbolizes the union of male and female principles essential to the generation of Life. A symbolic ritual apron was worn by candidates and innitiates in many ancient mysteries; Egyptian, Jewish, Indian, etc., and there is an echo of such practice by the Church dignataries and in the Freemason's custom of wearing an apron at all times inside the Lodge.. When the sarcophagus of Egyptian King Tut-ankh-amen was oppenned and his mummy unwrapped, the King revealed an apron. To the Freemason or Speculative Mason, the apron is first and formost, a badge of the Order of Freemasonry, and he is tought that it is a badge of innocence and of the bond of friendship.
Freemasonry is a movement of the spirit within which all moral tendencies and convictions favorable to the spiritual and moral improvement of humanity. The lambskin or white leather apron worn by Freemasons in the Lodges and during parades and processions is rectangular and has a triangle at the top. It is an emblem of work, and reminds us that the life of a Mason must always be active and laborious. The one worn by the Entered Apprentice or First Degree Freemason is white, and generally made from plain lambskin and without ornaments. For higher degrees, the Masons apron is adorned with the appropriate symbols.
Equilateral Triangle
One of the loftiest and most sublime symbols of Freemasonry is the equilateral triangle. The Masonic Order identifies it as the most perfect figure that could be drawn with lines and regards it as an appropriate emblem of equality, perfection or divinity. The equilateral triangle (of three equal sides) or Delta also represents Liberty, Equality and Fraternity of the Masonic Order as proclaimed by the French Revolution. The triangle or Delta represents the Sun and the Great Architect of the Universe. It can also be observed as the Christian representation or symbol of perfection and equilibrium and the Holy Trinity. In the alchemical tradition, the four elements (which were believed to be contained in all matter) are symbolized by triangles. In old English Masonic writtings, a triangle formed of three points or dots is sometimes used to indicate 'degree'. In French Masonic writtings since arround 1774, the triangle of dots may mean 'Lodge'.

The equilateral triangle or Delta is an ancient Egyptian symbol of the Godhead. The ancient Egyptian priests expressed the origin of all things by the triangle; and they afterwards wanted to describe the Godhead in its various attributes, they also adopted the triangle. The equilateral triangle is one of the oldest of the sacred symbols, according to James Churchward, and represents the Trinity or the Triune Godhead: "Whenever or wherever this symbol is found, in any form of record or inscription, it is either in reference to, or represents, the ancient Trinity and Heaven...The Truine Godhead of the Egyptians consisted of "Shu, Set and Horus".

The triangle considered as a geometrical figure, is composed of three (3) things, which united, from one (1) whole, viz., of three particular points and angles, by the union of which the triangle itself is formed, as one whole, or complete figure, a triad. It is for this reason that it has been adopted as the symbol of the Triune God. The equilateral triangle (as the single-axis symmetric triangle) is first and foremost associated with the holy, divine number of three (3).

The number three has been considered holy since the earliest of antiquity. This has its reason in the nature of the number itself. It represents unity and opposition, the principle and its development or opposition, and the connecting unity synthesis. It is the first uneven number (3) in which the first even one (2) is found: herein lie its peculiar significance and perfection.

Ever since antiquity, this number was found wherever variety is developed. Hence we have beginning, middle, and end represented in the heavenly rise, point of culmination and setting; morning, noon, evening, midnight, morning; and in general, in the great divisions of time, the past, the present, and the future. In space, also the number three occurs, as in above, midst, and below; right, midst, and left; and in general, in the dimensions of space, as length, breadth, and thickness, or depth. The Triad (Three in One), represented by The Delta, is a significant emblem in a large number of initiatory degrees.

The triangle is also a symbol for power and, as such, related to danger. This is case when is used as a traffic sign, where it indicates danger or a threat, but also safety for those who observe the sign. It also means success, prosperity, and safety.

The triangle represents the apex of the pyramid. The pyramid is a symbol of stability in a number of traditions.
The All-Seeing Eye
The equilateral triangle is often shown with an enclosed eye, the 'All-Seeing Eye'. According to Churchward, this combined symbol was often seen in ancient Catholic churches, over the main altar. The Masonic irradiated All Seeing Eye is a symbol of the creative principle. It is a symbol of the Masonic Deity, which expresses the universal presence of the creative or generative principle in nature and is termed the Great Architect Of The Universe. The All-Seeing Eye is a symbol of 'watchfulness and of the Supreme Being'. In the design of the Puerto Rican flag, this symbol may be associated with the single five-pointed star within the blue triangle. The Egyptian hieroglyph for the star Sothis (Sirius) was a triangle, and the image of the eye within the triangle (such as upon the capstone above the pyramid on the dollar bill) meant that "providence" was watching over all. "Providence" is a coded way of saying that "a great spiritual consciousness from Sirius stands above all".
Five-Pointed Star
The five-pointed star of the Puerto Rican flag rests on a sky blue triangle, and only when positioned as Masonic apron (the triangle pointing downwards), should the star actually point upward. The number 5 relates to the pentagram, a powerful symbol of knowledge and related to the sense of proportion fundamental to builders. The number five is also representative of the human being, made in image and likeness of The Creator and constituted by four extremities ruled by a head.
All the symbolism of the number 5 is contained in the concept known as Pitagoras Pentalpha or Pentacle of Salomon, which is nothing else than five lines (pentagram) united by their extremes to form the flaming or "blazing" Masonic five-pointed star. The five-pointed star is a symbol of creation. We must notice that five is also the number of stripes on the Cuban and Puerto Rican flags.

The Pentalpha of Pythagoras is so called from penta (five) and alpha (A), first letter of the Greek alphabet (the letter A), because in its configuration it presents the form of that letter in five different positions. It was the doctrine of Pythagoras that all things proceeded from numbers, and the number five (5), as being formed by the union of the first odd number (3) and the first even number (2) is deemed of peculiar value.
<BR>THE FONT < pentalpha, as know also star, five-pointed>pentagram, pentacle, pentaculum, pentagrammaton, pentageron, etc., is one of humanities oldest symbols. This star has had several different meanings at different times in history. It has been found on sarcophagi and ancient carvings, and has long association with religions and with superstitions, including necromancy. It is a 'magic' sign in astrology, alchemy, and cabalistic law. From the earliest times it has been a symbol of hope, spiritual enlightenment and general protection, and is one of the most common and important ideograms in the World. This five-pointed star is also recognized as king Solomon's Seal and the Shield of David. It is used in the flags of some 35 countries. It's first appearance on a national flag is believed to have been in 1777, when the United States of America declared itself an independent country. This star is also one of, if not the most widely used military symbols.
When an individual star is employed as an esoteric symbol, its meaning depends upon the number and sometimes the orientation of its points. This star has been regarded as a talisman against danger of fire, and the Pythagoreans believed it to be a symbol of health. It is said that a five-cornered linen headdress, representing the five senses, was worn as a defence against demons, and that 'magicians' themselves used it to quell the disobedience of a spirit. The five-pointed star was found on old British and Gaulic coins. The Druids wore it as a symbol of Deity, and even at the present day, it retains its hold upon the minds of the common people of Germany, and is drawn on or affixed to cradles, thresholds of houses and stable doors to keep off witches and elves. The pentalpha was traditionally used as a doormark to keep out witches, and often appears on the thresholds of Masonic Temples and Halls.

The five-pointed star also refers to the "morning star", which can be identified as Venus. The number of "points" presented on this star has evolved over time. This evolution started with the Sumerians extending through the collapses of the Ottoman Empire and ending with the five-pointed star that is now commonly used. This graphic symbol, which is used on many national flags evolved right out of ancient Mesopotamian iconography. The symbol of the five-pointed star was used by the ancient Egyptians.
Egyptian hieroglyph of the 5-pointed star
The five-pointed star also represents the star called Sothis by the Egyptians. The same star that the Greeks named Seirios, meaning sparking or radiant. It is the same magnificent binary star that is now called Sirius, in the constellation Canis Major. Sothis was the Egyptian goddess personifying the dog-star Sirius, the bright appearance of which in the July dawn sky announced the annual flooding of the Nile. The Egyptian name of the goddess was Sopdet, from which came the Greek Sothis, normally used in Ancient Egyptian studies. Sopdet (Sothis) is portrayed as a lady with a star on her headdress, or as a seated cow with a "plant, flower or star" between her horns.
Egyptian goddess Sopdet (Sothis)
Sopdet (Sothis) was the most important of the stars to the ancient Egyptians, and the heliacal rising of this star (the first night that Sirius is seen, just before dawn) noticed every year during July, and which came at the time of inundation and used to mark the start of the New Year ('The Opening of the Year'). It was celebrated with a festival known as 'The Coming of Sopdet'.As a goddess of the inundation, she was a goddess of fertility. As early as the First Dynasty, Sothis was known as the "bringer of the New Year" and of the Nile Flood. The agricultural calendar started with the rise of the Nile. Gradually Sothis became linked with the constellation Orion, because of the prosperity which resulted from the fertile silt left by the receding waters of the river. Both Sothis and Orion are astral symbols for abundant crops. She also was linked to the pharaoh and his journey in the afterlife. Sopdet (Sothis) was also asociated with water, and she was believed to cleanse the pharaoh in the afterlife.She was also believed to be a guide in the afterlife for the pharaoh, letting him fly into the sky to join the gods, showing him 'goodly roads' in the 'Field of Reeds' and helping him become one of the imperishable stars.
In the western magical traditions Sirius (Sothis) was known to be a center of power. It has been said that the great star Sirius (Sothis) of the Egyptians, was the symbol of The Deity because our own sun was believed to revolve around it. It is considered as the star of Mercury, of The Christ or The Buddha, often called "the great instructor of mankind".
Sirius (Sothis) happens to travel the sky just ahead of the large constellation of Orion. A "belt" of three stars serves as an easy pointer towards Sirius, the unmistakable bright star that is one of the few visible even in city lights' glare. Orion was identified with the dying-and-resurrected god Osiris, in Egyptian mythology, who was one of the most well-known gods of the pantheon. It is believed that the energy of thought, or mind force, in its totality, reaches our solar system from a distant cosmic centre via Sirius. Thus Sirius acts as a "transmitter", or the focalising centre, whence emanate those influences which produce self-consciousness in man. The influence of Sirius is not consciously felt until after the third (3rd) initiation when the true nature of the spirit begins to dawn upon the liberated, intuitive perception of the initiate. This star is without a doubt the origin of the five-pointed Blazing Star of Masonic symbolism. A star that seems to flicker, as if it was a burning fire. Every Masonic lodge has the Blazing Star upon its walls, which in higher degrees this is revealed to be Sirius.
A well documented history of the pentacle/pentagram (five-pointed star) is found in the annals of Freemasonry, and it's predecessors the Knights Templars, and known as an icon of sacred geometry to the Greeks and Arabs for thousands of years. Medieval Masons considered it a symbol of deep wisdom, and it is found among the architectural ornaments of most of the ecclesiastical edifices of the middle ages.. As a Masonic symbol, the pentagram or five-pointed star peculiarly claims attention from the fact that it forms the outline of the five-pointed-star, which is typical of the bond of brotherly love that unites the whole Fraternity. It is in this view that the pentalpha, or "triple triangle", composed of three interlaced triangles, is referred to in Masonic symbolism, as representing the intimate union which existed between three ancient Grand Masters, and which is commemorated by the living pentalpha at the closing of every Royal Arch Chapter. The pentalpha divides the circumference of the circle into five equal divisions. The pentalpha was the in earlier days, the jewel of the 'Antients' Section of the Royal Ach.
Furthermore, a "blazing" five-pointed star, with the letter "G" in the center is a symbol of the second or Fellow Craft degree of Freemasonry. This star is a symbol of the central manifestation of Light, of the mystical Center and an emblem of the Divinity. It also represents the five points of perfection: Strength, Beauty, Knowledge, Virtue and Charity. It is one of the most complex symbols of Freemasonry. In Masonic tradition, the five-pointed star (or pentagram) is represented as a "Blazing Star", which was adopted from Egyptian hieroglyphics. The Masonic pentagram is based on an ancient Egyptian "star" image of Horus, the son of Isis and Osiris. Interestingly, in Egyptian hieroglyphics, the same upward pointing, five-pointed star, means "rising towards the point of origin". The Blazing Star of Freemasonry is the symbol of the foundation in whom all powers are concealed, synthesized and unmanifested. In the center of the star is the pentagon, the keystone, the stone, which the builders rejected, and it is the Cabbalistic sign of man. As the symbol of the foundation of the Cabbala, this star symbolizes the source and process of all existence.
According to ancient ritual, the Blazing Star is a symbol for the Mason, the initiate himself, which radiates light in the middle of darkness (the profane world). The Masonic blazing star symbolizes Man and particularly, the Regenerated Man. It is the mystic star or astral source of, or Reason itself, which illuminates the Fellow Craft Mason and whose inextinguishable Light dissipates the darkness of ignorance. The letter "G" placed in its center can be said to be an emblem of the Genius of Humanity, whom the star guides in the path of Knowledge through the immense darkness of ignorance, superstition, and false ideas, which dominate the profane world. The blazing star symbolizes the ingenuity of Man guided by reason. Besides alluding to all of the mentioned symbolism, the white five-pointed star or pentagram on the Puerto Rican flag also represents the free and sovereign Puerto Rican Nation.
J&B (Jachin & Boaz):
the two columns, which support and uphold the Temple
From a Masonic perspective, the two white stripes descending from the triangle over a red background may be seem as representations of the two pillars or columns, which support and uphold the Temple in which the creative principle dwells, as represented on the Master Mason's apron.
Master Mason's Apron
Red, WhiteBlue is generally known as the Republican Tri-Color and holds a long history of association with Masonic influence and involvement. The tri-color variously stands for (a) the three principles of Liberté (red), égalité (white), and fraternité (blue), associated more or less contemporaneously with it's use on the French Republican flag, (b) the three branches of republican government, (c) the three virtues of (i) faith & loyalty (the ancient priestly virtue), (ii) knowledge & light (the ancient virtue of the scribe) and (iii) bravery & blood (the ancient virtue of the warrior), and (d) the three basic elements in traditional cosmology together denoting cosmic order that incidentally were always symbolized in pre-columbian times by the colors red, white (or gold) and blue.
In the Masonic tradition, the colors Red, Crimson and Scarlet have particular symbolic associations. Universally, Red is the emblem of Faith, Fortitude, Divine Love, Magnaminity, and, in it's suggestion of Blood, of Martyrdom. White is conventionally and universally the natural emblem of Purity. Truth, Innocence, Hope; a Freemason's first apron, made of white lambskin is considered a badge of innocence. Blue, and especially Light Blue, Azure, Cerulean, or Sky Blue universally denotes Immortality, Eternity, Chastity, Fidelity; Pale Blue in particular, represents Prudence and Goodness. In Freemasonry Blue symbolizes the vault of Heaven and is the emblem of Universal Brotherhood and Friendship, and "instructs us that in the mind of a Mason those virtues should be as extensive as the blue arch of Heaven itself." The Bible mentions many liturgical uses of Blue: "... though shall make the robe of the ephod all of blue" (Exudus xxviii, 31). For the ancient Jews, blue was a chief religious color; the High Priest had a blue robe, and one of the veils of the tabernacle was of a blue color known as tekelet (implying perfection). It is said that in ancient days the most solemn oaths were sworn on blue altars.
To fully understand the true significance of the colors on our flag, we must first understand that it belongs to a family of flags composed by the flags of Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines. All of these nations were former Spanish colonies struggling for independence. We must also consider a little-known and not often discussed fact about all of these flags; that they were all probably originally designed with that of the United States of America in mind.


Flags of Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines.
Other world flags with a similar design to that of the Cuban flag include those of the Bahamas , the Czech Republic , Djibuiti , Ecuatorial Guinea , East Timor , Guyana , Jordan , Kwait , Mozambique , Sao Tome & Principe , South Africa , Sudan , Vanuatu , Zimbabwe , and the state of Ohio (US) , the last of these being significantly similar in color and design to that of Puerto Rico.
Many world flags exhibit a similar design, we must consider what these three flags all have in common, but especially those of Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines. First of all, the general design of all three flags is that of a Masonic apron, and consists of a triangle in the left corner containing a star or a sun, and horizontal stripes throughout the rest of the design. Second, we have the use of the colors red, white, and blue. The Cuban flag is the oldest design, and almost certainly, the model for that of both the Puerto Rican and the Philippine flags. Cuba's revolution was an inspiration to both Puerto Rican and Filipino revolutionaries in many ways.

We know that the triangle, a symbol of Freemasonry and of the values and ideals of the French Revolution. And regarding the colors; Red, White & Blue, we know that they are often referred to as the Republican Tri-Color. We also know that the single, white five-pointed star, like the sun in the Philippine flag, is also a Masonic symbol and represents the Divinity as well as the individual Mason and the Nations or Republics represented by each flag. The colors red, white, and blue, along with the presence of the single star, are part of a common Cuban, Puerto Rican and Filipino partial heritage from the United States with an use of colors as well as the stripes very possibly inspired by the flags of the USA and of first the republic, and now, the state of Texas.
The modern Cuban flag, as well as many original versions, were most probably patterned after the design of the "Stars and Stripes". The star, called La Estrella Solitaria (The Lone Star), was selected to "light the way towards freedom" and was inspired by the star on the flag of the Republic of Texas. The flag was hoisted for the first time on May 19, 1850 in Cardenas, Cuba on the north cast of Cuba where General Francisco Lopez landed with 600 men and staged an abortive attempt to free the country from Spanish colonial rule. The Cuban flag in turn inspired the designs of the Puerto Rican and the Philippino flags.
Eve Devereux, in: Flags, the illustrated identifier to flags of the world, 1994, writes: The ironic similarity
 

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