A BRIEF ON PHILIPPINES NATIONAL FLAG | Stephen Wise
This research was done willingly for the benefit of all, especially those who do not have chance for research and those who have not been opportune to hear the history about the Philippines flag, either a Filipino or foreigner. Though a foreigner, the zeal was enkindled as a result of my love to the Filipino people at large. In this article, I will brief about the construction, color, Symbols, the historical and current flag of the Philippines and other representations.
The National Flag of the Philippines (Filipino: Pambansang Watawat ng Pilipinas) is a horizontal flag bicolor with equal bands of royal blue and crimson red, with a white, equilateral triangle at the hoist. In the center of the triangle is a golden-yellow sun with eight primary rays, each representing a Philippine province. At each vertex of the triangle is a five-pointed, golden-yellow star, each of which representing one of the country's three main island groups—Luzon, Visayas (though originally referring to Panay) and Mindanao. The white triangle at the flag represents liberty, equality, and fraternity. A unique feature of this flag is its usage to indicate a state of war if it is displayed with the red side on top, which is effectively achieved by flipping the flag upside-down.
Constructon: The flag's length is twice its width, giving it an aspect ratio of 1:2. The length of all the sides of the white triangle are equal to the width of the flag. Each star is oriented in such manner that one of its tips points towards the vertex at which it is located. Moreover, the gap-angle between two neighbours of the 8 ray-bundles is as large as the angle of one ray-bundle (so 22.5°), with each major ray having double the thickness of its two minor rays. The golden sun is not exactly in the center of the triangle but shifted slightly to the right
The shade of blue used in the flag has varied over time, beginning with the original color lazuli Rosco. The exact nature of this shade is uncertain, but a likely candidate is the blue of the Cuban flag, which a theory says influenced the flag's design.  Specifications for the flag's colors with shades matching those used in the American flag were adopted by the National Historical Institute in 1955. President Ferdinand Marcos ordered the colors restored to the original light blue and red of the Cuban flag in 1985, but this was immediately rescinded after the 1986 People Power Revolution that removed him from power. For the 1998 independence centennial celebrations, the Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines (RA 8491) was passed, designating royal blue as the official variant. The flag's colors are specified by Republic Act 8491 in terms of their cable number in the system developed by the Color Association of the United States. The official colors and their approximations in other color spaces are listed below
Symbols: the rectangular design that consists of a white equilateral triangle, symbolizing liberty, equality and fraternity; a horizontal blue stripe for peace, truth, and justice; and a horizontal red stripe for patriotism and valor. In the center of the white triangle is an eight-rayed golden sun symbolizing unity, freedom, people's democracy, and sovereignty. Each ray represents a province with significant involvement in the 1896 Philippine Revolution against Spain; these provinces are Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Pampanga, Morong (modern-day province of Rizal), Laguna, Batangas, and Nueva Ecija (some sources specify other provinces as alternatives to some of these). However, according to the Declaration of Independence and a research by Ateneo de Manila University Professor Ambeth Ocampo, the rays of the sun symbolized the first eight provinces of the Philippines which was declared under martial law during the Philippine Revolution (Batangas, Bulacan, Cavite, Manila, Laguna, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga and Tarlac). Three five-pointed stars, one at each of the triangle's points, stand for the three major island groups: Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
The Philippines Flag in History: It has been common since the 1960s to trace the development of the Philippine flag to the various war standards of the individual leaders of the Katipunan, a pseudo-masonic revolutionary movement that opposed Spanish rule in the Philippines and led the Philippine Revolution.
The first flag of the Katipunan was a red rectangular flag with a horizontal alignment of three white Ks (an acronym for the Katipunan's full name, Kataas-taasang Kagalang-galangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan – Supreme and Venerable Society of the Sons of the Nation). The flag's red field symbolized blood, as members of the Katipunan signed their membership papers in their own blood
The various leaders of the Katipunan, such as Andrés Bonifacio, Mariano Llanera, and Pío del Pilar, also had individual war standards. The organization was represented in Cavite province by two factions: The Magdiwang faction and the Magdalo faction, with each adopting a flag. Both used a white sun. Instead of the letter K the flags bore the symbol for the syllable ka in Baybayin, the pre-Hispanic writing script of the Tagalogs. The Katipunan adopted a new flag in 1897 during an assembly at Naic, Cavite. This new flag was red and depicted a white sun with a face. The sun had eight rays, representing eight provinces of the Philippines.
The earlier design of the current Philippine flag was conceptualized by Emilio Aguinaldo during his exile in British Hong Kong in 1897. The first flag was sewn by Marcela Mariño Agoncillo, with the help of her daughter Lorenza and Delfina Herbosa Natividad (a niece of Propagandista José Rizal). It was first displayed in the Battle of Alapan on May 28, 1898. The flag was formally unfurled during the proclamation of independence on June 12, 1898 in Kawit, Cavite. However, according to Manila Times article by Augusto de Viana, the flag was first raised in Alapan, Imus, Cavite, on May 28, 1898, citing Presidential Proclamation No. 374, issued by then-President Diosdado Macapagal on March 6, 1965. The article goes on to claim that historical records indicate that the first display of the Philippine flag took place in Cavite City, when General Aguinaldo displayed it during the first fight of the Philippine Revolution.
During the session of the Malolos Congress, Aguinaldo presented the symbolism of the official flag to the members, delegates and representatives of the assembly as follows:
The Flag bears three colors, three stars, and a sun, the meaning of which are as follows: the red is symbolic of Filipino courage which is second to none, and was the color used during the war in the province of Cavite since the 31st of August 1896, until the Peace of Biak-na-Bato [in 1897]; the blue carries an allegorical meaning that all Filipinos will prefer to die before submitting ourselves to the invader, whoever he may be; the white conveys the idea that, like other nations, the Filipinos know how to govern themselves, and that they do not recede from observation of foreign powers. The sun and its rays stirred up Filipinos and spread the light over their world, piercing the clouds that enshrouded it; it is now the light which brightens every spot in the Philippine islands, and under its influence the Itas, Igorots, Manguians, and Moros, all of whom I believe were made in the image of God, and whom I recognize as our brethren, now come down from the mountains to join with us
Ninth ray for the flag's sun - As representative of a ninth province
Prior to the 1998 independence centennial celebrations, the provincial government of Zambales lobbied that the sunburst design accommodates a ninth ray, reasoning that their province was also in a state of rebellion in 1896. The Centennial Commission however refuted this change, based on research by the National Historical Institute. In August 2003, then Foreign Affairs Secretary Blas Ople also lobbied for a ninth ray, saying that Quezon province should be added. He reasons that the first uprising against the Spaniards happened at the foot of Mount Banahaw which was led by Hermano Pule in 1841.
As representative of an ethnic group
As of June 2018, there is a proposal to add a ninth ray to the Philippine flag's sun to represent the Moro people or Filipino Muslims, as well as other indigenous groups as well for their role against colonization.  Senator Richard Gordon filed Senate Bill No. 2590 which aimed to amend Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines in 2008. This measure was later substituted by Senate Bill No. 3307 which was sponsored by Senator Francis Escudero which was approved in September 2009. The bill was sent to the House of Representatives for concurrence which came up with House Bill 6424. Both S.B. No. 3307 and H.B. 6424 was reconciled by the Bicameral Conference Committee in September 2009. In June 2018, Gordon renewed his campaign to get his proposal passed into law.
As of 2014, the Ninth Ray movement is among the prominent groups pushing for the addition of a ninth ray to the flag's sun. Proponents of the movement believe that a ninth ray should be added to represent the Muslim and indigenous people of the country who kept colonizers away from their lands.
Emmanuel L. Osorio, one of the founders of the Ninth Ray movement, came up with a proposal adding not only a ninth ray to the flag's sun but also adding a fourth star to the flag representing North Borneo (present-day Sabah), a territory claimed by the Philippines but currently under Malaysian sovereignty. The flag's triangle is changed into a rectangle to accommodate a fourth star. According to Osorio, the star representing Sabah in his proposed flag was added "in principle" and said the flag proposal seeks to express the Ninth Ray movement's view that "if we get Sabah, then it could be represented by the star"
Researcher: By, Stephen Wise