The National Flag Day will be celebrated all throughout the country from May 28 through various activities that raise awareness about patriotism as well as commemorate the Battle in Alapan, Imus, Cavite. It will serve as a kick-off party for the Philippine Independence Day set on June 12.
President Fidel V. Ramos through the issuance of Executive Order No. 179 on May 23, 1994, has set the National Flag Day from May 28 to June 12.
Also known as the Araw ng Watawat, all Filipinos are urged to parade the Philippine flag in all government offices and agencies as well as in establishments, schools, parks, and private homes within the given period of time.
The concept behind the National Flag Day was first birthed on May 28, 1898, when the Philippine flag was first unfolded after the Philippine Revolutionary Army led by General Emilio Aguinaldo successfully defeated the Spaniards in the Battle at Alapan, the Philippine flag was only presented to the people on June 12, 1898.
However, due to American colonization, the Filipinos once again were stripped of the right to display the Philippine flag and celebrate the National Flag Day.
It was only in 1919 when the Philippine flag was again legalized and the practice of the Flag Day was allowed. Thus, from 1919 to 1940, the Flag Day was observed in October, the date the Philippine Legislature had restored the flag. Then from 1941 to 1964, the Flag Day was commemorated on June 12, the day the national flag was unfurled in Kawit: June 12.
However, in 1965, President Diosdado Macapagal Arroyo issued Proclamation No. 374, 1965, moving the Flag Day to May 28, stating that "our flag was first raised and received its baptism of fire and victory in the battle of Alapan, Imus, Cavite, on May 28, 1898."
This has been the practice until President Ramos issued Executive Order No. 179 stating that "the period spanning the commemoration of the historic Flag Day on May 28 and the Independence Day on June 12, are opportune time for all Filipinos to collectively reflect on the significance of the National Flag, in the light of the forthcoming centennial celebration of the Philippine Independence in 1998."
The National Flag symbolizes patriotism, love of country, and sense of nationhood. It also embodies the aspirations and sentiments of the Filipino People in the search for freedom and independence. The flag's design was conceptualized by Emilio Aguinaldo during his exile in Hong Kong in 1897 and was sewn by Marcela Marino de Agoncillo, daughter Lorenza, and Delfina Herbosa de Natividad.
While the design of the Philippine flag has evolved through the years, the colors and the meanings of the celestial figures have remained the same: blue signifies the Filipino people's willingness to give up one's self in search for freedom, peace, truth, and justice; red represents courage and patriotism; white symbolizes liberty, equality, and fraternity; the three stars stand Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao; and the eight rays represent the eight provinces that had significant involvement in the 1896 Philippine Revolution.
The Philippine Flag is known to be the only flag that is displayed differently during peacetime and wartime. The blue field is on top during peace while the red field is on top in time of war.