The ori­gins of the cur­rent Flag of Puer­to Rico can be traced to 1868, when the first Puer­to Rican flag was con­ceived by Dr. Ramon Eme­te­rio Betances and embroi­dered by Mar­i­ana “Bra­zos de Oro” Bracetti. On the Sep­tem­ber 23, 1868, the flag, which lat­er became known as “The Rev­o­lu­tion­ary Flag of Lares” and is now the offi­cial flag of the Munic­i­pal­i­ty of Lares, Puer­to Rico, was pro­claimed the nation­al flag of the “Repub­lic of Puer­to Rico” by Fran­cis­co Rami­rez Med­i­na, who was sworn in as Puer­to Rico’s first pres­i­dent, dur­ing the short lived Puer­to Rican revolt against Span­ish rule in the island which is known as “El Gri­to de Lares”.

The use and dis­play of the Puer­to Rican flag was out­lawed and the only flags per­mit­ted to be flown in Puer­to Rico were the Span­ish flag (1492 to 1898) and the flag of the Unit­ed States (1898 to 1952). In 1952, the Com­mon­wealth of Puer­to Rico adopt­ed the same flag design, which was unveiled in 1892 by the Puer­to Rican Rev­o­lu­tion­ary Com­mit­tee, as its offi­cial stan­dard with­out spec­i­fy­ing the tones of col­ors to be used. The col­or of the tri­an­gle that was used by the admin­is­tra­tion of Luis Muñoz Mari­n was the dark blue that is used in the flag of the Unit­ed States, instead of the orig­i­nal light blue. In 1995, the gov­ern­ment of Puer­to Rico issued a reg­u­la­tion in regard to the use of the Puer­to Rican flag titled: “Reglamen­to sobre el Uso en Puer­to Rico de la Ban­dera del Esta­do Libre Aso­ci­a­do de Puer­to Rico” in which the gov­ern­ment spec­i­fies the col­ors to be used but, does not spec­i­fy any offi­cial col­or tones or shades. There­fore, it is not uncom­mon to see the Flag of Puer­to Rico with dif­fer­ent shades of blue dis­played in the island. On March 15, 2009, the Puer­to Rican flag was tak­en aboard the Space Shut­tle Dis­cov­ery dur­ing its flight into Out­er Space. That flag will be giv­en to the gov­ern­ment of Puer­to Rico dur­ing astro­naut Joseph Acaba’s vis­it June 1–6.

Each of the munic­i­pal­i­ties of Puer­to Rico, includ­ing the islands of Cule­bra and Vieques, have adopt­ed a flag which rep­re­sents the region and its peo­ple. The col­ors and designs vary. Some flags con­tain a coat of arms or images of an object asso­ci­at­ed with the region, such as a bird, ani­mal, or crop. In the case of Lares the flag adopt­ed was the “Rev­o­lu­tion­ary Flag of Lares” with the yel­low star changed to white. Caguas is the only city whose bar­rios have their own flags.

Many of the munic­i­pal flags of Puer­to Rico pay trib­ute to the Caci­ques of the Taino tribes (the native Puer­to Rican tribe) who ruled the island before the arrival of the Spaniards. The flag of Utu­a­do for exam­ple has a Taino Sun in hon­or of the Supreme Taino Cacique Aguey­bana whose name means “The Great Sun”. Oth­er flags, such as San Ger­man’s, con­tain a mur­al crown. The crown pays trib­ute to the local caciques who ruled the area.


(Click on flags to see full image )