Last modified: 2002-09-21 by dov gutterman
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by Zeljko Heimer, 3 june 2001
Flag adopted 20 May 1902.
The official version of the Cuban government about the meaning
of the shapes and colors of the cuban flag says that the blue
stripes refer to the three old divisions of the island, the two
white to the strength of the independentist ideal, the red
triangle stands for equality, fraternity and freedom as well as
for the blood split in the strugle for independence and the lone
star symbolizes the absolute freedom among the peoples
M.V. Blanes , 19 Febuary 2000
Wasn't it so, that the star in the Cuban flag, at least at
start, was meant to become one of the stars in the Stars and Stripes ?
The Cubans wanted to belong to the US at that time (late 19th Century).
Elias Granqvist, 23 June 2000
Crampton's 'World of Flags', 1990, has: "The white star (La
Estrella Solitaria) represented a new state to be added to
the USA. The red, white, and blue also referred deliberately to
the Stars and Stripes." (p. 32)
Eve Devereux, in: 'Flags, the illustrated Identifier to flags of the world', 1994, has: "The ironic similarity between the "Lone Star" flag of Cuba and the Stars and Stripes of its arch enemy, the USA, is far from coincidental. The design can be traced to 1849 and General Narciso Lo'pez (d. 1851), a Venezuelan filibuster who, living in the USA, was anxious to liberate Cuba from the Spanish and claim it for his adopted country - hence the single star, to be added to the others." (p. 10)
Jarig Bakker, 23 June 2000
From Album 2000 [pay00] -
National Flag (CSW/CSW 1:2) - Five striped blue-white-blue-white-blue
flag with red trangle at hoist with a white star in it.
Zeljko Heimer, 3 june 2001
As for the Cuban flag, I have seen many in South Florida and
one on a Cuban freighter in Toronto harbor. The one on the
freighter used a dark blue. The ones I've seen here use a medium
to medium-dark shade. Never have I seen a Cuban flag in light
Al Kirsch, 3 July 2001
According to Whitney Smith, there is no official specification
of the shade of blue of the Cuban flag. In Album des Pavillons
2000, I give as approx code numbers 186c and 280c.
Armand du Payrat, 4 January 2002
I would like to point out that the true color of the Cuban
flag is turquoise blue and not the ocean blue you show in your
site.The reason why the color is almost always ocean blue is
purely, or impurely, commercial: the flag manufacturers,
possibly non-Cuban, found it cheaper to produce one instead of
the other. When seen in its true color, which represents our sky,
the beauty of the Cuban flag can leave one breathless. Although
you do give the precise measurements, your description is not
truly the "official" one: " Three light blue
stripes, later changed to ocean blue". Changed? By whom?
R. García Bárcena, 6 May 2002
My parents visited Cuba last month and bought a flag at the
airport of Havana. The colour of the blue field is indeed "ocean
blue" as shown on our website. The probability that the flag
they bought was manufactured in a foreign country is extremely
low. I have also photos taken in Havana by my mother, showing the
Cuban national flag vertically displayed among revolutionary
mottos painted on a wall in Havana, and here again the flag is
Ivan Sache, 6 May 2002
Could it be that this tourqouise blue is the old blue, as
shown in the old Cuban presidential flag, and the ocean blue we
now have is the more modern blue?
Manuel L. Quezon, 7 May 2002
If so, it was a rather transient blue, since Flaggenbuch
already made a clear distinction between the blue shades of the
national and Presidential flags. By the way, the current
Presidential flag is still turquoise blue.
Ivan Sache, 7 May 2002
I believe "azul turqui o azul marino" should be
translated to "turquoise blue or navy blue". I've
translated "azul marino" to navy blue which is more
accurate than ocean blue. It refers to the same color using
different names. The different shades of blue is problably due
to flagmakers using the turq. blue as indicated by their color
charts rather than dark turq. blue (navy blue) that is intended.
Marcos Obregon, 30 July 2002
From Barraclough and Crampton:Flags Of the World (1981) [brc81]:
A Venezuelan general, Narciso Lopez, made in 1848 the first
serious attempt to help Cuba break away from Spanish rule. He
carried 'La Estrella Solitaria' -'The Lone Star'-banner, Cuba's
present flag. (While he was having important meetings on the
revolution, his wife embroidered it). His attempt was not
successful; only in 1902 Cuba became an independent republic and
Lopez's flag was adopted as the official flag.
The three blue stripes are the symbols of the original three provinces. The triangle is a masonic symbol, here signifying liberty, equality and fraternity. The red color is for the blood sacrificed by the Cuban patriots.
Jarig Bakker, 29 October 1998
The year was 1849. It was a steamy hot day in New York City
and General Narciso Lopez, of Venezuelan origin, had joined the
fight for Cuba's independence. Exhausted from planning all that
was entailed in bringing Revolution to Cuba, he sat a local park,
and quickly fell asleep. He was concerned about the pending
arrival in Cuba. He felt a flag was necessary to add patriotic
fervor to the endeavor. When he awoke in the park, the colors of
the splendorous sky allowed him to envision the would-be flag.
Full of emotion, he went to his friend, a poet and soon-to-be
patriot, Miguel Teurbe Tolon, who incorporated Narciso's ideas
and designed the flag which was later sewn by Emilia Teurbe Tolon.
And so it was: Three light blue stripes, later changed to ocean blue, representing Cuba's three sections at the time, Western, Central and Eastern. The two white stripes representing the purity and justice of the patriotic liberators' motives. While the lone white star within the equilateral red traingle represents the unity of our people upon the blood spilled by our revolutionary heroes.
Dov Gutterman, 9 January 1999
When Cuba became independent from Spain on May 20, 1902, Ce'spedes Flag was officially designated
the flag of the city of his birth: Bayamo, Oriente, and the flag
which Venezuelan-born, Cuban patriot, Narciso López flew in the
city of Cárdenas on May 19, 1850, was officially designated the
Cuban national flag. In honor of Cespedes and the bravery of the
residents of Bayamo, who during the 10 Year War burned the
prosperous city to the ground and moved to the forrest rather
than surrender it to the Spaniards, Bayamo was proclaimed a
"National Monument" and from then on would have its
name proceeded by the initials M.N. for "Monumento Nacional."
Since Cuba gained independence from Spain, the flag of Bayamo is
displayed alongside the Cuban national flag at official
ceremonies and events.
Dr. Eladio José Armesto, 1 April 2002
by Zeljko Heimer, 3 june 2001
The construction details are given beside the figure at Album
2000 [pay00], giving width of
each stripe as 2, the length of the flag, therefore, as 20. The
star is inscribed in a circle of diameter 3. Not indicated on the
figure (not to overcomplicate it) is that the triangle is
equilateral (this shown on my image by giving each angle 60
degrees) and the center of the circle circumscribing the star
being in the center of gravity of the triangle (therefore in the
crossing of bisectors of the angles).
Zeljko Heimer, 3 june 2001
by Zeljko Heimer, 27 June 2002
Apparently, the cuban parliament just changed the country's
constitution in order to make the socialist regime untouchable by
the legislators. This was an information given today on our TV,
and the brief report showed images of the cuban parliament in La
Havana. There where two flags in display, both vertical, and both
attached to the wall behind the honour tribune, where major
officials seat. These flags where on both sides of the Cuban CoA,
which was in the center of the wall. To the right of the CoA (viewer's
left) there was the cuban flag, in a vertical variation (I didn't
notice if the star was rotated or not, though) and to the other
side, there was vertical Ce'spedes Flag.
Jorge Candeias, 27 June 2002
The image found by Ned also shows how the cuban national flag
appears when displayed vertically. Not surprisingly, it's also a
simple rotation of the horizontal flag, therefore without the
rotation of the star that could be hypothesized for that
Jorge Candeias, 28 June 2002
My parents went to Cuba this summer and took several pictures
of vertical Cuban flags used as mural decoration which confirmed
your answer. There is also a famous black and white photography
of a Revolution meeting given by the Three Commanders, which
shows the upper part of a vertical flag with non-rotated star.
The photography was taken by Raul Corrales, and the postcard
showing it is entitled: "Tres Comandantes (Fidel, Camilo,
Che). Cuba 1959." The Three Commanders are Fidel Castro,
Camilo Cienfuegos, and Ernesto "Che" Guevara,
Ivan Sache, 7 July and 13 August 2002